Excitement for NFL Playoffs supports local businesses

It was a nail-biter in Green Bay with the Packers taking on the 49ers, but here in Seattle, many fans are turning to local businesses to support other teams after the Seahawks missed the playoffs.

The last two years have been full of uncertainty, but recently, local businesses are starting to look like they did before the pandemic.  

The Dock, a bar full of history and has been in business for decades, is one that’s on the rebound.  

Both patrons and staff say they feel comfortable and safe because everyone inside is vaccinated, yet they say they're still cautious, taking things one day at a time, as Omicron continues to spread through the community.

"We made it through this by the skin of our teeth most of the time," said the bar's manager, Brittany Thorson.

As we enter the third year of the pandemic, businesses are also welcoming tourists, like Tina Perry-Fina from Hawaii, who packed the sports bar Saturday night.

"It is our road to the Super Bowl today," said Perry-Fina.  

"I'm just here to watch the Niners kick some Green Bay butt," said Andrew Ochoa.

Thorson says the sports bar is starting to see some regular faces, keeping staff busy—something they've been longing for.

"It's starting to feel like we're getting back to some semblance of normalcy, and it's not just survival anymore, it's thrival," Thorson said.

If businesses have learned anything over the last two years, it's setting and maintaining safety protocols.

The latest: "Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required for entry." Everyone who walks in the door must show their vaccination card and ID or a negative COVID test.

"Just make the environment more enjoyable because, you know, it's trying as much as you can to be safe," Ochoa said.  

"These are tough times, tough times, but nice to see people out and about supporting local restaurants and of course, our economy," Perry-Fina said.  

The Dock says they appreciate your support to keep doors to local businesses like theirs open, despite the trying times we're all facing.

But just when we all feel there's a sigh of relief coming -- there's a new challenge to face -- this time named Omicron.

"We're just kind of hoping that this is the last big way and for a while," Thorson said.

Many say this playoff game is just the beginning of a more positive outlook.

"It's been a tough two years but looking forward to a positive 2022 and a wonderful NFL season, Super Bowl, here we come," Perry-Fina said.

RELATED: 'We need your help'; King Co. hospitals at breaking point for capacity

READ MORE: COVID-19 two years later: First US case reported in Washington state

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