(WTNH) — Some 600 restaurants have closed in Connecticut since the COVID-19 pandemic crisis began last March. More are in danger of going under. A handful, though, has been helped by a company called Barstool Sports.
News 8’s Dennis House sat down with the founder to talk about how his company has helped businesses across the nation and right here in Connecticut.
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In the shadow of the State Capitol in Hartford, sits a restaurant that’s been there since the 1930s. The Red Rock Tavern, formerly Kenny’s.
Chelsey Mancini’s family owns it and the pandemic nearly killed their livelihood.
“Our lives changed overnight,” she told News 8. “Our customers were no longer here and our catering business which we depend on was wiped out.”
All across the state, restaurants like the Red Rock are going through tough times due to the pandemic and Dave Portnoy, the founder of lifestyle brand Barstool Sports, wants to help.
“I didn’t know how these restaurants are going survive because they were already pushed to the limit,” he told News 8.
His company has raised and donated $35 million to help struggling restaurants across the country. Several right here in Connecticut like Elmer’s in New Britain.
RELATED: Elmer’s Place in New Britain latest CT restaurant to get help from Barstool amid pandemic crisis
Portnoy explained what he is looking for in a restaurant looking to get help from the Barstool Fund: “Red Rock is a perfect example of the two things we look for: a long track record of success…The second thing we look for is that the business owner still paid their employees.”
At the Red Rock, they are grateful for Barstool and Portnoy: “We can’t thank him enough. I’ve said it a million times: what’s he has done is amazing.”
More information about how you can apply for their grant or donate to the fund can be found online.