Food Truck Owners Avoid Government Centers

The ubiquitous food trucks that dot downtown city streets are feeling effects of the federal shutdown.

“It’s definitely slowing things down… probably off 30 to 40 percent,” said Patrick Rathbone, owner of The Big Cheese food truck.

“You try to pick the busiest places to go and you stay away from government centers,” he told News4 during the lunch hour Tuesday at Farragut Square.

Other food truck operators say they’re staying away from government-heavy sites like L’Enfant Plaza.

Kenny Greenberger drove all the way in from his home in Alexandria even though he’s furloughed from the Federal Interior Department.

“I’m a furloughed federal government worker,” he said as he stood next to PhoNation, a popular Vietnamese food truck, “I came just for the food.”

Greenberger was picking up dinner to share with his wife. He said he made the trip to support the food trucks.

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District officials say they expect a drop in sales tax collections because of the shutdown, now ending its 15th day. Restaurants, carry-outs and other shops that cater to federal workers are reporting reduced sales.

The shutdown isn't doing much good for the city's important tourism business -- a woman visiting from Australia told News4 if she ever comes back to the U.S., she won't return to D.C.

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