MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It is the one day of the year that most business close their doors to observe the Christmas holiday.
That leaves very few options for dining or entertainment and creates a sudden rush for the restaurants and businesses that stay open.
Cecil’s Delicatessen is one of those restaurants. Known for its lunch rush, the noon crowd seems to linger longer during Christmas.
“We tend to busy, busy, during the whole time like from 9:00 on, we’re busy, and it’ll probably be worse as the day goes on,” said Sheila Leventhal, who owns Cecil’s Delicatessen.
When most keep their doors close, opening for business has an inherent advantage but the demand for Cecil’s on Christmas goes deeper.
“For a lot of people this is a tradition for them to come to Cecil’s on Christmas,” Leventhal said.
That once a year custom also plays out at Shuang Cheng in Minneapolis.
“It’s the busiest holiday of the year for us,” said Nevaeh Sok, an employee at Shuang Cheng.
Long lines are a test of holiday patience. On Christmas, an order for take-out jumps from 15 minutes to an hour.
“I thought it would be busy because not a lot of places are open but it’s busier than I thought it would be,” said Austin Brown, a Shuang Cheng customer.
Yet, Christmas Day dining options aren’t just based on religion or culture. Manny’s Steakhouse, which is no stranger to a dinner rush, saw December 25th reservations fill up three to four months ago.
“It gets pretty busy. Down here, it’ll look like a Saturday night in the dining room around noon today,” said Manny’s Manager Nick Cruse.
“We’ve seen the trend towards people coming out during the holidays. It’s ramped up through the years,” Cruse said.
Restaurants aren’t the only businesses that see a surge on Christmas. Movie theaters and bars also get a holiday rush later in the day.