By Rachel Kubik, OnMilwaukee contributor   Published Jan 25, 2019 at 1:14 PM

The partial government shutdown is heading into its second month. The strain on the country continues to grow, especially on the 800,000 federal workers who are headed toward missing their second paycheck next week, according to USA Today.

Some Milwaukee businesses are giving a helping hand to those workers, offering discounts to government employees during the shutdown. Here’s a list of some of the places to go if you find yourself furloughed.

1. Amilinda

Federal workers with valid ID can get a free Francesinha (a Portuguese sandwich) and a glass of  house red wine Tuesday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m.; offer is valid for the duration of the shutdown.

2. Capricio Salon & Spa

Capricio Salon & Spa is offering free hair services (up to $50) for any employees impacted by the government shutdown. Proof of employment required.

3. Pabst Brewery & Tap Room

Cheers! There's a free pint of Pabst Red White & Blue beer waiting for any government employee that shows their employee ID card.

4. Doc’s Commerce Smokehouse

Doc’s is offering a pork sandwich, chips and drink for free with a government employee ID.

5. Bounce Milwaukee

A free Bounce wristband will be provided for any furloughed federal employee or federal contractor, as well as their children, up to three. Monday through Friday. 

6. Milwaukee Art Museum

The MAM is offering free admission for two adults and children 17 and under with proof of employment to federal workers. This offer is valid until the end of the government shutdown.

7. Milwaukee Community Acupuncture

Acupuncture treatments are free for furloughed federal workers at the Milwaukee Community Acupuncture clinic on Lincoln Avenue in Bay View.

8. Enlightened Brewing Company

For every 10 days that the government shutdown continues, Enlightened Brewing is taking $1 off each beer for federal employees that have been furloughed. Currently, that’s $2 off every beer, which means a $4 pint in the taproom. Bring in your federal ID and they will do their best to help cheer you up.

9. Casablanca

Casablanca is extending a show of gratitude for government employees’ efforts to keep the government operating. Grab a free lunch buffet Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., available to furloughed government employees with a valid government ID. This offer will continue throughout the duration of the government shutdown.

10. Glass + Griddle

Enjoy a free draft beer or tap wine with any order at Milwaukee's newest beer hall. The offer is available during regular business hours with a valid government ID.

11. Pizza  Man

Pizza Man will  offer furloughed government workers a free drink (draft beer or tap wine) with any purchase. The offer is good through the duration of the government shutdown; employees just need to show their government ID card to take part. Offer is valid at locations in Milwaukee, Oak  Creek and Wauwatosa.

12. Goddess and the Baker

If you show your federal ID to the cashier, you can grab a 12-ounce cup of coffee with unlimited refills. This offer lasts until the shutdown ends.

13. Stone Creek Coffee

Visit a Stone Creek location near you and receive free coffee, tea or espresso-based beverages if you're a federal employee. 

14. Mac's Pet Depot Barkery

This Bay View pet supply depot is offering 20 percent off pet food and supplies for affected federal workers. Federal government ID required.

15. Skylight Music Theater

Federal employees with valid current government IDs can request up to two tickets to the following performances of "Five Guys Named Moe."

Sunday, January 27 at 2 p.m.
Wednesday, January 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday January 31 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, February 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 2 at 2 p.m.

16. YMCA

YMCA members that are employees of the federal government and are not receiving a paycheck will not be responsible for monthly membership dues and all fees during this shutdown period. Connect with your branch’s welcome center to learn more and see if you qualify for membership or program support.

17. Send a beer

Are you not a federal employee, but want to cheer up someone who is? Thanks to new website, you can send a furloughed worker a beer or two. You can send out one beer for $7.50, two for $15 or a six-pack for $45. Any furloughed employees just have to show their federal ID at one of the participating breweries to collect.

18. UWM Panthers Basketball

The Milwaukee Athletic Department is offering free admission to select men's and women's basketball games for federal government employees and their immediate family members affected by the federal government shutdown. Games include:

Sat. Feb. 9: UWM womens' team vs. Northern Kentucky
Sat. Feb. 16: UWM mens' team vs Oakland

Federal government employees can claim up to four complimentary tickets for immediate family members per game by showing a valid federal government ID at the ticket office. Tickets will be provided at the Klotsche Center (women's basketball) and UWM Panther Arena (men's basketball) on those selected game days, based on availability.

Complimentary tickets are good even if the shutdown ends before game days. For more information, contact the Milwaukee Ticket Office at (414) 229-5886 or by e-mail

19. Banking, wireless relief

  • AT&T customers affected by the shutdown are eligible for flexible payment options to keep their phone service up and running.
  • Chase Bank says it will waive or refund any overdraft and monthly service fees for customers who are furloughed government employees.
  • Impacted government employees can apply for Verizon’s "Promise to Pay" feature, which allows customers to set up a future date to pay a bill.
  • Sprint customer service says they will help federal workers find payment options that work for them to keep service uninterrupted during the shutdown. Impacted customers should call (888) 211-4727 or do an online chat at
  • T-Mobile is offering flexible payment options. Customers can call T-Mobile Customer Care to discuss options at 611 from a T-Mobile device or (877) 746-0909 from any phone.