Another Furloughed Night in Shutdown City

D.C. bars and eateries are embracing the shutdown with characteristic panache — and some amazing promos.

National Journal
Dustin Volz
Add to Briefcase
Dustin Volz
Oct. 3, 2013, 7:37 a.m.

We all learned what it’s like for Wash­ing­ton to turn in­to Shut­down City this week. The closed zoos and me­mori­als, hap­less tour­ists, and le­gions of “non­es­sen­tial” fed­er­al em­ploy­ees sud­denly with too much free time on their hands is as jar­ring as our earth­quake-rav­aged Wash­ing­ton Monu­ment.

To of­fer some res­pite for the lost souls of the fur­loughed, dozens of D.C. bars and eat­er­ies are do­ing what they do best: of­fer­ing up a smor­gas­bord of shut­down-themed food and drink deals that would make even the most jaded bur­eau­crat con­sider the up­sides of an un­paid va­ca­tion.

A free sand­wich at chef Jose An­dres’s es­tab­lish­ments from 3 to 5 p.m. for any pat­ron with a gov­ern­ment ID was one of the best food deals we spot­ted. The promo is good every day of the week un­til the fur­lough ends, and is even val­id for “to go” or­ders, though only three sand­wiches are fea­tured (flauta de ja­mon ser­rano at Ja­leo, the chick­en shawarma at Za­yt­inya, and torta pan­cita at Oy­amel).

“Ob­vi­ously not be­ing able to work is a tough thing in this city,” said Stephanie Sal­vador, a spokes­wo­man for An­dres’s chain of res­taur­ants. “This is An­dres’s way to provide a little something” to fur­loughed pat­rons.

Some joints don’t even care if you’re fur­loughed or not. “We’re try­ing to ap­pease the masses as much as we can,” said a work­er at Uni­on Pub, where $3 “shut it down” shots of whis­key are be­ing offered to gov­ern­ment work­ers and any­one else wish­ing to par­take in the fur­lough com­mis­er­a­tion.

Tor­tilla Coast, a Cap­it­ol Hill staple for in­terns and vet­er­ans alike (but mostly in­terns), is al­low­ing cus­tom­ers to start drown­ing their sor­rows with happy-hour spe­cials that be­gin at noon. Use your cred­it card to guzzle some $6 mar­gar­itas or $3.75 drafts and de­vour some $4 choice ap­pet­izers. The deal is also good at TC’s Dupont Circle loc­a­tion.

Kramer­books & Af­ter­words Cafe is of­fer­ing happy-hour spe­cials from open un­til close dur­ing the shut­down for any­one who walks in be­cause “we all suf­fer. Not just fed­er­al em­ploy­ees,” said Mark Kutcher, a man­ager at the ven­er­able D.C. in­sti­tu­tion. Every­one, that is, ex­cept law­makers, whom Kutcher some­what jok­ingly scape­goated. “If a con­gress­man or sen­at­or came to the bar and I re­cog­nized them, I would cer­tainly try to make them pay double,” Kutcher said.

Oth­er spe­cials were simply too gen­er­ous to last. Z-Bur­ger prom­ised free bur­gers to feds down on their luck, but the own­er reneged on the deal Wed­nes­day due to “over­whelm­ing crowds” that caused the res­taur­ant to hem­or­rhage cash to the tune of about $30,000 a day.Z-Bur­gers may no longer be free, but most oth­er deals are con­tinu­ing un­abated (ex­cept for 9:30 Club’s two-for-one “Af­ford­able Tick­et Act,” which we totally missed the boat on).

How long are these fur­lough free­bies and spe­cials go­ing to last? That’s as hard to pre­dict as the the shut­down it­self, and few store man­agers are will­ing to prof­fer a guess.”We really don’t know” how long the spe­cials will con­tin­ue, Kramer­books’ Kutcher said. “Nobody knows what the heck’s go­ing on up on the Hill.”

What We're Following See More »
CITES CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Lieberman Withdraws from Consideration for FBI Job
1 days ago
THE LATEST
MINIMUM 2 PERCENT GDP
Trump Tells NATO Countries To Pay Up
1 days ago
BREAKING
MANAFORT AND FLYNN
Russians Discussed Influencing Trump Through Aides
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Source:
BUT WHITE HOUSE MAY USE AGAINST HIM ANYWAY
Ethics Cops Clear Mueller to Work on Trump Case
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."

Source:
BUSINESSES CAN’T PLEAD FIFTH
Senate Intel to Subpoena Two of Flynn’s Businesses
3 days ago
THE LATEST

Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."

×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login