San Martino Ristorante, a Yonkers, New York eatery, is getting a big assist from the Barstool Fund, and restaurant owner Alfio Lo Paro says receiving the help is "a miracle."
“It was like a godsend. It was a miracle, really,” he told "Fox & Friends Weekend." “It was a Christmas-time miracle.”
Lo Paro said his kids sent a letter to Barstool founder Dave Portnoy to enter Lo Paro into the fund, which typically gives out $10,000 to selected small businesses, without any expectation of being chosen. Portnoy confirmed the news to Lo Paro via FaceTime Wednesday.
“It’s very exciting, very emotional. I broke down and cried,” he said. “Thank God that he came through for us.”
On the call, Portnoy said he’s glad to help and that it couldn’t have happened to “a better place, a better guy.”
San Martino is a small, family-owned restaurant founded in 1975 after Lo Paro came to the U.S. from Italy. Now, the pandemic led to the restaurant’s worst year in history, and Lo Paro said it’s getting “harder and harder” to sustain his business.
Lo Paro admitted his bills are piling up as the industry continues to take a hit, but he was “shocked” to receive funding when millions of other small businesses are struggling, too.
The Barstool Fund has raised more than $17 million with 65 select small businesses being supported so far. Portnoy first pledged $500,000 to the fund and has since been watching it grow.