5 Ways the Shutdown Affects the Restaurant World

By Kelly Dobkin  |  October 4, 2013

The government shutdown, which began on Tuesday, is still in full effect as Congress has yet to come to an agreement in the current fiscal standoff. Already the shutdown has taken a toll on a number of key industries - and that includes a sizable impact on the restaurant world, both in DC and around the country. The slide show below explains more.

  • 1. Restaurants have been forced to close.

    In Philadelphia, the famed City Tavern, which has been open since 1773 and served the Founding Fathers, was forced to close, as it’s part of the National Parks Service. San Francisco’s Cliff House is also closed for the same reason.

  • 2. Restaurants near federal buildings are struggling.

    In Downtown Manhattan, restaurants near federal buildings have noticed a sharp dip in business since the shutdown. The NY Post interviews several restaurant owners near Federal Plaza who all report losses. The same is true of Chicago restaurants located in the Loop.

    Photo: Maxwell's

  • Credit: Sarah Freeman

    3. The FDA has stopped inspecting produce.

    Routine produce inspections have ceased since the shutdow, although regular inspections of meat, poultry and eggs are still up and running. So might want to go with the sauteed veggies over that raw kale salad the next time you order.

  • Credit: Zena Polin

    4. DC restaurants have been offering food and drink deals.

    Many restaurants in DC are offering cheap eats to bump up business and attract furloughed government employees. Check out some of these spots here. But don't expect restaurants to be chumming up to Congress: some spots have been charging Congress members double.

  • 5. Tourists are canceling trips to DC due to national monument closures.

    Our DC dispatches tell us that many restaurants have been getting phone calls to cancel reservations (and trips to DC) because all the government museums and monuments are currently not open. Additionally, foodies can't visit Julia Child's kitchen at the Smithsonian (pictured).