Tennessee Restaurant Saved by Barstool Sports Mogul Will Pay It Forward on Thanksgiving


A Tennessee restaurant that was saved from going out of business during the COVID-19 pandemic by wealthy media and sports gambling mogul Dave Portnoy says it will give back this Thanksgiving.

Portnoy, the founder of Barstool Sports, bailed out Nick’s Family Restaurant in Kingsport in January. “The Barstool Fund” raised more than $40 million for small businesses that applied for relief and were selected by Portnoy, who promised to keep them afloat throughout the pandemic.

The applications came in the form of self-filmed videos sent to Barstool. In the video submission from Nick’s, co-owner Victoria Harville said the restaurant has been open since 1938.

Thanks to the Barstool Fund, it has remained open, and now it will give back to its community during the Thanksgiving holiday.

On Wednesday, Nick’s will reportedly close at 3:30 p.m. and will spend the rest of the day serving Thanksgiving meals to those in need.

“We see the need every single day. We wanted to do something with Thanksgiving, originally we were going to do it on Thanksgiving day. We found out that some other local food banks are doing it that day, so we thought maybe doing it the night before to insure [sic] that people were able to get two meals during that time,” Harville told Fox17 News.

Since the Barstool Fund kicked in, Nick’s has done a complete 180, returning from the brink of closure to doing more business than it can handle.

“To-go business has grown to the point that we are adding staff, just to handle the business. We are close to what we think hitting capacity, and the next day we beat that and figure out what our new capacity is,” Manager Greg Saunders said.

The restaurant will even move to a new, larger location, a 3800 square foot building with indoor and outdoor bars, along with a patio.

Co-owner Jaron Harville also thanked the local community and said the restaurant’s rebound would not have been possible but for their support.

“[T]he community has given us so much support, we just want to do our part, give back the best we can,” he said.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Nick’s Family Restaurant” by Nick’s Family Restaurant. 





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