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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

SugarFire Smoke House Offers "Government Shutdown" Sandwich Free to Furloughed Feds

Posted By on Wed, Oct 2, 2013 at 6:00 AM

The "Government Shutdown Sandwich." | Michael Johnson
  • The "Government Shutdown Sandwich." | Michael Johnson

Yesterday, on the first day of the federal-government shutdown, SugarFire Smoke House owner Michael Johnson quickly invented the "Government Shutdown Sandwich" and added it to his list of daily specials.

"White bread, cheese. THAT'S IT. SUCK IT UP," he scrawled on a piece of white butcher paper. "Just kidding!"

See also: Best of St. Louis 2013: Best Barbecue -- SugarFire Smoke House

The real "Shutdown" is brisket, pork, turkey, lettuce, pickle and mayo. Johnson offered it with a side for $9 -- unless of course you were an employee of the federal government who was suddenly out of work. Then the meal only set you back three bucks.

"We sold like 100 of them today," Johnson told Gut Check yesterday. "It was off the chain."

Unlike the actual shutdown, the deal got sweeter today. Johnson decided that all day today the "Shutdown" will be free for federal employees (possibly with the purchase of a side or soda, Johnson wasn't totally certain at the time). It's his small way of helping folks who might be waiting awhile before they see their next check, not to mention a killer marketing move.

"I think it's a big mess," Johnson says of the shutdown. "I don't think it's cool no matter what side you're on that a bunch of people are not able to work because of people not being able to agree on something."

See also: 'Cue the Sights: SugarFire Smoke House delights the eyes and the palate

Johnson wasn't the only person using food as a means to comfort furloughed government employees. Chefs around the country were creating their own real (and imagined) dishes. Here's what Top Chef contestant Bryan Voltaggio came up with:

And the blog Cupcake Project offered this recipe for a "Government Shutdown Cupcake":


  • Indecision
  • Bickering
  • Childlike Behavior

Instructions Mix until you end up with nothing.

Have you seen other government shutdown deals around town? Let us know! Furloughed and have nothing better to do? Send us pics of you enjoying a "Shutdown" and other furlough freebies!

Follow Jessica Lussenhop on Twitter at @Lussenpop. E-mail the author at

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