The train and bus service, incoming flights, Giants vs. Jets football, the Mets, and Broadway shows will be shuttered for the weekend. But businesses around the area are planning to operate as usual despite the specter of .
So far, only The Mall at Short Hills plans to close its doors Saturday at 5 p.m. and stay shut all day Sunday. ShopRite will wait and see.
"It's a matter of keeping all the people who work here safe," said a member of the the Mall at Short Hills management team. "Safety first. We don't know what's going to happen with this storm."
Currently, the Livingston Mall still plans to operate on its usual schedule, although a worker at one of the mall's stores said those plans could change depending upon the hurricane. Stores could choose to close regardless of whether the mall decides to open. Barnes and Noble, for example, closed Saturday with a sign saying it would reopen on Monday.
As of now, some supermarkets plan on maintaining regular hours, and all were plenty busy Saturday morning as customers continued stocking up.
The Livingston will close Saturday at 8 p.m As for tomorrow, a store worker said, "We're going to see what happens tomorrow. If it is bad, we're definitely not going to open."
in Livingston will close at 10 p.m. tonight and plans to open at 7:30 a.m., unless told otherwise from corporate headquarters.
“Somebody has to open and somebody has to help the customers. It's our job to do it,” said Sameh Hanna, manager of the in Livingston, which will close at 10 p.m. tonight and tomorrow. Its pharmacy will stay open until 10 p.m. tonight and 6 p.m. Sunday.
True to its standard 24-7 schedule, the 7-Eleven store in Livingston plans to operate regardless of Hurricane Irene. When questioned about potential contingency plans, a 7-Eleven worker in Livingston who refused to provide his name said, “We're not closing!”
Just as the wrath of Hurricane Irene will not stop commerce, it apparently will not prevent couples from exchanging vows. Although one couple already canceled their plans to marry, several others are following through with their weddings the next two days at both The Manor and the Wilshire Grand in West Orange.
"As of now the Wilshire Grand Hotel will remain open,” said Theresa Stodomingo, the Wilshire Grand's secretary of banquets.
Several churches have canceled services for Sunday, including the and in Livingston and St. George's Episcopal Church in Maplewood.