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Fayetteville restaurant receives Barstool funds after tough pandemic challenges

Owner: "I never in a million years expected to get that call because there are businesses all over the United States that are applying for Barstool."

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Herman’s Rib House in Fayetteville is getting help after working through tough coronavirus pandemic challenges. 

Herman’s Rib House has been a staple in Fayetteville since 1964, and when you walk inside, you’ll see a wall full of pictures and stories.

When the pandemic hit, the owners feared that the storybook might have to close but thanks to Barstool Sports it doesn’t.

Owner Nick Wright said 2020 was the hardest year of their life.

When their doors had to close, the experience was gone, and that’s what makes the rib house so special.

Wright said despite to-go orders and customers just dropping off checks to help, they fell hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt to keep Herman’s open because it’s a piece of Fayetteville history they couldn’t close despite the financial trials it might cause later.

So for months, a customer begged Wright and his wife to apply for the Barstool Fund where Barstool President Dave Portney picks small local businesses to help out during these hard times.

About two weeks ago Wright decided to apply, and just a few days later he got a call from Dave himself.

"I was blown away. I never in a million years expected to get that call because there are businesses all over the United States that are applying for Barstool, and it’s one of the best things that ever happened to me. It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. Words can’t even describe how much I owe him,” Wright said.

The money will go towards three months of payroll for employees at the restaurant, and if they still need help when it’s over they can reapply.

Wright said this is helping them get back on track and out of debt, hopefully within a year.