Boba shop owner’s life savings gone after fire destroys multiple businesses in Seattle

boba shop

One of the owners of a bubble tea cafe in White Center was devastated after losing her entire life savings to a fire that torched multiple businesses on July 5.

What happened: The fire started around 1:40 a.m. near the corner of 16th Ave SW and Roxbury Street in Seattle and was contained the following morning, according to Eater.


  • Among the affected businesses were the popular LGBTQ+ venue Lumber Yard Bar, dive bar Dottie’s Double Wide, the Mexican grocery store La Tipica Oaxaqueña and the soon-to-open boba tea cafe Nuggi Boba and Bingsu, Northwest Asian Weekly reported.
  • The fire broke out in the basement of The Lumber Yard Bar before spreading to nearby businesses. Nobody was injured in the incident, which investigators believe was an accident and not caused by fireworks.

Lost everything: Sharon Lei, one of the owners of the cafe, told KIRO7 the store was her “first business” and that she had to sell her car to open it.

  • Nuggi Boba and Bingsu was supposed to have its grand opening later this month.
  • Despite the incident, Lei is still determined to open her store. “I’m still excited to make people happy, still excited to provide good quality,” the 24-year-old recent University of Washington graduate said. “The more I’m talking about it — I’m so excited — but I’m so sad.”
  • Lei and Young Cho, another owner of the boba tea shop, set up a GoFundMe to help them rebuild their cafe. It has raised over $22,000 of its $40,000 goal as of this writing.

Featured Image via KIRO7

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