The kitchen was on a slow simmer Friday at Yorky's Taco House.
"We're missing a lot of people from the base," said manager Pedro Guerra.
Lackland Air Force Bases, just across the street from Yorky's, provides a steady customer base for the small family restaurant. But instead of the usual line of people waiting to be seated for lunch, there were plenty of open tables and booths.
It's only Day 4 of the federal government shutdown, but Guerra is already worried about paying his seven employees.
"All of these people depend on me and my wife," he said. "I don't know how we're going to do it, but we're surviving, but I don't know for how long."
His is a story repeated by many small businesses that thrive off the two Air Force bases and Army post.
Military City has been hit hard by the government shutdown, as an estimated 23,000 civilian defense workers have temporarily been laid off.
Long-time barber Albert Rodriguez, whose shop is a convenient stop near Lackland AFB, is seeing his business clipped a bit.
"Hopefully, everything will come out right for everybody," he said.
Ma Harper's N'Awlins Creole Kitchen caters to the Fort Sam Houston crowd, a crowd noticeably lacking Friday. It's a downturn in business that 84-year-old Alice Harper can't afford.
"The majority of people are watching what they spend," she said.
Harper's own daughter was working the kitchen after getting her furlough papers from Randolph Air Force Base earlier in the week.
"If (the shutdown) continues," Harper said, "you know, pray."