Up next: Fireside Bar (Highland Falls, NY)
Locally owned and operated since 1959, Fireside Bar is a gem right outside the gates of West Point. The local favorite is a great spot to watch the game, catch up with friends, and have a good time.
Dear Dave and the Barstool Fund Team,
I'm writing this email on behalf of the Fireside Bar and my friend Kevin Schoepfer, as a last resort to help him save his business, which is facing closure next week due to the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on his bar.
The Fireside is located in Highland Falls, just a short walk from the gates of the US Military Academy at West Point and has been a refuge and a home away from home for cadets for many years. Lovingly dubbed 'Schoff' by his Fireside family, Kevin has been to the cadets' games, events, weddings and been a part of their four year experience at the USMA as much as their education and training have been.
Highland Falls is a tiny town, and much of the bar's business is sustained by the cadets who come in on weekends, especially after Army football, hockey, lacrosse, and baseball games. With COVID restrictions, cadets have not been in the bar in a year, which is a huge hit to the business. While there are many loyal patrons (including the softball teams that Kevin sponsors) from town to the bar, the pandemic has cut off most peoples' outings, poker nights, and fantasy football gatherings. The lengthy rules for bars to serve make it a challenge to remain open/profitable. All of these people stand to lose a little piece of 'home' if the Fireside is put out of business.
A little more background - Kevin met his wife while she was a student at the USMA. They got married, Kevin worked at the bar, and eventually bought the Fireside from his good friend, the previous owner. Nothing like keeping it in the family! It's been a hard few years for the Fireside family - we tragically lost our favorite bartender, COVID hit, and our resident barback and 'Uncle Willie' to Kevin's kids passed away from a battle with cancer in the fall. I would love to do anything to keep Kev from losing one more thing that means the world to him.
Kevin mentioned that he reached out to the Barstool Fund once before, but he hadn't heard back, and he's a proud guy, so I'm sure he wouldn't want to keep asking. I cannot imagine the amount of applications and worthy candidates that you have the daunting task of reading through, but I wanted to take one more shot for him and see if there was anything you all could do to help. I also wanted to thank you for being a bright spot in all the stress and hardship that business owners and families have faced over the last year - the work that the Barstool Fund is doing is admirable, and I hope you're able to help many more people.
Thanks in advance for considering helping our friend and always, BEAT NAVY.