By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — March Madness is here. The NCAA basketball tournament is in full swing.

Fans have waited two years for this day.

READ MORE: Fight Breaks Out At Eastern Carver County School Board Meeting

They missed out last year when the tournament was canceled because of the pandemic. Bars and restaurants missed out too. But some are making up for lost time.

Wayne Zacharias and his son-in-law Nate were so excited for the tournament, they filled out a total of nine brackets.

“This is my favorite time of the sporting year,” said Nate Morisette.

The same could be said for places like the Sunshine Factory in Plymouth. Last year they missed out on St. Patrick’s Day, March Madness and the Master’s – events that bring customers in.

READ MORE: Police Seek Public's Help Identifying Menards Armed Robbery Suspect

Bars and restaurants got a little boost this week when they were allowed to go from 50% capacity to 75% capacity. But social distancing still limits crowds and they are still at the mercy of people wanting to come back to watch these games.

“We’ll have to see. We’re kind of excited to see people come back in the doors and enjoy this stuff with us. See what the new normal might be,” said Brian Hanson from the Sunshine Factory.

Friday afternoon was promising; a bit of a rebound for both basketball and business.

“I’m excited. My family gets really into it and I’m excited to be here. I feel like it’s safe with the plastic up and everything,” said customer Monica Lyness.

For fans of the Big Dance, this year it almost doesn’t matter if your bracket gets busted. It sounds like there is light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully things continue to progress that way,” said Hanson.

MORE NEWS: 3 Teens Arrested In Connection To Drive-By Shootings In Northern Minnesota

The Sunshine Factory was able to add a few more barstools to their bar due to the change in restrictions that happened this week.

John Lauritsen