Long Island vinyl fans can rejoice because Barstool Sports is making sure this local record shop survives the pandemic.
The fund is a charitable program launched by the digital media company on Dec. 17. Since then, it has raised over $28 million and has helped support 158 small businesses across the U.S
It’s unclear how much Looney Tunes received since Barstool founder Dave Portnoy doesn’t disclose this information.
But, according to a New York Post report, Barstool has been giving between $3,000 and $50,000 to its recipients.
Whatever the price, the owner of the family-owned and operated record store — which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year — was beyond shock to hear the news.
Those were the first words out of Looney Tunes owner Karl Groeger’s mouth when he learned Barstool would be helping out via an impromptu FaceTime with Portnoy.
In the video, which was shared to Barstool Sports Facebook page, Portnoy chats with Groeger about why the media company chose the local Long Island record store to offer aid to.
“It’s a cool business, cool concept, one that I would have been like, ‘No way a place like that can actually survive’,” Portnoy said. “So, to have the pandemic be the one who takes it out — no chance…we want to help make sure you guys get through this thing.”
In the video, Groeger opens up about the challenges the store has faced and the resilience it takes to operate a record store in a digital age.
Groeger says they have constantly had to adapt and reinvent themselves over the years to stay alive, like introducing digital downloads.
“There were hundreds around, but now we’re literally like the last guy standing on Long Island,” Groeger said.
Looney Tunes even faced a major fire that burnt the store to the ground in 2007, but Groeger said nothing has been more challenging for the business than the COVID-19 pandemic.
The record store relies on the in-store events they host, like CD signings and concerts, to stay afloat, but because of the pandemic, these events can’t happen.
Portnoy says Looney Tunes is a unique business and a “super special spot” that they want to help get through these difficult times, especially since the circumstances are completely out of the business’ control.
“I don’t look at it as a hand-out,” Portnoy said. “This is something no one has ever dealt with, and … there’s no fault to their own. We look for businesses like yours who’re clearly successful, the only thing that changed was the pandemic. So that’s why we’re getting the money and getting the donations — people want to help, so we’re glad we can do it.”
In the video, Groeger expresses his gratitude for Barstool’s help to keep his family business up and rocking.
“I cannot thank you enough, it’s absolutely incredible,” Groeger said.