Mack's Tenders in Cypress has been deep frying goodness for a little more than a year.
"We have the biggest chicken tenders around," owner Greg Vogt said.
For the first few months, the chicken brought in a lot of business.
"We were building sales every single month, and we got to March, and it just nosedived," Vogt said.
The pandemic made sales plummet, and brought the newly opened business to the brink of bankruptcy.
"We were probably 30 days to being done," Vogt said.
That changed on Christmas Day with a call that Barstool Sports shared to its social media.
A week ago, Vogt applied to the Barstool Fund asking if they could help him cover payroll for six months.
Barstool has raised nearly seven million dollars to help small business owners. So far, 22 have been helped.
"I got good news for you," Dave Portnoy, of Barstool Sports said on the video call. "We're going to keep Mack's Tenders going here."
Vogt broke down, and a day later he said his emotions are still raw. "There's an opportunity," Vogt explained. "There's a chance, where three days ago there was no chance. There was bankruptcy."
The excitement isn't only for his business, but knowing what he's been through.
This year wasn't only about the pandemic, but his personal losses.
Before the restaurant opened, his dad died. Then, in January, he lost his brother to cancer.
"As much as I know they would've been understanding about the situation, for me, in a sense to fail, I don't know what would be worse," Vogt said.
After the call from Barstool was shared online, Vogt smashed his sales record.
"I hope someday I can do that for somebody," Vogt explained. "Be in a position of being that stable, and help somebody out who doesn't know me."
Instead of bankruptcy, Vogt is looking at a new fryer to handle the demand of the biggest tenders in town.
Small-business owners looking for financial assistance are encouraged to visit the Small Business Development center's website.