What Staffers Are Doing While the Boss is Out of Town

Team happy hours and lunches are popular during recess

Congressional staffers may be doing more team activities while their bosses are gone for the August recess. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Congressional staffers may be doing more team activities while their bosses are gone for the August recess. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted August 3, 2016 at 5:00am

It’s actually starting to feel like recess and you weren’t invited to go to the district with your boss. Good news for you, staffers generally work an average of two hours less a day over the break.  

Staffers stuck in Washington over August recess clock out earlier than during session — sometimes up to three hours earlier, according to a dozen respondents to an informal survey.  

Most of the early exits are to go to happy hour, which is a luxury while Congress is in town, the staffers said.  

Among surveyed House staffers, Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar was the most popular happy hour spot. Located at 223 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, it’s a short distance at 4 p.m. when you walk (or run) out of work.  

Among surveyed Senate staffers, Union Pub continues to dominate the happy hour scene. The classic venue, located at 201 Massachusetts Ave. NE, is the favorite watering hole and a hop, skip and a jump from Hart Senate Office Building.  

For both Senate and House staffers, Driftwood Kitchen — 400 H St. NE — and Bobby Van’s Grill — 1201 New York Ave. NW — have come up in those named as favorite spots for those wanting to venture farther from Capitol Hill when there’s time to.  

While staffers said team drinks are a popular activity for recess, team lunches also give staffers something to do.  

For lunch, the Sweetgreen at 221 Pennsylvania Ave. SE was the most popular response for House staffers. District Taco, at 656 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, and Hank’s Oyster Bar, across the street at 633 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, tied for second most popular.  

And for Senate staffers, the strip of restaurants on Massachusetts Avenue all were selected as best lunch spots. Those include Café Berlin (for German food), La Loma (for Mexican food) and Bistro Cacao (for French food).  

Check back for how many of these spots will be included in D.C.’s restaurant week, which runs from August 15 to August 21.


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