DC Restaurants Join “A Day Without A Woman” Strike

Where to find women-owned businesses, specials, and others showing support.

Pizzeria Paradiso and Veloce owner Ruth Gresser. Photograph by Jeff Elkins

International Women’s Day is Wednesday, March 8. The annual celebration takes on a new meaning this year with a nationwide strike dubbed A Day Without A Woman from the organizers behind the Women’s March on Washington.

Unlike the recent Day Without Immigrants, which seemed to rise suddenly and spread quickly through word-of-mouth, A Day Without A Woman is mapped out on the organizer’s website—along with suggestions for how to participate. Women are urged to take the day off work—paid or unpaid—wear the color red in solidarity, and only spend money at small businesses that are women-and-minority owned. In Washington, Alexandria’s public schools have already announced they’ll be closed on Wednesday.

Pizzeria Paradiso and Veloce owner Ruth Gresser is one of the most vocal chefs promoting the strike. The veteran restaurateur, who recently celebrated her flagship’s 25th year in DC, is offering paid leave to all female employees at her four eateries. She spent weeks with her team figuring out the best approach for the business, and rearranging shifts with male employees so the eateries can remain open. Only half the food and beverage menus will be served—a symbolic number that represents half the world’s female population—with partial proceeds going to My Sister’s Place, which supports survivors of domestic abuse, and the National Organization for Women.

“I’m taking a position that’s important to me,” says Gresser, who also granted employees paid leave for the immigrant strike. ”I know it has potential political ramifications, but that’s not my motivation. This is an important issue in our society. Half of our society is not treated equally. It’s important to me that the reality and history is not lost.”

We’ll be updating the list of restaurants that are participating in A Day Without A Woman events and donations. Email

Here’s a map of where you can support women-owned businesses throughout Washington.

Town Tavern

2323 18th St., NW

Go to Town for an all-night happy hour. The woman-owned-and-operated business offers $3 beers, $4 rails. $5 drafts and wines until close for the ladies, and 9 pm for everyone else. In addition to the drinks there’s a free comedy show planned from Capital Laughs until 8 pm. Proceeds (10%) from bar sales benefit the #BeBoldForChange Movement.


2275 L St., NW

Women can enjoy happy hour all day at chef Ris Lacoste’s Foggy Bottom restaurant, from 11:30 am to last call. Specials include $5 beers, Sauvignon Blanc, and a Portuguese red wine; $8 Rush vodka, gin, or bourbon; $6 red wine sangria; and $8 gin rickeys.

Eat the Rich

1839 Seventh St., NW 

This Shaw seafood bar is using an all-male bar staff from 7 pm to midnight. Special cocktails, $6 to $8, include the No Se Means No Se (mezcal, honey-ginger syrup, walnut liqueur) and a beer-and-shot combo, Badass Lasses. Partial proceeds will be donated to My Sister’s Place.

Alta Strada DC/Conosci

465 K St., NW

Both of restaurateur Michael Schlow’s City Vista restaurants will donate 10-percent of proceeds to My Sister’s Place during lunch and dinner.


974 Palmer Alley (CityCenterDC)

Chef Amy Brandwein’s CityCenterDC Italian will donate 10-percent of sales in the market to Running Start, an organization that supports young women entering politics. 

Crisp Kitchen + Bar

The Bloomingdale bar/restaurant will donate 10-percent of all sales—including $5 happy hour—to N Street Village Shelter for Women.

Fare Well

406 H St., NW

Owner Doron Petersan will host a special, all-night happy hour from 5 pm to close at her vegan-friendly diner, while also screening Working Girl and 9 to 5. Proceeds (10%) from sales all day will go to Ruth’s Place. 

Pizzeria Paradiso and Veloce

Paradiso: 2003 P St., NW; 3282 M St., NW; 124 King St., Alexandria; Veloce: 1828 L St., NW

All of Ruth Gresser’s pizzerias will donate half of their profits to two women’s organizations: My Sister’s Place and National Organization for Women. In addition, Pizzeria Paradiso will only serve half of its food and draft beer menu.


2214 Rhode Island Ave. NE

Women receive 20-percent off their checks at this female-owned restaurant, which will donate partial proceeds to Planned Parenthood. Male employees and family members will staff the restaurant for a limited food menu (and full bar). More details are available here.

Rare Sweets

 963 Palmer Alley, NW (CityCenterDC)

Pastry chef/owner Meredith Tomason will donate 10% of all sales to a local chapter of Suited for Change, a non-profit organization aimed at providing professional and job-readiness skills.

Sticky Fingers

1370 Park Rd., NW

This vegan bakery will donate 10% of the day’s proceeds to My Sister’s Place.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.