By Ruth Bayang
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
An early morning fire on July 5 destroyed multiple businesses in White Center, including a brand new boba tea cafe that was set to have a grand opening later this month.
Sharon Lei, one of the owners of Nuggi Boba and Bingsu, told KIRO 7, “This is my first business… all my savings. I sold my car for this.”
Lei and Young Cho have created a GoFundMe page to help them rebuild their cafe.
Cho wrote, “We have been working tirelessly for months to bring the community of White Center something special to add to the multitude of other great locally owned businesses…. The shop is a complete loss, and it is heartbreaking to see everything disappear into ash and rubble.”
Cho added, “We wanted to create a safe space for all to come and be a part of, as our lives move forward from the pandemic.
Hopefully, with your help we will be able to rebuild, count our blessings and move forward with a community space to share our laughs and enjoy each other.”
The flames started in the basement of The Lumber Yard Bar and spread. Investigators believe it was accidental and not caused by fireworks.
In addition to The Lumber Yard Bar, White Center’s first LGBTQ bar, other businesses impacted include La Típica Oaxaqueña, a Mexican grocery store; Rat City Tattoo; and the Boxing Gym Westside. Nobody was injured.
King County Executive Dow Constantine visited the scene of the fire near 16th Avenue Southwest and Roxbury Avenue on the afternoon of July 5. Calling the incident “a blow to White Center,” Constantine said his office will work with business owners to identify grants and other assistance.
If you’d like to donate to help the cafe rebuild, go to https://bit.ly/36jAMVX
Ruth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.