Government Shutdown Forces Closure Of City Tavern


No, seriously. This is straight from the City Tavern’s PR company. Dig it:

We regret to inform you that City Tavern Restaurant is temporarily closed due to the federal government shutdown. Concepts By Staib, Ltd has been authorized to serve the public at City Tavern by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, since 1994. The building and property are part of the National Park Service. As a concessionaire of the park, it is firmly stated that Concepts By Staib, Ltd, operated by Chef Walter Staib, is required to close during the federal shut down until further notice.


As soon as this is resolved, City Tavern will open and be fully operational. In the meantime, we apologize for your inconvenience. We regret this lapse in business and hope it is short lived. The entire staff of City Tavern is looking forward to being open and serving the public as soon as possible.

So let me get this straight. You’ve shut down NASA. You’ve shut down the Grand Canyon. You’ve shut down the CDC and the National Parks Service and furloughed pretty much everyone I know who works for the federal government (while still collecting paychecks yourselves, of course). And now you are limiting my ability to dress up in pantaloons and a ruffed collar and go drink tankards of beer in Old City with weird German tourists?

Not cool, Congress. Not cool…

City Tavern [official]

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  • RoCr

    This is a stunt. The executive branch is shutting down things specifically to make it hurt more, and not things that they would save money by shutting down. This place, for instance, probably brings in a profit and would have benefited the government by leaving it open.

    They’re doing this to other places, too, including privately run organizations that receive no money from the federal government that happen to be located on national park land. It actually costs MORE money to close these places than simply leaving them open would cost.

    • Phillysarge

      What part of “the Executive Branch does not choose what to shut down” didn’t you understand RoCr?

  • Guest

    RoCr, I do agree that this is a stunt by all parties involved and the level of abject petulance is astoundingly unacceptable. However, i must ask you to please make sure your information is comprehensive in scope. Who has the responsibility for finalizing appropriations and ultimately actually holds the purse strings in the government of the United States of America? The Legislative Branch. How can you leave them out?

    It is the Legislative branch that ultimately decides appropriations – the division of money between government programs. The President, read executive branch, proposes a budget and ultimately signs into law the final draft from the Legislature. Our current situation is only possible because a budget was proposed but no final draft has been sent back to the Executive branch for signing. The Legislature writes the laws and the Executive branch makes them official and puts them into practice by signing them. Those who actually authorize the paying of the bills, via appropriations, are technically responsible for what is going on. The Executive branch cannot “shut down” anything due to lack of funding, as is the case currently, though their behavior has instigated the situation exponentially.

    I am also disturbed to learn that this is happening in places not directly affected by this governmental meltdown. Thank you for sharing!

    • RoCr

      I left them out because the choice of what to shut down isn’t made by the legislature, but rather by the executive branch. And the executive branch is deliberately choosing to shut down things that it believes the public cares about, regardless of whether or not it is necessary. This is a fairly standard tactic, though on the national level it usually isn’t this blatant.

      I’ll also point out that the Republicans have offered to pass Continuing Resolutions to fund the National Parks until the full budget is hashed out, but Harry Reid and Obama have refused to discuss it, as it would take away their leverage on the American people.

      • Awed&Irkd

        I am missing where the President has the ability to decide what stays open and what does not. As I understand it, each government agency is responsible for coming up with its own contingency plan for times like this and bases these plans on parameters laid out by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as well as the Personnel Office (PO). Once the plans are made, they are sent to the Executive branch for implementation in times such as these. The offices which stay open are those necessary to protect public health, safety and/or property of the United States government as defined by the Justice Department. Are you suggesting that, encapsulated in these parameters, there is some kind of provision to win public sympathy for whoever is in the White House? Is the President somehow involved in how the parameters are made by the OMB and PO?

        I do see your point on the CRs. In terms of the area specific Continuing Resolutions, I think the message is, “You turned it all off, now turn it all back on.” The President and Senator Reid could allow for selected portions of the government to be released from this monetary lock out, but honestly why pass multiple bills for selected funding when one bill would correct the whole thing? If they want to “defund Obamacare” they have to do that with a budget. It is law at this point and is rolling ahead despite all this effort. Even now with this “shutdown” the exchanges are open and the staffers to manage it fall under the DOJ category of “essential.” This situation isn’t accomplishing anything.

  • es1999

    The City Tavern remained open during previous shutdowns. It takes no government money and very likely pays a percentage of its profit to the Federal Government as a franchise fee. Across the country, the Park Services are doing this to private business when it has never been done before. They are erecting barricades around monuments in public spaces. It is clear that the White House is inflicting as much pain as possible on every day Americans to score political points. A Park Service ranger admitted “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”