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A week ago D.C. closed its restaurants and bars down to on-site dining, severely limiting their revenue earning potential. Some eateries are having more success than others as they focus their operations on take-out and delivery, which are permitted.

On Capitol Hill, Emilie’s chef and owner Kevin Tien reports an 80 percent drop in sales compared to a normal day of dine-in service. “Food is at a lower price point so our checkpoint is a lot lower,” he says. “We’re doing 2.5 times the normal amount of work for a quarter amount of original sales.”

Most hospitality industry businesses that are cranking out take-out and delivery orders are doing so with skeleton crews. Tien admitted to personally delivering food orders. Denizens Brewing Co. co-owner Julie Verratti is driving around Maryland neighborhoods dropping off beer and checking IDs through door cracks. 

Restaurants and bars have laid off most of their staff, with the hopes of rehiring them if they survive the economic blow of this public health crisis. In the meantime, they’ve been setting up online fundraisers to support their employees, even if they’re no longer on the payroll. 

One advantage of these fundraisers is restaurant owners can direct money to workers who are ineligible for benefits like unemployment. “This is an immediate way to provide support without delays, applications, and red tape,” says Sloppy Mama’s BBQ owner Joe Neuman. —Laura Hayes (tips? Email lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com)

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez:

  • At Tuesday’s press conference, Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered non-essential businesses like salons, barbershops, and tattoo shops to close. She also announces the launch of an education equity fund, where the public can donate money to close the digital divide. Approximately 30 percent of students do not have access to the internet or computers and remote learning starts today. [Twitter

  • As of March 23, 1,334 residents have been tested for COVID-19. The number of positive cases jumped significantly within a week’s time, from 22 to 137 as of Monday evening. The youngest individual to test positive is a 1-year-old female. It’s unclear where these cases are because, unlike New York City, D.C. government doesn’t provide geographical data. [EOM]  

  • There are 350 ICU beds and 400 ventilators and over 700,000 D.C. residents—are hospitals prepared for more COVID-19 infections? [WCP

  • D.C. is asking for volunteers to join its medical reserves to help with testing. [DCist]

  • Without school, the community works to keep young people safe. [Post]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Bowser, Maryland Gov. Hogan, and Virginia Gov. Northam stop short of shelter in place. [WAMU]

  • Here is their joint statement. [EOM]

  • Mayor Muriel Bowser dismissed AG Karl Racine’s call for a shelter-in-place order as politics. [Twitter]

  • Local cops patrol federal land as crowds can’t stay away from the cherry blossoms. [Post]

  • Northam cancels school for the rest of the academic year. [Times-Dispatch]

  • D.C. extends tax day to July 15. [Twitter]

  • The U.S. Attorney’s Office for D.C. is filing preemptive motions to keep DC Jail inmates locked up. [Twitter]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • These restaurants and bars are raising money for their laid off employees. [WCP]

  • Virginia restaurants and bars finally close to on-site dining, joining D.C. and Maryland. [Washingtonian]

  • That means the Inn at Little Washington is closed too. [Post]

  • How COVID-19 is ravaging restaurants, by the numbers. [Eater]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall(tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • A concert film saved a postponed Hirshhorn performance. [WCP]

  • There’s time enough at last for locals stuck at home. [DCist]

  • Maryland social workers co-wrote a children’s e-book answering coronavirus questions. [Washingtonian]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Sports fans are turning to esports to fill the void left by the cancelation of games due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. [WCP]

  • The 2020 Summer Olympics have been postponed to a date no later than summer of 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It will be the first time in modern Olympic history that the Games have been delayed by a health crisis. [USA Today]

  • Another quarterback is coming to D.C. The Washington NFL team traded with the Carolina Panthers for Kyle Allen in exchange for a fifth-round pick. [ESPN]

  • Dual-threat quarterback Caleb Williams, who will be a senior at Gonzaga College High School this fall, has narrowed his choices to five colleges, including Maryland. [247 Sports]

CITY LIGHTS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

We’re bringing you the best things to watch, read, make, and do from the comfort of your home while social distancing.

  • Seriously, don’t go to the Tidal Basin right now. Watch a live feed of peak bloom from home instead.

  • Take a trip back to the late ‘90s, the last time many of us felt truly safe, with Emergency & I

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