The worst effects of the federal government shutdown have brought out the best in local restaurateurs. Several Bay Area eateries are offering free meals or steep discounts to furloughed employees who are living or working without paychecks. Let’s open up a shutdown special, and list the restaurants in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area serving free or reduced-cost meals to workers directly affected by the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.
The former Lefty O’Doul’s, now rechristened as the newly opened Lefty’s Ballpark Baseball Buffet & Cafe in Fisherman’s Wharf, is offering free buffet meals — yep, all-you-can-eat buffet meals — to furloughed government employees. “Be my guest for lunch and dinner every day until the madness ends and you can go back to work,” Lefty’s owner Nick Bocis says in a press release. “Bring your whole family, and all you have to do is show a federal ID. We are on the honor system here at Lefty’s.”
Mission Rock’s authentic Mexican taco truck Al Pastor Papi is offering two free tacos and an agua fresca to out out-of-work feds. Owner Miguel Escobedo tells Eater SF, “I thought it would be an amazing gesture and act of kindness and encouragement to anyone else going through this ordeal.”
Chef Adam Rosenblum offers half-price entrees to furloughed workers at two San Francisco eateries, the Marina bistro Causwell’s and Mission District Cajun spot Alba Ray’s. Causwell’s is offering half off the Americana Burger and Alba Ray’s is offering half-price Jambalaya, both deals available with a valid government ID.
It’s just a coffee, but everything helps. The HITW coffee shop in North Beach is offereing a free drip coffee to all federal employees with valid government ID.
With East Bay locations in Oakland and Danville, national pizza chain Jules Thin Crust Pizza is offering a free slice to unpaid government workers and their families when presented with a federal ID for verification.
It’s not free, but Millbrae Hunan eatery Wonderful is offering a 50 percent discount to furloughed federal workers. “I felt bad for these workers,” owner You You Xue tells Eater SF. “I thought they were being taken advantage of.”
Each of these free and reduced meal deals will continue until the federal government shutdown is resolved.