NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — It's a Tuesday afternoon and North Little Rock is busy, especially at Diamond Bear Brewing Company in the Argenta Arts District.
"Gamedays are my favorite, though," Alisha Randall, manager at Diamond Bear, said. "Those are the ones, like today is Razorback day, you can tell because you can't get down the street."
For Randall, there's only one word on her mind.
"Chaos. Absolute, wonderful chaos," she said. "Then anybody who says they don't want that kind of chaos is lying, we love it."
That chaos has gotten more and more frequent recently and it's a good thing. Last year the pandemic was still in full effect, leaving tables more empty than normal.
"It was a lot of everybody wanted to be so used to being able to do what they wanted, when they wanted to do it," Randall said. "And then it got torn away."
Thankfully, those days are hopefully behind us. Stores are open again and people are out and about.
Add in two of the biggest drivers of traffic to the area – Simmons Bank Arena and Dickey-Stephens Park.
Add in that the Diamond Hogs -- who haven't played at Dickey-Stephens in years -- are back and it's a good time to work in North Little Rock.
"Like a lot of people aren't from here, and they'll go to a concert and then they'll see that we have breweries right here," Randall said.
She isn't the only one excited for the boost in business.
"People and business, it's both of those, it's nice to have the influx of traffic again," Matthew Cash, Shift Lead at Skinny J's, said. "Happy people spend money!"
Cash said they're ready for the traffic Tuesday's game will bring – saying it's just good to see people back out again.
"It's always nice to see the crowds coming back and people excited about something again and not so stressed about the pandemic," Cash said.
While we're not out of the pandemic yet, it's good to see business boom. For Randall, busy is good – it makes things feel like normal.
"It's a chance where everything around here gets to strive," Randall said. "It's in the middle of the week, too, so there are people that have purposely taken off from their jobs and they want to do what this part of the Argenta area has to offer... I like that part."