DES MOINES, Iowa — It was St. Patrick’s Day, 2020. The State of Iowa, and most everywhere, was shutdown due to COVID-19. Businesses closed their doors, and had to re-invent themselves.

Fast forward to 2023, St. Patrick’s Day. The COVID outbreak is now a memory.

“I was at the basketball games at Wells Fargo last night,” said E.J. Frye, General Manager of Sticks, in the East Village. “Looking around at this huge crowded place I probably only saw two masks in that whole arena.”

Now the store doesn’t see masked customers, and there are no signs requesting social distance.

“I know that we are are conscientious about staying home if you’re sick,” said Frye. 

The store does a lot of business online, but there are many customers, who want to come in to see the unique brand of furniture and art, close up.

At nearby Almost Famous Popcorn, this business also is back to so-called normal. It opened the doors in East Village in 2020.

“I think COVID days are hopefully behind us for the most part we haven’t seen any mask and walk around mass at all,” said Jay Avant, an employee of Almost Famous Popcorn.” It’s very more interactive, you know we don’t have to stay 6 feet away from a customer, so I believe COVID is way far behind us.”

The store sells flavored popcorn produced at the home office in Cedar Rapids, and also various types of soda in bottles.

Other stores contacted in East Village also agreed, COVID days are now over. However, other things still can disrupt business, like weather, and construction detours.