If you haven’t been paying attention, or happen to live on the other side of the planet, the big story here in America right now is that the U.S. Government is shut down. Thousands of government employees are aimlessly wandering the streets here in Washington D.C., in a dazed and furloughed state. With no end in sight, and America’s two political parties firmly at each other’s throats, it seems as though the daily working scene in Washington DC won’t be back to normal for awhile. This has meant super-busy mornings at the cafe I work at, Peregrine Espresso, and a similarly reported uptick in business for cafes around town. At least for now, the furloughed government employees are spending their new-found freedom doing what any red blooded American does on his or her day off: hanging around cafes, casually reading their iPhones or even finally making time for the newspaper. The whole thing is quite a sight.

I’ve also noticed that many local businesses around town, including some of the coffee shops, are offering discounts to help these folks maintain. Here are a few of my favorite “Shutdown Specials ” around DC.

Peregrine Espresso is offering a snarky, educational and specialty coffee-centric special.

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This Oil & Vinegar place is offering a 10% discount to Federal Workers—unless you work for Congress.


This place isn’t just offering a free coffee , they’re tugging on heart strings while they’re at it. So cute.


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No hand-outs for Senator Ted Cruz! Zing!


Some places just aren’t getting into the Shutdown Spirit. Humbug. Although shrimp tacos do sound pretty good…


This fitness joint is offering to reduce furloughed employees weight on this scale by 50% —what a confidence boost!


Instagram user @roxyj513 posted this picture. Government Cheese with a side of Furlough Fries. Yum.


Kangaroo Boxing Club is offering $3 Screwdrivers with proof of Federal ID!


Best Brownies Ever!? Subtle, but that’s what I call a real Shutdown Special.


All are welcome at this bar—just see the bartender if you’re able to check any of these boxes.


Who knows how much longer this government shutdown will last, but it’s nice to know that, at least so far, DC has a sense of humor about the whole thing.

Ben Blake (@BenjaBlake) is the genius behind Draw Coffee, a working barista, and a regular Sprudge.com contributor. He lives in Washington DC. 

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