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After surviving the 2019 flood, downtown businesses face a new obstacle

Downtown Davenport businesses put last year's flood behind them, but the setback they're facing now, may be even worse.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Downtown Davenport businesses put last year's flood behind them, but the setback they're facing now, may be even worse.   

"Our main business is in person," owner of Theo & Co Annie Stopulous said. "It's about the experience."

The flood of 2019 postponed Theo & Co's opening date by six months, so they weren't able to open until September 2019.

"November just took off and December was incredible," Stopulous said.

Theo & Co was only opened for six month before COVID-19 forced Stopulous to close her doors to inside traffic. 

"As strong as someone may be, if you get beat down time after time again, especially twice in one year, that's going to take a major toll," Stopulous said.

She is trying to bring her store inside people's homes with her website and Facebook lives. They are doing free shipping on orders $40 and more.

 "I'm doing fits, I'm talking about quality, the feel, the hand and the touch," Stopulous said.

"This is my passion. I put everything into it. It's been 6 months since we opened, so it hurts, but at the same time, you have to fight for what you love and that is what we we are going to do," Stopulous said.

Local restaurants are able to carry-out orders to stay in business.

"You can walk around downtown and see that it is quiet," Front Street Brewery owner Tim Baldwin said.

Front street brewery closed for 7 months to renovate after the levee breach.

"Business was booming after recovering from the flood and opening back up and now this," Baldwin said. " I truly believe that one of the things that has given us the ability to stay open is beer."

Baldwin released a new summer beer to help keep the brewery open, but Baldwin said he doesn't know how long they can operate with carry out only.

"At some point people just are not going to be able to eat out," Baldwin said. "It's really touch and go about if we will even be able to maintain carry out."

Front Street Brewery is selling beer with the to- go orders. They are out of growlers now, but will have more by the end of the week. 

Theo & Co does not have a planned re-opening date. 

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