ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — Like many restaurants, Freddie’s Beach Bar in Arlington has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic — but help is on the way.
Dave Portnoy, the founder of digital media company Barstool Sports, personally replied to Freddie’s plea for financial help.
Owner Freddie Lutz’s brother, Rich Lutz, answered the FaceTime call from Portnoy, telling him the news that Freddie’s was selected for funding.
“If you get to this point, that means we’ve approved you and you’re part of the fund, so we want to help,” Portnoy said.
The Barstool Sports founder created the Barstool Fund to raise money to support small businesses during the pandemic.
Out of many submissions from across the nation, Freddie’s Beach Bar was selected, after sending in a video of their story.
“Like so many others, Freddie’s is struggling and on the verge of shutting down,” said owner Freddie Lutz in his submission video. “Many thanks for anything you can do for us to keep us alive.”
In the video, Lutz tells Portnoy about the community’s love for Freddie’s, its history, and LGBTQ- friendly environment.
“Tammy Smith is the first ever out Brigadier General in history,” Lutz says, as he points to a picture and flag on the wall. “She presented me with this flag. She flew that flag in my honor.”
After being in Arlington for nearly 20 years, Lutz says the community would be saddened if the restaurant closed its doors.
“I’ve gotten a lot of texts and comments on Facebook and so forth that people are just so happy because they want to see Freddie’s survive,” he said.
Lutz says he is not sure the exact amount of money Barstool will be giving them yet, but he says it will go towards payroll and upkeep of the bar.
To date, the Barstool Fund has raised roughly $17 million for small businesses.