1st Asian American woman-owned bookstore in NYC reopens after fire

1st Asian American woman-owned bookstore in NYC reopens after fire
via @yuandmebooks / Instagram
Michelle De Pacina
By Michelle De Pacina
January 30, 2024
Yu & Me Books, the first Asian American woman-owned bookstore in New York City, has successfully reopened six months after suffering from a fire.
Back to business: The reopening of Yu & Me Books on Sunday saw a large crowd, including local authors and customers, who celebrated and welcomed the beloved store back. Since its inception in 2021, Yu & Me Books has been a haven for Asian Americans, who found a sense of community in the space that amplifies immigrant stories.
“It’s pretty overwhelming. It’s just really good to be back home,” owner Lucy Yu told NY1. “I’m so happy. I didn’t think I could still be standing.”
About the fire: The independent bookstore, located at 44 Mulberry Street in Manhattan’s Chinatown, was destroyed last Independence Day when a fire broke out in a residential unit above the business. The incident resulted in the loss of nearly all of the store’s inventory and equipment. 
Donations and rebuilding: Yu previously set up a GoFundMe campaign to recover costs. The campaign raised over $369,000, with notable contributions from actor Simu Liu and authors Celeste Ng and Min Jin Lee. While rebuilding the store, Yu opened a temporary location at the Market Line in the Lower East Side. 
With the original bookstore now repaired, Yu now maintains her mission of promoting stories by immigrants and people of color, along with author visits, artist pop-ups and community reading events.
 
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