The Internet rallied last week, both financially and emotionally, around Pi Dan Noodle House, a crowdfunding project intended as a tribute to its late owner, first-time restaurateur Allison Chen. Chen, 28, was set to open the casual uptown Oakland noodle spot this summer when she passed away unexpectedly just two weeks ago. Despite raising $23,475 of their $75,000 goal, Chen's business partner William Lo and boyfriend Jameson Tyler were asked by her parents to call the campaign to a halt.
"After a week of broadening public support and media coverage that have surpassed our expectations, Allison's family requested that we separate her story from the business because Allison was a very private person," Lo said in an e-mail. "Because our main motivation for continuing Pi Dan was to honor Allison's memory and vision, after much thought and consideration, the team has decided to discontinue the project." He also asks that Chen's grieving parents not be questioned for the decision: "Allison's memory will forever live with her friends and family, and we ask that the family's wishes for privacy during this sensitive time be respected." All money donated to the campaign will be refunded at its conclusion on April 14.
· Late Restaurateur's Friends Are Crowdfunding Her Dream [~ ESF ~]
· Pi Dan Noodle House [Indiegogo]