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Workers rebuilt outdoor seating at J.G. Melon's restaurant on the Upper East Side on Sunday. Photo: Jennifer A. Kingson/Axios

The hastily-built outdoor seating that has kept so many restaurants limping along this fall is now starting to come down, but the fight for survival continues.

Driving the news: This week — amid Gov. Andrew Cuomo's second halt to indoor dining in New York City and a wicked blizzard that suspended outdoor service — workers at the 21 Club in Midtown rallied against the owners' decision to keep the place closed indefinitely.

  • A coalition of Brooklyn restaurant owners is petitioning the mayor and governor to jettison a 10 p.m. curfew and relax outdoor dining rules.
  • Restaurants nationally are starting to offer suburban pickup and delivery options, per WSJ.

Reality check: The outlook is very dire. "Nearly 60 percent of NY operators say they are considering going into hibernation until the pandemic is over, compared to 36 percent nationwide," according to Eater.

  • But not all of them. J.G. Melon's, above, emailed Axios to say: "Our outdoor dining is OPEN, with heating and well ventilated, 11am-10pm, with takeout until 11pm, 7/days a week."

Flashback: Melon's, which arguably has one of the best burgers in the city (plus amazing cottage fries), was the setting for scenes in "Kramer vs. Kramer" and "Manhattan."

  • As for the legendary 21 Club — a magnet for flamboyant celebrities — the artist Salvador Dali was allowed to bring his pet ocelot there in violation of health rules, per the New York Post.
  • "Novelist Jay McInerney wed socialite Anne Hearst there in 2006, with former Mayor Rudy Giuliani officiating," the Post said. "Recalling the meal afterward, McInerney told the Post, 'Prince Edward stopped by the table to say hello. In retrospect, it was quite a lunch.'”

Go deeper

The Twin Cities' wintertime boom

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

More signs are emerging that Minnesotans are going all in on all things winter.

Driving the trend: While residents of the "Bold North" have a long tradition of braving the frigid temps, COVID-19 is pushing us outdoors even more.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

10 hours ago - Economy & Business

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.