NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Yale Commencement is on Monday and families are flocking to New Haven to see their loved ones graduate. 

College graduations during the month of May usually bring good business to downtown restaurants. Olives and Oil on Temple Street is completely booked for dinner after graduation on Monday. 

“I think the whole city itself kind of implodes, just a whole lot going on,” said Deon Ross, the general manager of Olives and Oil. “We want to be a staple, as those guests are generating memories. ‘I remember when such and such, I remember I had a meal at Olives and Oil’, so we want to be a part of that experience and those memories.”

Yale graduates aren’t the only one celebrating. At Elm City Social, staff are seeing graduates from all over the state.

Phill Alves, the regional manager for Fork Hospitality, said graduation weekend is their chance to make a good impression to those visiting the city for the first time.

“Business is so driven by these schools around here, it helps tremendously. Especially because oftentimes, the person graduating has a younger sibling that later goes to the same school and becomes a future guest of ours,” he said. 

Elm City Social recently opened their Agave Lab on the second floor. It’s an event space with specialty cocktails. 

The area was filled for a graduation party Saturday afternoon. Friends and family celebrated Courtney Kaufman for graduating with her masters from Fairfield University. 

“It feels amazing to finally have it over with, but it was a really good experience and I’m just really happy today,” she said. 

The Kaufman’s are from Stamford but chose New Haven as the place to celebrate. Kaufman graduated with her bachelor’s degree during the pandemic so she said this graduation is special because she was able to celebrate in-person, surrounded by those closest to her.