Is everything closed for Easter where you are? Has it always been?
March 31, 2013 8:31 AM   Subscribe

Hi, having recently returned to my home state of Indiana, I'm noticing things are still a bit different here (e..g it's like the last state in which you can't buy alcohol on Sundays). So I'm wondering if this is Hoosier specific too. Everything is closed today (excepting some restaurants). Is this a national thing? Has it always been so, and I just never noticed? Christmas, sure. New Year's Day, yep. But Easter?
posted by leotrotsky to Society & Culture (64 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Santa Cruz, CA. Pretty much everything is closed except Safeway (supermarket for people who don't know).
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 8:33 AM on March 31, 2013

In Minnesota, almost everything is closed. I'm in Baltimore now, and my large chain grocery store and pharmacy were open (and delightfully quiet), but most coffee shops, liquor stores, restaurants and shops near me seem to be closed today.
posted by JannaK at 8:35 AM on March 31, 2013 [3 favorites]

I was surprised and disappointed this morning to find the regional chain grocery store and regional chain dry cleaning place closed in my near-Boston suburb. Didn't even occur to me to check for the possibility. Whole Foods was open, though.
posted by Perplexity at 8:39 AM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Just back from super market and yes, open, as is local pharmacy...Have not checked other stores. Location: Connecticut. I do know movie houses open.
posted by Postroad at 8:41 AM on March 31, 2013

Los Angeles is wide open. Probably San Diego is also.
posted by SLC Mom at 8:49 AM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also in CT. Can confirm that everything seems open except some small independently owned shops. A lot of those might be closed on a regular Sunday too, though. Actually around here (southeastern CT) small stores will just close whenever, if they feel like it, so though I assume anything closed today is because of Easter, it might not be the case.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 8:52 AM on March 31, 2013

For comparison's sake I'm in Switzerland. Shops here in Zurich are *always* closed on a Sunday, and it's socially unacceptable to do laundry, mow lawns or do anything noisy on a Sunday either. This is our first Easter here and it has been pretty much a three-day Sunday. Only a few bars and the churches open on Friday, shops open as normal on Saturday, and again today a few bars and cafes open (we went out for brunch) but otherwise the city is closed. Presumably tomorrow will be the same. There is a supermarket at the main rail station downtown that is open on Sundays and over Easter, but that's pretty much it. Not sure what happens if you have a medical problem. And if you haven't stocked up on'll be living on leftovers or joining the others at the railway station who didn't plan ahead.

In New Zealand where I hail from everything is supposed to be closed on religious holidays (Christmas and Easter) although cafes are allowed to sell pre-prepared food. There's a fine for anyone who chooses to open and every year the same garden centre chain opens on Easter Sunday and pays the fine...because they make a whole lot more than the cost of the fine. The 24-hour clinics stay open as does an emergency pharmacy. Cafes are allowed to charge an extra 15% on top of their normal costs to cover the cost of staffing on a holiday.
posted by tracicle at 8:53 AM on March 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

New York City: restaurants, stores, museums, etc all open. Laundromats too! (doing my laundry as I type this)
posted by Pineapplicious at 9:04 AM on March 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

In Austin, our major grocery store (HEB/Central Market) is closed today. (It's the only day they close apart from Christmas Day).
posted by fiercecupcake at 9:06 AM on March 31, 2013

I'm in the UK and everything is open as on normal Sundays; supermarkets, restaurants, pubs etc. Some of them maybe have reduced opening hours though. I called my gas company on Friday and got a recorded message saying they were closed so I called on Saturday and they were open which makes very little sense to me.
posted by neilb449 at 9:08 AM on March 31, 2013

Our usually 24-hour Hannafords (a supermarket) closes at 3 today, which surprised me, but we live in a heavily Catholic town.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:08 AM on March 31, 2013

I've been in MA ten years and this is the first time I've noticed everything being closed on Easter Sunday, including Supermarkets, which I was really surprised by. I too am finding it weird. I don't know if I've never noticed before. Easter is kind of a non-holiday for us historically so I think in years past, I must have been doing normal Sunday things on Easter.

Now that we have an Easter-bunny-ready kid, we're celebrating Easter in 'welcome to Spring!' kind of way but we're not religious and it's entirely divorced from religious celebration.

I'm inclined to think it was just escaping my notice other years but I can't figure out why or how. The supermarket being closed is kind of a big deal for me. ;)
posted by A Terrible Llama at 9:09 AM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Southeast and central Michigander here. Fair amount of stuff is closed, but there doesn't seem to be any industry where it's more prevalent or universal. I suspect the western part of the state has more stuff closed (they're Old World churchier over thar).
posted by Etrigan at 9:10 AM on March 31, 2013

In line at Safeway in DC, so that's open. I was shocked to find Target closed this morning.
posted by Xalf at 9:10 AM on March 31, 2013

(Northern) Virginia here; many --- but not all --- stores & malls are closed, but most of the groceries are open limited hours; movie theaters and museums open.
posted by easily confused at 9:12 AM on March 31, 2013

Oh, and I'm in the Hudson Valley area of New York state, for reference.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:13 AM on March 31, 2013

I was out in Vacaville, CA yesterday and was told that stores would be open. ("We only get Christmas off, period.") I don't see a whole lot of places specifically closed for Easter, actually, in the Sacramento area.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:15 AM on March 31, 2013

I live in North Carolina and am from Missouri, and things are generally open in both (on the whole quite Christian) places.
posted by something something at 9:18 AM on March 31, 2013

Village in upstate NY, and everything's closed, except for a few restaurants.
posted by thomas j wise at 9:21 AM on March 31, 2013

I think things on the East Coast tend to be closed on Sundays because the complicated Blue Laws have really old roots. In every Northeast state I've lived in liquor is harder to buy than they in Texas. Most businesses are closed here in PA today and some take the day after Easter as a holiday too.
posted by vincele at 9:25 AM on March 31, 2013

North side of Chicago: All the big chain stuff is open. Some little businesses are closed (liquor stores, bookstores, and sadly for me the laundromat, ugh). Even more places - coffee shops, restaurants, the gym, some grocery stores - have shortened hours (7-2, 8-2, 8-1...).
posted by goodbyewaffles at 9:30 AM on March 31, 2013

downstate Illinois; supermarkets and pharmacies open, restaurants open (Easter brunch is big), but a lot of other places are closed or opening later than usual, because people don't really DO anything on Easter morning unless they're doing church or brunch.

It's not so much "don't do commerce on Easter" as that people are traveling -- spring breaks for the K-12 schools fall on one side of the weekend or the other; a lot of local colleges have 4-day weekends over Easter to match it to Thanksgiving in the fall semester. A lot of people aren't shopping because they're visiting family, and it's harder to staff the stores because a lot of people are out of town.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:34 AM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

I am in a mom and pop taqueria in San Diego that is open and given the imagery of La Virgen I expected it closed.. Most places downtown that are closed right now are places that open later Sunday. The Ralph's and Albertson's are open. The little mom and pop liquor store across from my apartment is open. The booze must flow.

I remember in my youth more places being closed but in recent years it seems most places are open on Easter. When I was living in Austin the notable outlier was HEB but the Randal's across the street would be open (with shorter hours... Like they'd do on Christmas Eve). The grocery stores that stayed open would be packed.
posted by birdherder at 9:44 AM on March 31, 2013

I am in Provo, UT and nothing but the Safeway equivalent is open. Actually, walking the couple blocks to yoga this morning was downright eery, there weren't even cars on the road.
posted by Marinara at 9:52 AM on March 31, 2013

Providence, RI. Some coffee shops are open, Whole Foods was open, not sure about restaurants yet, although brunch is pretty big here, so I would be surprised if brunch places were closed.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:08 AM on March 31, 2013

Columbus, Ohio: we're almost evenly split between deeply religious (lots of Catholics, quite a few protestant types, a surprisingly large Mormon and Eastern Orthodox population, and a lot of religiously observant members of Muslim and Jewish and other sects) and deeply not. Church traffic is always insane everywhere on Sunday and pretty heavy on other classic meeting days (Saturday morning near synagogues, Friday evening near mosques, Wednesday evenings at protestant churches,) tiny evangelical/baptist churches are very common both in the inner city and suburbs (and surprisingly powerful in local politics/culture,) and all new churches/mosques/etc. are built big. Rod Parsley is, somewhat sadly, a local powerhouse.

Oh, and we're definitely a "sleepy Sunday" kind of place: most places open much later and close much earlier on Sundays than on Saturdays, even Taco Bell and Wal-Mart and Target (we're talking 8pm instead of midnight or 10am instead of 8am at the chain places: I'm somewhat convinced that nothing but church is really supposed to happen before noon on Sunday around here.)

Also, this is Spring Break at the schools (through April 7th.)

All the parks and recreational places are busy busy busy. I was flabbergasted at the amount of traffic out by our children's museum/science center on Friday; they're open extended hours the whole week (normally they aren't even open on Mondays.) I'm told the Zoo has been/will be packed as well.

All the typical "24 hours" restaurants (mostly greasy spoon places) are open, as are a number of places that do special Easter brunch specials (basically every independent restaurant whose owners are willing to serve something with eggs in it.) Some places are closing much earlier than they normally do on a Sunday (4pm instead of 8pm,) and a lot of normal/smaller retail places are closed (I'm convinced these are all either mom-and-pop or independent franchisees making individual decisions.) And really, things that are closed are things most people won't be at on Easter if they'd be there on a normal Sunday: who exactly is going to be shopping at Michael's or JoAnn Fabrics on Easter Sunday? 90% of the people who shop there are the people who finished all their Easter decorations last week and are at church right now. Similarly, who shops at Office Depot during Spring Break?

Conversely, this has to be one of the biggest single days of the year (along with Valentine's Day, Thanksgiving, and Mother's Day) for the restaurants that do the holiday brunch thing. I'd love to know what percentage of their money comes from these four days. Though those brunches also start later than normal breakfast hours, half these places aren't even open for breakfast on any other day in the year.

It's probably about half as many closed places as Christmas, overall: it honestly feels more like a small town on a Wednesday (out here a lot of businesses in rural areas - banks, convenience stores, dentists, etc. - just flat out close on Wednesday around noon) than like a full-on holiday. Things are open that won't be on Memorial Day, for instance. The Kroger across the street has had normal operating hours, also: they close four or five hours early, and open late, on Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. I didn't see any signs in Meijer or Wal-Mart saying they'd have shorter hours.

Downtown was disturbingly quiet on Friday. Places may have been open, but they were deserted, and traffic other than by the museum was awesome; maybe a third of the people in my office were gone and less than half the spaces in my parking garage were filled. It wasn't just Catholics out for religious services, either (we always have a huge group who participate in Ash Wednesday: it feels weird not to have ash on your forehead.) Friday felt like the Friday before the 4th of July. I wouldn't be shocked if a ton of the places that are closed today were were closed on Friday (I was at work, so I didn't notice.)
posted by SMPA at 10:21 AM on March 31, 2013

Northern Virginia here, and we just finished up some shopping at Home Depot.
posted by matty at 10:33 AM on March 31, 2013

In Minnesota most stores are closed today. In general, Sunday hours are very short. Public schools and most colleges had Friday off. It seems strange to me since on the west coast you're not even aware of Easter unless you celebrate it, and store hours are the same on Sunday.

Did you know that in India, Good Friday is a national holiday? Always seems weird to me, but it resulted as a compromise between religious factions I guess.
posted by miyabo at 10:34 AM on March 31, 2013

Germany: Just found the tobacco store and McDonald's open, the bakery closed. (This McDonald's is usually closed on *Sunday*, so I'm really a bit confused why they are open today.)
posted by MinusCelsius at 10:38 AM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm in San Jose, CA and was surprised to find that Target is closed today. Walmart, however, was open.
posted by sacrifix at 10:38 AM on March 31, 2013

All Trader Joe's close at 5pm today. Target is closed too.
posted by elsietheeel at 10:39 AM on March 31, 2013

Where I am in Upstate NY: If it's usually open at 2am, or if it's a restaurant or theater, it's open today. Otherwise, probably not.
posted by tyllwin at 10:41 AM on March 31, 2013

Oakland: my grocery store is closed (boo), my coffee shop is not (yay).
posted by salvia at 10:49 AM on March 31, 2013

I'm in Ontario, Canada, and pretty much everything is closed, except restaurants and movie theatres. That didn't surprise me, particularly, but what was surprising was everything being closed on Good Friday. Although, boutiques in the touristy section of town were open on Friday, and I know they have an exemption from the law, so possibly they're open today, as well.
posted by looli at 10:54 AM on March 31, 2013

Probably San Diego is also.

Meh, it's a mixed bag. Most large chain places are open, as are grocery stores and stuff, but a lot of restaurants and smaller mom-and-pop type places will be open but with limited hours. It's the same for Thanksgiving and New Year's, usually.
posted by LionIndex at 10:59 AM on March 31, 2013

In Pittsburgh, grocery store was open (and busy) but as on any Sunday liquor stores are closed. Church must have just let out as everyone in the supermarket was super dressed up. Lots of little kids in suits or easter dresses.
posted by octothorpe at 11:38 AM on March 31, 2013

Everything appears normal in Eugene, Oregon. It had never even crossed my mind that places would close for Easter.
posted by johnpowell at 12:03 PM on March 31, 2013

I was just in a locally owned supermarket here near Seattle, and the cashier helping me answered the phone "Hello, Central Market, we're open regular hours." She said every call so far had been to ask that. We were both surprised, as it hadn't crossed either of our minds that the store would be closed.

All the libraries in the King County Library System that would usually be open on a Sunday are, except for two branches.

The Y is closed.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:43 PM on March 31, 2013

In the Chicago Loop, Macy's (formerly Marshall Field's) is closed for Easter, as is the Chicago Cultural Center. I also thought it was weird and didn't remember things having been closed for Easter last year.
posted by bubukaba at 1:11 PM on March 31, 2013

I remember back in the early 80s going to my local record store on Easter Sunday and it was closed....I was shocked! At that time, most supermarkets and gas stations and restaurants were open on Easter. I'm in metro Detroit, and grew up in a heavily Catholic area, but it still surprised me to find places closed due to Easter. Christmas? Sure. But Easter...?

PS Still in metro Detroit, and it looks like most local grocery stores and restaurants are open; some have "holiday" hours, though, on Easter.
posted by Oriole Adams at 1:18 PM on March 31, 2013

Vancouver, BC. Most independent shops/restaurants were closed Friday (a statutory holiday) as were banks and government (including liquor stores). The weekend Sat/Sun had been normal (many independents had shorter hours Saturday), but it's been pleasantly idylic in the streets today compared to a super-busy Saturday.

I'm pretty sure it's always been this way around here.
posted by porpoise at 1:20 PM on March 31, 2013

I live in Atlanta, and was shocked to see Ross and Target were closed. Target! For Easter! WTHHHH
posted by masquesoporfavor at 2:10 PM on March 31, 2013

Mission District, San Francisco (24th St corridor): Heavily Latino neighborhood, everything that's usually open on non-Easter Sundays is open. gingerbeer reports that the nail salon she usually goes to (on Sundays) in Noe Valley is closed; the one across the street is open. If you didn't know it was Easter, you wouldn't know it was Easter.

In spite of the weather (periodic heavy showers), it looks like Hunky Jesus (might be NSFW for some) is still on at Dolores Park, and Bring Your Own Big Wheel is on rain or shine. Actually, that's how you know it's Easter around here!
posted by rtha at 2:15 PM on March 31, 2013

Some things are closed here in NYC: the department store Lord and Taylor (Macy's is open), the Staples on 5th ave (normally open on sundays), the Grand Central Market (foot stores in Grand Central Terminal, the tobbaconist Barclay Rex.
posted by Jahaza at 2:22 PM on March 31, 2013

Here in Oklahoma (which I'd expect to be conservative and closed on Easter), the grocery store and Big Lots and a lot of restaurants (and Starbucks) were open as usual; JC Penney, fwiw, was closed (we needed a blanket). In general it seems like places are following their "Sunday" rules, not their "holiday" rules.
posted by obliquicity at 2:34 PM on March 31, 2013

Durham, NC, and everywhere we tried to go today, was open and running as usual. Grocery stores, pharmacies, Whole Foods, convenience stores, gas stations. Some places looked to have shortened hours or late openings, but they are open.
posted by Coatlicue at 2:39 PM on March 31, 2013

I'm in Seattle. We just wandered along Broadway stopping in at a couple of bars and small stores, I noticed one store was closed and one had an early closing notice but most places looked like they were doing normal business.
posted by jacalata at 2:58 PM on March 31, 2013

The Y is closed.

Mine too. I stupidly went to work out on Friday and of course they were closed for the holiday.
posted by octothorpe at 3:04 PM on March 31, 2013

Whole Foods is open in MN. Everything else appears to be closed though.
posted by triggerfinger at 3:15 PM on March 31, 2013

Los Angeles seems to be open for business. But growing up agnostic I never thought Easter was a big deal and I never seemed to hear about it that much, and just in the last few years it seems to have become a much bigger deal. Each year now, I have to remind myself that this isn't just a day where little kids hunt for eggs. Yesterday the roads were absolutely packed, and every store I went to had mobs of people buying Easter stuff.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:56 PM on March 31, 2013

Maine: both large regional groceries store chains are closed. We found a wine and cheese shop open and munched on stinky cheese while playing Trivial Pursuit. Dinner consisted of blackened tuna burgers with a side salad scrounged from the fridge. Dessert is brownies from a mix in the pantry and cream cheese frosting I had in the freezer. Couldn't get out to the store before due to one car and my husband's works schedule so I was a bit ticked off, but hey, brownies with cream cheese frosting.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:11 PM on March 31, 2013

San Francisco here: I actually thought the public library might be closed today, but nope, they were open their usual hours.

I haven't noticed anything here being closed for Easter.
posted by kristi at 5:32 PM on March 31, 2013

This used to be normal. Then I noticed that as the economy was heating up in the 2006-ish time, that tons of places that would normally be closed on holidays were expanding their hours. The kicker was the 24x7 Home Depot. Really? Anyway, as the economy shrank, a lot of these stores noticed that they didn't really need to be open ALL the time, and that customers really didn't care if a store was closed on a holiday.

The upside is that workers aren't pressured to work meaningless shifts, the downside is that I DO have to remember how to plan ahead a little better.
posted by gjc at 7:13 PM on March 31, 2013

I'm in LA also but I've been noticing that in the South Bay area there are a lot more businesses closed on Easter this year and last year than I ever noticed before.
posted by amapolaroja at 8:03 PM on March 31, 2013

I'm in Australia and everything is closed on Good Friday, but the major shops are open on Easter Sunday. Small family-owned businesses are generally shut for the whole weekend.
posted by lollusc at 8:25 PM on March 31, 2013

neilb449: I called my gas company on Friday and got a recorded message saying they were closed

Good Friday is an official Bank Holiday in Britain, so it's not really very strange that any given business would be closed -- in some ways given that it is a holiday it's odder how few things do close.
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 10:54 PM on March 31, 2013

I'm from central California, went to college in SF. I have no recollection of things being closed at Easter, particularly, other than maybe some mom-and-pops (but they're often not open on Sunday anyway).

Living in Sydney now... it's a freakin' 4-day weekend holiday. Everything was closed Friday AND Sunday, even the big chain grocery store! Saturday and Monday were kinda hit-and-miss; the mall and grocery store were open, and about half the mom-and-pops on either day.
posted by jrobin276 at 11:49 PM on March 31, 2013

Welcome back to Indiana, leotrotsky! I don't know how long you've been gone, but, no matter how long (or short) it's been, I can assure you Indiana has gotten more conservative/religious during that time.

Anyway, to answer your question, as a lifelong resident, I seem to recall Easter being one of those days that seem to straddle the line between no-big-deal and major holiday. Some places that are normally open on Sunday will operate on a reduced schedule or be closed entirely. Other places are open as usual. It usually comes down to either a) How religious the proprietor is, or b) How much of a "family values" pose the business wants to present because it's good for business.

Most restaurants will be open because Easter is traditionally a day when families go out to dinner together. Retail, on the other hand, is a toss-up. Some stay open. Others close and post "So our employees can spend time with family" signs in the doors.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:54 AM on April 1, 2013

Upstate NY. The gym and Subway closed early (the gym at 2pm and Subway at 7pm). Grocery store was open, but their hot food stations closed early. But I noticed my favorite Indian restaurant was open all day -- even at like 9pm their "open" sign was lit up. I considered getting a samosa chaat and then realized I am on a diet. :/
posted by AppleTurnover at 6:39 AM on April 1, 2013

Huh. Where in CT were the folks whose stores were open? I (in eastern CT, near UConn) deliberately did my grocery shopping and laundry on Saturday because my major grocery store, food co-op and laundromat were all closed on Easter Sunday.
posted by dlugoczaj at 8:08 AM on April 1, 2013

In DC, visiting from UK. Restaurants and cafés seemingly mostly open yesterday, but Macy's closed. Smithsonian open (of course) and crowded.
posted by Logophiliac at 3:15 PM on April 1, 2013

Suburban Indianapolis here — I went grocery shopping on Sunday, at two different stores no less.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:14 PM on April 1, 2013

I grew up in central Indiana and in my town proper, everything would close on religious holidays. In the bigger towns around us, though, most everything would be open for either reduced hours or regular hours on religious holidays.
posted by cooker girl at 7:41 PM on April 1, 2013

Just remembered that my favorite local restaurant was closed Sunday, though.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:08 PM on April 1, 2013

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