WICKER PARK — Early in the morning the day after Christmas, a local pub and 24-hour diner were full of merriment.
As one of few establishments open for business in the neighborhood on Christmas, the Pint Pub at 1547 N. Milwaukee Ave. had a full house about 12:45 a.m.
"There is always somebody that needs us," said owner Kevin O'Donnell. "We're like 'Cheers.'"
Kristin Hayes, 26, a sign language interpreter, worked as a bartender at the Pint "five or six years ago" and stopped by to chat with friends before flying home to New York City.
After spending Christmas in Kokomo, Ind. with her family, she came Wednesday afternoon to beat the storm.
"I had expected to stay in Indiana, but I wanted to beat the blizzard," she said. "I have a whole bunch of friends here."
At the Hollywood Diner on Ashland and North avenues, waitress Yadira Ramirez, 40, said that it was the first time in a while that she had to work on Christmas.
"I don't mind [working]," she said. "My kids got to open their presents this morning and I said, 'If you want more presents, I need to go to work tonight, this is where it comes from."
Over the 12 years she's worked at the diner, Ramirez said that she's waited on many famous people, but was thrilled by the handful of regulars who stopped by.
"They're nice, they call me mama, I spoil them," Ramirez said. "For me, everyone is important. Famous people, they come once. Regulars are here all the time."