Richmond Highway area specials and services for furloughed feds

El Paso Mexican Restaurant is giving 15 percent off the total food bill for dine-in or take-out orders. (El Paso Mexican Restaurant image)

(Updated Jan. 25) A number of businesses, organizations and attractions in the Richmond Highway area are offering special deals, services or giveaways for government workers affected by the shutdown. Know of others? Post a comment.


The Capital Area Food Bank is holding another free pop-up market Saturday at the Giant in the Beacon Center (see map). Government workers and contractors affected by the shutdown can pick up free produce, groceries and frozen meals between 9-11 a.m.

Social Services

Furloughed workers can contact the Financial Empowerment Center at South County for free financial coaching; or United Community Ministries or the Lorton Community Action Center for food or financial assistance.


El Paso Mexican Restaurant’s location at 6151 Richmond Highway is giving 15 percent off the total food bill (alcohol excluded) for dine-in or take-out orders to furloughed federal employees with valid ID.

Also at El Paso, Lee District Board of Supervisors candidate Larysa Kautz will be hosting her campaign kickoff on Saturday, January 26. Furloughed workers can join her for a free meal between 2-4 p.m. and learn more about her campaign.

Tanger Kabob House Café is offering 50 percent off the entire menu (except alcoholic beverages) to government workers affected by the shutdown.

Forge Brew Works in Lorton is discounting pints by one percent for each day of the shutdown for federal workers with valid ID.

Dishes of India in the Belle View Shopping Center is offering 20 percent off of food.

Spring Hills Mount Vernon in the Mount Zephyr area is hosting a free dinner for furloughed government workers and family members January 24 from 7 – 9 p.m. Guests will be served a three-course meal with a special children’s menu. Entertainment will be provided by saxophonist Keith Kool- K Wilson. RSVP to 703-780-7100 by January 22. Government ID needed for admission.

Brickmakers Cafe at Occoquan Regional Park is offering special $5 meals for federal employees, including federal contractors and military service members. Show your valid government ID and you can get the following for $5 plus tax:

McAllister’s Deli in the Mount Vernon Plaza Shopping Center is inviting all furloughed government employees to enjoy a free Spud. Government ID required, one offer per check with until the shutdown ends.


The USO Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir is allowing Coast Guard families to visit its food pantry as many times as necessary during the government shutdown.


Mount Vernon CrossFit is providing two weeks of free gym access to all furloughed employees. For details, contact owner/manager Danielle Dionne at

Mount Vernon Athletic Club is offering a fitness furlough special: With $1 down, get two months of membership free with a signed 12-month agreement (for existing or new members; must show Federal/Government ID).

Curves in the Hollin Hall Shopping Center is offering free workouts for female government works who have been furloughed.


George Washington’s Mount Vernon is providing a 40 percent discount on admission to furloughed employees who pick up a free Key to the City museum pass from Visit Alexandria.

The Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton is offering 10 percent savings on all classes, art sales and Workhouse productions in its W-3 theater to individuals with a federal government ID.

Gunston Hall is offering free tours for federal employees. The guided tours are offered every half hour between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 daily. See more information about admissions on their website.

City of Alexandria

Check out the various restaurants and businesses in the city of Alexandria who are offering discounts during the shutdown at Alexandria Living Magazine.