The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Shutdown strategy: Burgers, booze, cupcakes

Some federal employees around town are busy today with shutdown planning, gaming out how their agencies will cope if the lights go out tomorrow. But how are those personal shutdown strategies coming along?

Local dining establishments have you covered. Booze, perhaps, to dull the pain of being considered non-essential. Or maybe some comfort food to soothe those anxiety attacks brought on by not being surgically attached to your Blackberry.

For starters, local chain Z Burger is offering free burgers to shutdown-affected folks:

The Georgetown branch of Sprinkles Cupcakes on Tuesday will dish out a free confection to workers with government ids.

For the duration of the potential shutdown, Alexandria’s Port City Brewing Company is knocking 20 percent off its Essential Pale Ale on draft and for growler fills for those visiting the brewery’s tasting room. Downtown, Carmine’s is shaking up a $12 shutdown-themed special cocktail. The Olive Branch features Plymouth gin, olives, pickled onions and rosemary.

And Carmine’s CEO Jeff Bank has a suggestion for averting the shuttering in the first place: He says he’s offering any of the Penn Quarter Carmine’s nine private rooms for free to Senate Majority Leader Reid, House Speaker Boehner and President Obama if they’d like to hammer out a deal over some of the restaurant’s gargantuan plates of spaghetti and meatballs.

Meanwhile, at the P&C Market, a little way down the street from the Capitol on Lincoln Park, a sidewalk sign offered passerby some sound advice on how to survive a shutdown. “Buy beer/wine, drink, repeat.”

Sounds like a plan.

A shutdown likely won’t be good for the dining establishments near the Capitol and other buildings where federal employees toil, since fewer workers means fewer customers taking lunch breaks or meeting for close-of-business drinks. (Though delivery-pizza joints might see an uptick.)

But look for more shutdown-related specials as local watering holes look for a silver lining.