Shutdown Specials to Get You Through the Weekend

Brunches, weekend happy hour, and more.

By: Anna Spiegel

As week two of the government shutdown marches towards a finish, government employees and suffering Washingtonians alike need a break from the madness. As always, your friendly restaurant and bar industry is here to help. Browse the list of dining and happy hour specials that are extending to Saturday and Sunday, and get to planning your (discounted) weekend.


Bayou Bakery

Breakfast solved: Chef David Guas whips up complimentary fresh beignets with the purchase of a coffee by government and military personnel.

Copper Canyon Grill

The Silver Spring and Gaithersburg locations invite furloughed families for Sunday brunch (11 to 2), with free kids’ menu meals for children and a complimentary cocktail with the purchase of an entrée for adults. Don’t forget those government IDs.

Custom Fuel

The new downtown design-your-own pie shop from the Fuel Pizza crew offers a pizza/Budweiser combo for $10.


Moons Over My Hammy and other breakfast classics are included in Denny’s shutdown promo: one free entrée with the purchase of another for government employees. The deal extends to all 53 area locations through October 31.

Pork Barrel BBQ

Government employees can still snag a free pulled-pork barbecue sandwich at this Del Ray spot (Congress excluded).


Chef Bryan Voltaggio gives a new meaning to government cheese, serving a free Margherita pie to all those boasting a government ID.

Taylor Charles Steak & Ice

Government workers receive 10 percent off their cheesesteaks. Whiz on Congress!

Taylor Gourmet

All locations of the Philadelphia sandwich joint are offering a 10 percent discount, as well as “career counseling and a cookie,” to furloughed government employees with purchase of any hoagie or salad.


BLT Steak

Freshly shucked oysters for $1 can be had all day, every day for government employees.

Cashion’s Eat Place

It’s happy hour at all hours for furloughed employees at Cashion’s: 50 percent off wines by the glass, $5 craft beers, and half off appetizers until the government reopens.

Clyde’s (Georgetown and Chevy Chase)

The Clyde’s flagship in Georgetown has expanded its deals to include $3 canned brews, $4 Starr Hill Drafts, blue-plate specials under $10, and more (no ID required). Government employees can head over to Chevy Chase for 20 percent off their entire check.

Cork Wine Bar

The wine flows like water at Cork, which offers happy hour prices on vino “all day, all night, until the Hill kids start acting like grownups and end this insanity.” Brunch starts on Sunday at 11, so get ready to wine down your weekend.

DC Reynolds

The buy-one-get-one-free offer on all drinks is already pretty sweet, lasting Monday through Saturday. Now the Petworth bar extends the deal from 11 to 9 during the shutdown.

Del Campo

Head to the bar at chef Victor Albisu’s polished South American eatery anytime during the shut down and expect happy hour pricing with your government ID.

Hank’s Oyster Bar

Get through the shutdown with $1 oysters for government employees at all three locations, and all-day happy hour deals on drinks at the Capitol Hill branch.

Hill Country

Fancy a margarita? The Texas ’cue joint offers all-day happy hour to government employees for the length of the shutdown. Think $3 PBR and $5 margaritas.

Kramerbooks & Afterwords

Anyone can grab a novel and hole up in the Dupont bookshop’s bar for daily happy hour from open to close, including $5 beers, rail drinks, and house wine.


The chicken chain throws a “libation without representation” happy hour at all 14 area locations, offering happy hour prices all day (including half-price sangria pitchers). No government affiliation required.


Those wielding a government ID can snag $2.95 beers and 40 percent off all menu items (except alcoholic beverages). Also don’t forget the free food at happy hour (daily 5 to 8) for all.


Steal alert: head to Cleveland Park for half off all alcoholic beverages (no restrictions) and any three plates on the menu for $21. The offer is valid, according to the restaurant, for government employees and “anyone who launched a compelling argument that they’ve in any way been inconvenienced or even annoyed by the furlough.”


The Cleveland Park restaurant extends its happy hour to cover all operational hours through the shutdown, including half-price draft beer and wine by the glass (government ID required).


Play bocce, snack on discounted tapas, and drink $5 glasses of wine until the sun goes down at this U Street neighborhood wine bar, which offers happy hour prices to all government employees until 9. Regular folks can also take advantage of Saturday and Sunday happy hour and Columbus Day brunch on Monday, October 14 (bottomless mimosas!).