People entered and perused through the new Yu and Me Books store during its grand reopening in Chinatown Sunday.

A fire, caused by the apartment directly downstairs, forced the bookstore to shut down in July.

“I’ve actually gotten chills speaking to some of the people here today,” said customer Jessica Lee.

What You Need To Know

  • Yu and Me Books reopened in its original spot on Mulberry Street Sunday

  • A fire had caused the store to close in July
  • Lucy Yu, the bookstore’s owner, had a temporary location on the Lower East Side before the store in Chinatown was able to reopen

  • People said they go to the store for the sense of community and focus on Asian American literature

“It’s pretty magical. I’ve seen this place change,” another customer Ray Buzeta said.

The woman behind the new changes is the owner, Lucy Yu.

“It’s pretty overwhelming. I’m joyful, but I don’t know, reflective. It’s just really good to be back home,” Yu said.

NY1 spoke to her after the fire tore through the store.

“To walk in after the fire and see so much that’s destroyed is heartbreaking,” Yu said last July.

The store opened in 2021 and is well respected, as Yu believes she is the only Asian female in the city to own a bookstore. The store also shines a spotlight on Asian American authors.

“It’s where people can gather and share and address the Asian American diaspora and issues related to Asian American people,” customer Tom Chen said.

While under construction, the store had a temporary location on the Lower East Side.

“Seeing the new space brought to life is reminding me of all the happiness and joy and community this space brings,” Buzeta said.

And community is part of the reason the store made it back — a GoFundMe raised more than $350,000 to help the store reopen. Something that Yu is very grateful for.

“I’m so happy. I didn’t think I could still be standing,” Yu said.