Federal employees in the Washington, D.C., area have been bracing for the worst since rumors of the government shutdown continued to move closer to reality. Now, with the shutdown official and an uncertain timetable for the future, many are preparing for not only a financial burden, but also an open calendar.
An array of D.C.-area restaurants, bars, and other establishments have quickly responded, offering food and drink freebies and discounts, as well as special activities.
Most of these government shutdown specials in Washington, D.C., require that you show your government I.D. in order to receive the deal. Here's a roundup of some of the best and most notable government shutdown specials in and around D.C.
Brasserie Beck: Food and Drink Deals
1101 K St. NW, Washington, D.C.
A special two-course menu will be offered for $20 all day long for federal employees and military members, as well as a special $2 Shot Down drink.
D.C. Reynolds: Two-for-One Drinks
3628 Georgia Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.
D.C. Reynolds typically offers two-for-one drinks during happy hour. Now, the deal will last to 9 p.m. to help drown your sorrows and past the time -- plus, this one's open to everyone, not just government employees.
Jaleo, Oyamel, and Zaytinya: Free Sandwiches
Jaleo: 480 Seventh St. NW, Washington, D.C.; 7271 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda, MD; 2250A Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA
Oyamel: 401 Seventh St. NW, Washington, D.C.
Zaytinya: 701 Ninth St. NW, Washington, D.C.
These three standout restaurants in the Jose Andres family are giving away a free sandwich to all furloughed employees from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.
La Tasca: Sangria Special
Locations in D.C., Alexandria, Arlington, Baltimore, and Rockville
La Tasca is offering a special Shutdown Sangria at all of their area locations all day every day until the shutdown ends. Get a pitcher for $20, a solid discount off the typical $28 price tag of most pitchers at the restaurant.
Port City Brewing Company: Beer Discount
3950 Wheeler Ave., Alexandria, VA
Alexandria-based Port City Brewing Company wants federal employees to know that nobody is "non essential." That's why they're offering 20-percent discounts on pints and growlers of their Essential Pale Ale throughout the shutdown.
Sixth & I Historic Synagogue: Freebies and Activities
600 I Street NW, Washington, D.C.
Sixth & I is becoming "Shutdown Central" on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. throughout the government shutdown. They'll be offering free coffee, snacks, and Wi-Fi access, along with "political ping pong," board games, and a nonstop marathon of "The West Wing." Additional activities may include free yoga and other classes, and while the event is designed for federal employees, all are welcome.
Taylor Gourmet: Discount and 'Career Counseling'
Locations around D.C., Virginia, and Maryland
The local sandwich shop is offering a 10-percent discount throughout the government shutdown for all furloughed workers. Not only that, they'll throw in a free cookie with a hoagie or salad purchase, as well as -- wait for it -- career counseling to help get you back on your feet.
Urbana: Extended Happy-Hour Deals
2121 P St. NW, Washington, D.C.
Turn happy hour into a happy night with Urbana's ongoing extension, with an extra hour of deals each day throughout the week. On Wednesday, happy hour will be extended until 9 p.m., then 10 p.m. on Thursday, etc., until the shutdown ends.
Wisdom: Drink Discounts
1432 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington, D.C.
Receive a 20-percent discount on your tab at the classy cocktail joint, a great deal for the often pricey handcrafted specialty creations at this establishment. Note, however, the details that apply to Congress members.
Z-Burger: Free Burgers
Federal employees, as well as Washington, D.C., city employees, will receive a free burger between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. or 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. every day throughout the government shutdown. The offer is valid at their Arlington, Columbia Heights, Southwest, and Tenleytown locations.
Of course, there are many other D.C.-area restaurants, bars, and businesses that are offering their own unique spins on government shutdown survival, so feel free to share any additional noteworthy deals below.
Jake Emen is a freelance writer based in Bethesda, Maryland, with experience covering local news stories and events for a number of online publications. He's also the founder of an online marketing company, WashingtonDCSEO.net.
- government shutdown