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West Hartford Business Buzz: August 28, 2017

Interior of Division West, 36 LaSalle Rd., West Hartford. Photo courtesy of Ermal Caushi
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A round-up of openings, closings, and other news about West Hartford businesses.

By Ronni Newton

I hope everyone has been enjoying the wonderful weather the past several days!

I returned home late Thursday night from nearly two weeks of vacation, reluctantly leaving the beach on a perfect day, but the only consolation was that the weather at home was nearly as perfect (minus the waves and the sand).

I jumped right back into the happenings in West Hartford with two interviews first thing Friday morning, and it’s amazing how much happened while I was gone. Most remarkable is the look of the hotel (see blurb below) and a few other businesses that have opened or are just about there.

It’s also – seemingly suddenly – back to school time. I dropped my son off at UConn on Saturday and he is set to begin classes for his sophomore year on Monday. My daughter had two weeks off in her DPT program, and also returns to class at UConn on Monday. She’s commuting from home for the rest of this week, but then is moving out, too, and it’s going to be very, very quiet around here again.

Monday is also convocation for West Hartford Public Schools, and the new school year begins on Wednesday.

If you have tips about businesses opening or closing, or doing something worth sharing, please provide that information in the comments or email Ronni Newton at [email protected].

Here’s this week’s Buzz:

Interior of Division West, 36 LaSalle Rd., West Hartford. Photo courtesy of Ermal Caushi

  • LaSalle Road drew a crowd Sunday morning when it was (along with a portion of Farmington Avenue and South Main Street) closed off to vehicle traffic for the second annual Center Streets event, but the opening of a few new businesses will likely soon bring much more foot traffic to the area as well. The interior is complete (this photo is a sneak peek), inspections have been done, and Division West Bar & Bistro has announced a Sept. 13 grand opening, co-owner Ermal Caushi said. Division West is described as an American bistro with some French and Italian influence, and has a contemporary feel but a nod to the past that inspired the name (West Hartford was originally the “West Divsion” of Hartford) with the historical mural of West Hartford Center that can be seen in the background of the featured photo. The restaurant, located at 36 LaSalle Rd. (former Coldwell Banker space), will be having a job fair on Monday (today) from 2-5 p.m. Those interested should apply in person and bring a resume. Contact Caushi or Jimi Brahimi at 860-670-8222 with any questions. Look for a feature story with details on the menu and much more coming up in the next week or so!

    Icy Rolls is very close to opening. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • Right down the street, also preparing to open very soon, is Icy Rolls! The sign for the Thai rolled ice cream shop at 56 LaSalle Rd. is up on the outside of the building, inspections are done, and they have been hiring. According to owner Hecheng Chen, opening should be this Tuesday!
  • Keep on walking down the street and you will find some fun and games on LaSalle Road! Mission Escape Games has just opened (sorry I missed announcing it in advance but it happened while I was on vacation) on the second floor of 76 LaSalle Rd. and is booking events on its website. According to the website, the currently running game is called “Escape the Hydeout: Mystery of Henry Jekyll,” and according to the description: “The Hydeout is a Victorian-era mission inspired by the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Be prepared to go into the good doctor’s home but beware of his dark side. Dr Jekyll has been acting strange and gone missing. It’s up to you to find out what has happened to Dr Jekyll before Mr Hyde shows up …” See photo of sign below.

    Delamar West Hartford Hotel. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • The Delamar West Hartford Hotel will open this week! I finally got a peek inside on Friday and it’s gorgeous! The fencing is gone, the sidewalk is open, and there is an outdoor fireplace surrounded by colorful Adirondack chairs overlooking Trout Brook that I found very hard to resist. Room reservations are being accepted for dates beginning Sept. 1, and events can be booked beginning Dec. 1. Look for feature stories coming very soon on Artisan restaurant as well as the hotel. To make a reservation or if you have any additional questions, call 860-937-2500 or email [email protected].
  • Some exciting new plans are now in place for the third annual Best of West Hartford, event co-chair Tom Hickey announced. The event, now scheduled for Sept. 27, will be held at the Cinépolis Theater in Blue Back Square. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. with “Champagne on Ice” kicking off the festivities. Sponsorship opportunity still available for this if any business buzz reader wants to get involved. (Contact Tom Hickey at [email protected] or Jill Fletcher at Winners of the top 3o categories will be announced live in the theater beginning at 6 p.m., and the winners of the other categories will be announced as well – a total of 60 categories in all representing what We-Ha readers think are the best! New this year will be performers on stage to entertain all including a magician, singer from New York City, and more, and this is sure to be one of the best networking events of the year. Click here to buy tickets, and if you still haven’t voted, now is the time and here is the link!

    Songbirds Vape ‘n Smoke interior. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

  • Open as of last Thursday in the former Deluxe Liquors store at 1111 New Britain Ave. in Elmwood is Songbirds Vape ‘n Smoke. It’s the second location for the business which also has a shop on the Berlin Turnpike in Newington, manager Alex Dyson said. Click here for more information on the business’ Facebook page. Dyson said that the business also shares ownership with West Hartford businesses Harvest Country Store and Harvest Wines & Spirits which has locations on Oakwood Avenue, Farmington Avenue, and New Britain Avenue.
  • On Thursday, Aug. 31, Hartford Baking Company is officially celebrating the grand opening of the Farmington Avenue store as well as the company’s 7-year anniversary! As part of the celebration, a special bread will be featured, the first 25 of which will be free for the first 25 customers at each store (opening at 7 a.m.) All other bread will be half off.

    Patrick McGloin. Submitted photo

  • West Hartford resident Patrick McGloin has rejoined Gaffney Bennett Public Relations (GBPR), as a partner, the company recently announced in a news release. McGloin was previously an associate at the New Britain, CT-based firm. We’re excited that Patrick is bringing his talent and energy back to our team. Over the course of his previous eight years at GBPR, Patrick served as a trusted advisor to clients on a wide range of communications challenges,” said Managing Partner Hank Spring in the release. “Our clients will benefit immensely from his experience and we’re thrilled to welcome him back to GBPR.” Most recently McGloin was vice president of Government Relations and Public Policy with MetroHartford Alliance.
  • On Thursday, Aug. 31, West Hartford Women in Networking invites area business women for a morning of networking, creative style. The meeting (7:30-9:30 a.m.) will include introductions, interactive exercises, and a light breakfast, and will be held at Brookdale/Chatfield, One Chatfield Dr., West Hartford. The meeting fee is $2.  Further information is available at
  • Simsbury Bank and the West Hartford Chamber of Commerce have teamed up for a shredding event that’s free to residents. Click here for more details.

Remember, if you have any business news to share, add it in the comments section below or email Ronni Newton at [email protected].

Like what you see here? Click here to subscribe to We-Ha’s newsletter so you’ll always be in the know about what’s happening in West Hartford!

Courtesy Rosie DeRobertis

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About the author

We-Ha is the place to go for the latest information about West Hartford – a town that "has it all"! is part of and proud of our community, and we bring a hyperlocal focus to news and features about the people, schools, businesses, real estate, sports, restaurants, charitable events, arts, and more. Contact us at: [email protected] or [email protected]


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