Businesses Offer Freebies to Furloughed Federal Workers - NBC4 Washington

Businesses Offer Freebies to Furloughed Federal Workers



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    Z-Burger offered furloughed federal workers free burgers Tuesday, and the stores were packed. This photo of an Arlington Z-Burger was sent to us by Grace Cunningham.

    Several businesses across the D.C. area are offering furloughed federal employees free food and services as they face the government shutdown. Many of the offers are limited to government workers, but some seek to provide comfort for all.


    • The Daily Dish in Silver Spring is offering free cups of coffee to all government workers throughout the shutdown; no purchase required. But members of Congress pay double.

    • Mockingbird Hillis offering a free glass of sherry to federal employees who show their ID as long as the shutdown lasts.

    • Pork Barrel BBQ is offering all government employees -- well, except members of Congress -- a free pulled pork sandwich each day of the shutdown. You must have a government ID.

    • [ENDED] Show your government ID at Sprinkles for a free cupcake Tuesday.

    • Caffe Amouri in Falls Church is offering government workers free cups of coffee, as well as "smiles, a comfortable place to hang... and even a hug if you like" throughout the shutdown. And, they add on Facebook: "NOTE - Congressional members not eligible (for coffee, friendly face OR welcoming place)."

    • Taylor Gourmet is offering furloughed federal workers a "10 percent discount, career counseling and a cookie" with the purchase of any hoagie or salad.

    • [ENDED] Due to overwhelming response, Z-Burger has ended its free burger promotion for furloughed federal government and D.C. government workers at Z-Burger locations in Arlington, Columbia Heights, Southwest and Tenleytown. The free burgers were offered for the last time on Oct. 3.

    • [ENDED] On Tuesday starting at 7 p.m., Bobby McKey's Dueling Piano Bar at National Harbor will have $3 Coors Light Drafts and $5 Well Drinks. Shutdown-fueled deals will continue Wednesday at 8 p.m. and Thursday at 6 p.m. There's no cover for the dueling piano show through Friday.

    • [ENDED] Anyone with a government ID can get three free empanadas with any purchase at Sophie's Cuban DC on Thursday, Oct. 3.
    • L&B's Sports Bar in Woodbridge, Va., is giving out free pizza at lunchtime for all furloughed workers.

    • Hollin Hall Pastry Shop in Alexandria is offering a 10-percent discount to government workers with ID, good on everything except wedding and specialty cakes.

    • Sugar Mama's Ice Cream in Fairfax is offering 20 percent off for furloughed federal workers with ID.

    • Cork Market and Tasting Room has 10 percent off for all government employees on wine, beer and retail items (government ID required), and at Cork Wine Bar, happy hour pricing on wine, "all day, all night until the Hill kids start acting like grownups and end this insanity." Cork has also introduced its Shutdown Sandwich, hot barbecue pulled pork with fresh coleslaw and Gordy's Pickles.

    • Denny's is offering all federal employees and military personnel (valid ID required) one free entrée with the purchase of another entrée. Valid at all D.C., Maryland and Virginia locations through Oct. 31.


    • Stroga is offering free noon classes daily until the shutdown ends. Government ID is required.

    • Balance Gym is offering free access to those with valid government IDs during the hours of 1 to 4 p.m. at all three locations.

    • City Sports is offering 15 percent off all in-store purchases with government or military ID, until the shutdown ends.

    • Fibre Space in Alexandria is offering free knitting lessons to federal workers with ID from 1 to 5 p.m. every workday during the shutdown. Basic materials are as low as $5 for needles and $10 for yarn if you need them.

    • Sixth and I Historic Synagogue is opening "Shutdown Central" for the duration of the shutdown. Anyone can come in for "Political Ping Pong, bipartisan board games, reading materials, constant streaming of 'The West Wing'." Free coffee, food and WiFi will also be provided. 

    • Looking to relieve some stress? Potomac Pilates is offering two free classes to furloughed federal employees. Click here for more information.

    • Go Ape is offering 50 percent off to federal employees through Oct. 18. Use code FEDS50 to book online at or call 800-971-8271. Government ID required.

    • Nusta Spa on 20th between L and M streets NW is offering 30 percent off all services to federal workers with government ID.
    • College Park Mixed Martial Arts is offering free training to federal employees with ID through the end of the shutdown.

    • Koons of Silver Spring is offering all furloughed government employees a free oil change, free tire rotation and a free multi-point inspection and has extended service hours from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. during the week. Call 301-890-6100 to set up an appointment. The dealership also is offering its employee pricing to government workers on vehicle purchases, with the first three months of car loan payments (up to $500 per month) paid by Koons.