Government shutdown savings around San Diego


EDITOR’S NOTE: This story will continue to be updated as more information is received.

Jan. 11 marked the first payday where some 800,000 people didn’t receive a pay check due to the current government shutdown.

With stories of companies around the nation stepping up to provide a break for those affected, San Diego companies are joining the charge.

Punch Bowl Social

Starting Jan. 11 and running until the shutdown is over, Punch Bowl Social (1485 E St., East Village, is offering a 25% discount on all food, beverages and games to any federal government employee.

Federal employees will need to present a government ID card to the server before ordering to be eligible for the discount at the East Village bar, restaurant and game spot, which was recently also featured in PACIFIC’s blind date.

San Diego Air & Space Museum

In addition to Punch Bowl, the San Diego Air & Space Museum (2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park, is offering furloughed federal employees free admission on Jan. 12 and 13.

“This is our small way of ensuring we contribute positively to family focused activities for those federal employees whose compensation has been delayed,” said President & CEO of the San Diego Air & Space Museum Jim Kidrick in a press release. “We appreciate their efforts on our behalf and look forward to welcoming them this Saturday and Sunday.”

Federal employees must show federal employee identification for free admission for themselves and up to three guests.

San Diego Botanic Garden

Head to Encinitas where federal employees will receive free admission between Jan. 14-18 and Jan. 21-25 to the San Diego Botanic Garden (230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas, A valid federal ID or badge must be presented at the Welcome Center to receive free admission good for employee plus their spouses and children.

Hello Betty Fish House

From Jan. 15-21, Hello Betty Fish House in Oceanside (211 Mission Ave., is lending a hand to furloughed workers by offering a free meal.

When government employees show valid ID (good for a single individual or a family of four) they will receive chips and salsa for the table, a fountain drink, two tacos with a side of beans and rice (per person) and an ice cream sundae.

Harlem Globetrotters

On Jan. 16, the Harlem Globetrotters team is offering complimentary tickets to its 2019 Fan Powered North American Team, which will make a stop in San Diego on Feb. 22, for any U.S. government employee on furlough.

“As the Ambassadors of Goodwill, we want to show our support to all those government workers whose paychecks, and by extension their families, are directly impacted,” said Globetrotter President Howard Smith in a recent press release.

According to that press release, “Any U.S. government employee currently on furlough can show their valid government ID at their local box office and receive two complimentary tickets to a Harlem Globetrotter game in North America while supplies last.”

San Diego Sockers

The San Diego indoor soccer team is inviting all those impacted by government shutdown to the Sockers home game against the Turlock Express on Jan. 20. Federal employees and contract workers can show government employee IDs at the arena box office in exchange for a free ticket for themselves, as well as any child age 8 and under.

A discount rate of $12 will be granted for additional GA tickets for those with a current government employee ID.

“So many families in our community are suffering right now, and it is our goal to knock down the wall between making ends meet and treating the family to a fun night out,” said Sockers Chief Marketing Officer Craig Elsten in a recent press release. “With Furloughed Workers Night, we want to give affected families a great chance to relax and enjoy a couple hours worry-free as they watch the Sockers go for another big win.”

OMG Hospitality Group

Keeping with its mission statement to “provide the best ‘OMG’ experience to every customer” the San Diego restaurant group will offer a 20% discount to all federal employees who show a valid ID at the time of their visit. This deal will run through the entirety of the shutdown.

For a list of OMG Hospitality Group locations, go to

San Diego Symphony

Let music inspire you during the continued government shutdown. The San Diego Symphony is offering free concert tickets for any Jacobs Masterworks program through May 26, which is the end of the 2018-19 season. A current government ID must be presented to receive up to four complimentary tickets.

“Music has the power to lift the spirits,” said President and CEO of the San Diego Symphony Martha Gilmer in a recent press release. “The Symphony can offer a few hours of beauty, pleasure and hope to the many individuals and families in our community facing hardships as a result of the shutdown.”