WASHINGTON DC – Food truck operators and vendors in downtown Washington breathed a sigh of relief over the end of the federal government shutdown, with some saying they had lost more than half of their usual customers on Monday.
Popcorn vender Michael Habteselasse, 62, said the absence of federal workers meant he made about only a third of his usual sales Monday, joking with a customer, “I kinda feel a little bit lonely.”
Known as “Michael the Popcorn Man” to his regulars, Mr. Habteselasse has parked his cart on the corner of Seventh and Maryland streets SW to serve workers at the 14 federal agencies near L’Enfant Plaza for the past 25 years. He said that “99.9 percent of my customers are [from federal] agencies.”
Food merchants weren’t the only ones to see a downturn during the shutdown.
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