Axios Atlanta

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🥴 Monday, we missed you.

ğŸ˜Ž Today's weather: A gorgeous one! Sunny, with a high around 84.

Situational awareness: Today's Tax Day. Axios' Kelly Tyko has what you need to know about filing your returns, asking for an extension and avoiding payment penalties.

Today's newsletter is 938 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Atlanta revisits sex shop friction

Tokyo Valentino sells NSFW items at Cheshire Bridge Road in Atlanta. Photo: Wil Nobles/Axios

A controversial sex shop is defending itself once again as Atlanta tries to shut it down.

Why it matters: Tokyo Valentino sells products at several stores around metro Atlanta. The city of Atlanta says Tokyo's Cheshire Bridge Road location has illegal adult video booths and a sex club.

  • Neighbors say customers fornicate behind vacant buildings near Tokyo.

State of play: After years of court battles with the business, Atlanta issued Tokyo a cease-and-desist for allegedly facilitating sex "outside of the building within plain view of residential structures" when Tokyo "is not zoned to facilitate such activity."

  • Tokyo in February appealed to Atlanta's Board of Zoning Adjustment, claiming Atlanta violated Tokyo's "due process," "equal protection" and First Amendment rights. The board denied the appeal.

The other side: Tokyo owner Michael Morrison tells Axios the onsite club doesn't serve alcohol and is a safe place for the LGBTQ+ community. He said that upsets "MAGA supporters."

  • Morrison says they've removed the video booths, and Tokyo's security prevents sexual activity.
  • "This will undoubtedly be solved in a federal court," Morrison says.

The intrigue: Morrison says Atlanta is renewing pressure on him after last month's fatal shooting at the former Rhodes Bakery, a vacant building near Tokyo.

  • Morrison owns the building and wants to turn it into a $7 million massage spa. Atlanta denied his permit application.
  • Last month, city councilman Alex Wan said in his newsletter he's anticipating Tokyo could sue Atlanta for denying Morrison's permit.

What they're saying: Tokyo marketing director Chris Coleman tells Axios that homeless people are performing the acts residents witnessed.

  • "There's multiple other businesses on the road that are adult-themed and there's a crisis, a homeless population, on Cheshire Bridge Road," Coleman says.

The bottom line: Several adult entertainment businesses exist along Cheshire Bridge Road, including strip clubs, gay clubs and pornography shops. Neighborhood associations have spent years asking Atlanta, to no avail, to remove them.

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2. Let's settle this: Free chips and salsa

Where does Gov. Brian Kemp stand on the Great Chips and Salsa Debate? Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

To many diners, complimentary, endless servings of chips and salsa at Mexican restaurants are as expected as silverware and a napkin.

  • And when patrons are asked to pay to enjoy the pre-meal crunch fest, many balk and sometimes vow to never return. But should they?

Why it matters: Everyone knows all debates get settled on the internet. Let's do this.

Driving the news: Earlier this year, chef Helio Bernal and new owners unveiled Boca, the reboot of Summerhill restaurant D Boca N Boca.

Catch up quick: Bernal opened the Georgia Avenue restaurant in 2022; not long after, online reviewers complained about the prices and not being served complimentary chips and salsa.

How it works: Chips are a carb-heavy loss leader that help pass the time while you wait on main dishes — and can make you even hungrier.

  • Their added cost to the restaurant — which is baked into the other items on the menu — comes with a potential trade-off: that customers will also order high-margin alcoholic drinks to address the salt-induced thirst.

The other side: Dos Burros, which opened in the Ford Factory on the Eastside Trail last year, charges $5 for chips and salsa.

  • Dos Burros co-owner Skip Engelbrecht tells Axios that "free chips and salsa don't pay Beltline rents," and the restaurant's customers have rarely voiced any offense.

📬 Reply to this email to tell us where you stand.

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3. 🏀 Hawks eye playoff berth through play-in tourney

Trae Young grabs his wrapped finger after drawing a foul against the Charlotte Hornets in his first game back from injury. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks weren't a good team this year, going 36-46, but they could still enter the playoffs.

State of play: If the Hawks beat the No. 9 Chicago Bulls then win against the loser of the No. 7 Philadelphia 76ers vs. No. 8 Miami Heat game, they'll earn the final spot.

Yes, but: That'll put the Hawks against the Boston Celtics, who had the NBA's best record this season.

Here are this season's notable Hawks stats.

  • 28: The number of games Young missed this season.
  • 120.5: How many points per game the Hawks gave up, near the highest in the league.
  • 3,868: Young set a new franchise record for most assists.

What's next: Atlanta takes on the Bulls Wednesday at 9:30pm (ESPN) in a win or go-home matchup.

See more numbers

4. Speaking of basketball...

Source: Graphic: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Tonight's WNBA draft will determine where collegiate stars like Iowa guard Caitlin Clark and LSU forward Angel Reese will land in their first seasons as pros.

Why this matters: It's unclear how Clark and Reese will perform in the WNBA.

Between the lines: The current college landscape is packed with young generational talent, like the freshmen who led Dawn Staley's squad to the national championship.

What we're watching: The Atlanta Dream received the No. 12 pick in the draft's first round.

  • ESPN will broadcast the draft at 7:30pm. Fans can stream it on ESPN+ or fubo.

What's next: The season begins May 14.

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Illustration: Andrew Caress/Axios

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5. Five-ish Points: Pullman Yards concerns

A United States Postal Service logo on a mailbox. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The rap world remembers the life and talent of Rico Wade, the Atlanta music producer who helped launch the careers of Outkast and others. (New York Times)

📬 The U.S. Senate will hold a hearing tomorrow to investigate the embattled Postal Service. (WSB-TV)

🗳️ Rep. Mike Collins espouses far-right Republican beliefs on social media when he isn't with constituents in person. (AJC)

🚘 A metro Atlanta-based program provides 14 hours of free driving lessons to refugee and immigrant women. (Associated Press)

👀 Residents who live near Pullman Yards are asking the city to address traffic and noise during events, including this weekend's SweetWater 420 Fest. (Decaturish)

😋 Kristal loves chips and salsa, but she discovered years ago that they taste so much better if you dip your chips in salsa and then queso!

🤤 Thomas will gladly pay good money for stellar chips and salsa.

🤗 Wil appreciates free chips and salsa. We pay for enough things already.

This newsletter was edited by Jen Ashley and copy edited by Caitlin Wolper and Anjelica Tan.