WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The Big Chair Cafe should have been the beginning of a much needed economic revival in Anacostia, one of the poorest areas of the District of Columbia.
When it opened in 2010 WUSA9 was there along with the Washington Post and other media.
On Tuesday The Big Chair owner Michael Sterling met me there on short notice to open the place up again-- it had closed to the public on Sunday.
Sterling wouldn't go into detail because he is in a legal dispute with his landlord but he did say the restaurant had enough customers and there was certainly a need to be met. There are few sit down restaurants in Anacostia, liquor stores and fast food marts are thriving.
Fourteen people worked at the Big Chair Cafe --old and new residents met there for meals and drinks during Monday and Thursday night football.
That's all gone now and locals told me other restaurants in the area are barely hanging on.
The federal government shutdown has made matters worse they say.
The local beauty and barber shops are also hurting as people are putting off the non-essentials.
Even the local lottery is affected. They're still buying tickets along Martin Luther King Avenue; but due to the federal shutdown, they can't collect their winnings.
Written by: Bruce Johnson