Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

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

José Andrés: Restaurant industry survival is key for economic recovery

Photo: Axios screenshot

José Andrés, the founder of World Central Kitchen and celebrated chef, said during an Axios event that survival of restaurants is a crucial part of the U.S. economic recovery as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the industry.

Why it matters: The hospitality industry has faced an existential crisis since the beginning of the pandemic. "With new rounds of state-mandated restaurant and bar restrictions, and winter weather limiting outdoor dining, food services accounted for 372,000 job losses in December," the Washington Post writes.

In cyber espionage, U.S. is both hunted and hunter

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

American outrage over foreign cyber espionage, like Russia's SolarWinds hack, obscures the uncomfortable reality that the U.S. secretly does just the same thing to other countries.

Why it matters: Secrecy is often necessary in cyber spying to protect sources and methods, preserve strategic edges that may stem from purloined information, and prevent diplomatic incidents.

59 mins ago - Politics & Policy
Scoop

White House plots "full-court press" for $1.9 trillion relief plan

National Economic Council Director Brian Deese speaks during a White House news briefing. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Biden White House is deploying top officials to get a wide ideological spectrum of lawmakers, governors and mayors on board with the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The broad, choreographed effort shows just how crucially Biden views the stimulus to the nation's recovery and his own political success.