Here comes Woody’s Easter Bunny

photo-34By Gabi Gage

What do alcohol and the Easter Bunny have in common? Not much. However, they’re both featured attractions at Woody’s Liquors on Broadway in Magoun Square.

For the past 10 years, employees of Woody’s have offered photo ops with the Easter Bunny for children, adults, rah rahs and pets alike.

According to Karen and Jamie Love, the mother-daughter duo behind the tradition, the explanation for this uniquely Somerville tradition is quite simple: “People love the bunny.”

The Woody’s bunny dates back to the first Easter after Massachusetts lifted the Blue Law ban on Sunday alcohol sales in 2003. The new Sunday hours provided an opportunity for Somerville ingenuity. Karen muses, “We had to work anyway, so why not enjoy it?” The Loves began by snapping Polaroids of customers posing with the Easter icon, eventually transitioning to digital photos that customers could pick up later.

Somehow the quirky bunny tradition has become a natural fit for Woody’s tavern-esque atmosphere, where regulars are greeted by name and beverage of choice. Customers in turn have embraced the bunny. “[I] always look forward to the bunny. I love the bunny,” says Jack, an enthusiastic Woody’s regular and purveyor of Somerville cheer.

With few designated Easter Bunny photo opportunities in the Somerville-area, many families have also made Woody’s bunny part of their annual tradition. Other bunny fans include the Somerville firefighters, Easter churchgoers and area canine pals who are welcomed at Woody’s and serve as popular photo companions for the bunny.
“One family drives all the way down from New Hampshire just to take their picture with the bunny every year,” Karen says.

Whatever the weather, the bunny doesn’t disappoint and has even been known to bridge cultural divides. “One year it was so hot the bunny had to come inside to cool off in the beer cooler. A few minutes later, a Brazilian man came running out screaming. ‘There’s something scary in there! There’s something scary in there!’ He had never seen the Easter Bunny before,” shares Karen.

As to the identity of the bunny, Woody’s staff insists the bunny is the ‘real deal,’ with Jamie and Karen acting as official bunny liaisons.

The bunny’s drink of choice? Happiness. Though one patron thoughtfully suggests “a good bourbon” is preferred.

So this Easter, Woody’s invites you to come for the bunny and stay for the booze … or vice versa.