Yu & Me Books Crowdfunds $330,000 Following Devastating Fire

Lucy Yu

The fire above Yu & Me Books

Beloved NYC bookstore Yu and Me Books, noted in particular for its engagement with Asian American writers, is bouncing back from huge fire damage following a generous response from the public.

Located in New York's Chinatown neighborhood, the fire on July 4 in a residential unit above the shop owned and run by Lucy Yu resulted in major water and smoke damage to the building and stock. Yu quickly began a GoFundMe fundraiser aiming to raise $150,000 but this was quickly reached and the ongoing total currently stands at $332,000, with novelist Celeste Ng among high profile names making donations (donations can still be made here).

The bookstore and café, which was founded nearly two years ago, lost the majority of its inventory and business equipment, closing it for the foreseeable future. The store will require a complete gut renovation which is estimated to take about a year to complete. A collective statement from the staff explained that money raised through the funding process will go towards staff wages
, pop up/temporary space, operating costs
, replacing all tech and POS systems
, replacing all damaged inventory
, pending/existing payments for destroyed inventory
, insurance deductibles
, accounting fees
, new furniture
, utilities
, and building an emergency fund for the year.