Furloughed White House staffer turns bartender

One Capitol Hill market has a shutdown prescription. (Jason Ukman) One Capitol Hill market has a shutdown prescription. (Jason Ukman)

Plenty of furloughed feds are hitting local drinking establishments, thanks to their suddenly-free time and all those cheap-beer specials aimed at government workers.

But one White House staffer locked out of his government office is taking to the other side of the bar. Tom Power, the White House’s deputy chief technology officer for telecommunications, has picked up some shifts slinging drinks at Gypsy Sally’s, the new music venue in Georgetown.

White House jobs aren’t the only gigs where it helps to know people: The co-owner of Gypsy Sally’s is a childhood friend of  Power’s, the furloughed fed told friends in an e-mail inviting them to visit him for his first turn behind the taps  Thursday night.

The bar is offering deals for federal workers, but some customers from the private sector can save money, too. Power ran the gig by the ethics officials, and got the okay — with one caveat: He can’t take tips from folks who might have business with his office.

“The only restriction is that if you do telecom work in the private sector, you can’t tip me when I pour you a beer,” he writes in the e-mail. “How much better can it get?”

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.

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Emily Heil · October 3, 2013