Shutdown specials

14 Houston restaurants and bars offering free meals and special discounts for furloughed federal workers

14 Houston restaurants and bars treat furloughed federal workers

Killen's barbecue three meat plate
Killen's Barbecue is giving away barbecue family packs on Friday.  Photo by Kimberly Park
La Grange patio
Take 20-percent off at La Grange.  Courtesy photo
Riel gator karaage
Get half-price happy hour bites at Riel.  Courtesy photo
Killen's barbecue three meat plate
La Grange patio
Riel gator karaage

Houston's restaurants and bars are doing their part to assist federal workers who have been furloughed during the government shutdown. While a free or discounted meal can't replace a missing paycheck, maybe a night out will ease the sting.

Some of the specials are one-day only, while others are available for as long as the shutdown lasts. 

Workers in the private sector shouldn't try to cheat their way to a free meal. All of these establishments will be looking for a federally issued employee identification and proof of furlough to grant the special. Besides, that's just being a jerk. 

Antone's Famous Po'boys: Government workers receive 50 percent off during both lunch and dinner at this classic Houston restaurant.  

Bistro Provence: The Memorial-area French restaurant offers workers a free lunch from one of two blackboard specials that will be available that day, plus a non-alcoholic beverage. Good one time per person. Reservations required.

Bosscat Kitchen and BCK Kitchen & Cocktail Adventures: Both of these bar-forward cocktails spots will take 20-perfect off the total bill for eligible federal workers. 

Bread Man Baking Company: The craft baker will give federal workers a free loaf of bread. Available at the bakery (9127 Stella Link Rd.) on Friday from 8 am to 3 pm and at Saturday's Urban Harvest Farmers Market from 8 am to 12 pm. Limited quantities. 

Cottonwood: Federal workers will receive 25 percent off food at the family-friendly craft beer spot. 

D’Amico’s Italian Market Café: The Rice Village restaurant will provide a worker and one guest with a free order of its classic spaghetti and meatballs, plus a non-alcoholic beverage. Available Monday through Thursday at lunch or dinner. Good one time per person. Reservations encouraged.

Killen's Barbecue: Ronnie Killen and crew are offering a free family pack of brisket, sausage, potato salad, and beans. Pick up at the to-go window on the west side of the restaurant. Available only on Friday, January 18, from 11 am while supplies last. 

La Grange: Federal workers will receive 25 percent off food at the Mexican-influenced patio bar spot. 

Lasagna House: The 1960 location of the Italian-American restaurant will serve federal workers a free pasta bowl or order of lasagna and a glass of iced tea this Friday, January 18. 

Ouisie's Table: Get a free lunch entree or free dinner entree under $30 at this River Oaks comfort food institution. Available for dine-in only to groups of four people or fewer. Once per week per person. Reservations required. 

Poitín Bar & Kitchen: Receive one free happy hour bar snack per person per day at this Southern-inspired restaurant in Sawyer Yards. Happy hour happens daily from 4 - 6 pm and Sunday through Wednesday from 9 pm to close. 

Rainbow Lodge: Receive a free bowl of smoked duck gumbo Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 am until 3 pm. The restaurant requests people purchase a drink and tip their servers. Offer is for dine-in only and groups of four or fewer.  

Riel: Take 50 percent off all happy hour at this creative Montrose restaurant. That means bar bites like gator karaage and fried cauliflower are just $4, beers are $2, and wines by-the-glass are $3.50, and select cocktails are $4. Available Monday through Friday from 5 - 6:30 pm.

Rosewater: Furloughed NASA employees and contractors can drown their sorrows at Clear Lake's best cocktail bar with a special menu of $6 and $7 cocktails, $4 draft beers, and $6 glasses of Malbec.