Santa Claus waves to passengers aboard the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad's Polar Express train in Portland in December 2017. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Are you wondering what might be open on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day this year, in case you’ve started panicking after realizing you’ve run out of butter — or you don’t feel like cooking at all and want to go out to eat? Fret not, readers. We’ve got you covered.

What’s NOT open?

As with Thanksgiving and Easter, stores larger than 5,000 square feet are legally required to be closed on Christmas Day. That means grocery stores including Hannaford and Shaw’s, big box stores such as Walmart and Target, and other major outlets including Lowe’s and shopping malls are all closed all day on Wednesday. Due to a strange loophole in Maine law, however, L.L. Bean in Freeport is open.

What is open?

Generally speaking, many convenience stores and gas stations will be open, and many fast food places such as Dunkin’ Donuts will also be open, as will certain chain restaurants like Applebee’s, though as always, it behooves you to check before heading out.

What about small businesses?

That depends entirely on the owners. In Bangor, there are a handful of restaurants and bars staying open for the holidays, including Blaze Restaurant, which will be open for dinner on Christmas Eve and closed on Christmas Day; Paddy Murphy’s, offering a lunch menu and then bar service only on Christmas Eve and bar service only from 4:30 p.m. to close on Christmas Day; Timber Kitchen & Bar, which will offer a special Christmas Day menu from 1 to 8 p.m.; Seasons, which is open until 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve and closed on the day; Oriental Jade, which will offer a Christmas buffet from 5-8 p.m. on the eve and noon to 8 p.m. on the day; and the Main Tavern and Queen City Cinema Club, both of which will be open regular hours both days.

In Portland, some of the restaurants and bars with special holiday hours include Rosie’s, open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the eve and 2 p.m. to close on the day; Union Restaurant at the Press Hotel, serving breakfast and a special Christmas dinner on the day; The Armory at the Regency Hotel, open noon-8 p.m. on the eve and 3-8 p.m. on the day; and Zen Chinese Bistro, open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve and Day. Foreplay is open regular hours on Christmas Eve, and the Commercial Street Pub is open regular hours on both days.

This list is likely not complete. If you’re not sure, call the place where you want to go to first. Happy holidays, wherever you end up this year!

Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.