Barstool Fund gives small Readstown restaurant much needed financial relief

READSTOWN, Wis. (WKBT) – Running out of ideas and money, the owner of a small Readstown restaurant wasn’t sure if her business would make it to its 25th year.

Dionne Cary is the owner of Kickapoo Corners Family Restaurant & Gifts.

Her small business has undergone a tough couple of years.

It became an island during the 2018 flooding and took a big financial loss.

All of 2019 was spent trying to catch back up, and when 2020 came around Cary said she knew it was going to be their year.

“We caught up from our flood loss and we were super stoked to have some weddings and catering events on the books. Then came March 18th,” Cary said.

The restaurant’s income dropped by 75%.

“It was a heavy hit.”

Cary applied for local and rural grants but nothing panned out.

Then she heard about the Barstool Fund, which is a national effort raising money to keep the country’s small businesses afloat.

After doing a little research she decided to give it a shot and submitted a video asking for help.

She was told that if her business was selected, Dave Portnoy, who started the fund, would personally contact her.

“I was thinking, yeah right. This is like the most far-fetched thing, it’s never going to happen, it’s never going to pan out.”

She didn’t have high hopes, but then… she got the call.

When she accepted his FaceTime call the first thing she said was “shut up.”

She couldn’t believe it.

“He was super cool, super awesome. He just let me know, ‘hey, we’re here for you,’ so it’s more than a one-time thing. He’s here for the long-run.”

Each month the fund will give Cary’s restaurant the financial relief it needs.

Cary said she’s using the money to pay back bills, catch up on rent, and move forward.

Dave Portnoy is the founder of the digital media company, Barstool Sports, and started up the Barstool Fund in December 2020 after New York City shut down restaurants following the second surge in COVID-19 cases.