Xi’an Famous Foods Raised Over $73K for Suicide Prevention to Honor Anthony Bourdain

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Today's a day of extreme sadness for us here at Xi'an Famous Foods. I've lost a dear friend today, and we mourn with the rest of the world. I remember the time in 2007 when Tony first visited our basement food stall in Flushing for Travel Channel's No Reservations while I was still in college (even though I didn't know who he was at the time). I remember my father preparing interesting off-menu dishes to get his opinion on when he visited our store. I remember years later in 2015 after interviewing together for an article, I approached Tony and told him, while he may have no idea what he has done for our family and business by simply saying he enjoyed the food, I wanted him to know it helped bring our family out from living in one room in Flushing to living the American dream. We were able to grow our business and provide great food for our guests, and opportunities for our employees. I looked at him in the eyes and said, this is something we will always be thankful for, Tony. And he simply replied, "I'm just calling out good food like it is, that's all." In honor of his memory and all of those dear people who left us all too early, and in taking whatever action we can to prevent suicide in the US, Xi'an Famous Foods will be donating 100% of our net sales on June 8, 2018, from all of our stores, to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK @800273talk. Please cherish all of our lives and help those who may be struggling. Rest in peace, Tony, and the most sincere condolences to Tony's beloved family. ~Jason Wang, CEO … [UPDATE 6/11/18: With your heartfelt support, along with the hard work of our store staff, we were able to serve almost double the amount of dishes as usual during dinner on Friday 6/8/18, with some stores selling out of items towards the end of the night. We were able to raise $73,509.76 (net sales) to donate to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline '1-800-273-TALK (8255)' to help their work in suicide prevention. Thank you for helping us with this tribute to our friend.]

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As a tribute to restaurant industry and media icon Anthony Bourdain, Xi’an Famous Foods has raised $73,509.76 for suicide prevention following Bourdain’s death. Xi’an, a mini-chain that sells Western Chinese fare, exploded in popularity due in large part to Bourdain’s support on his travel show No Reservations. Once a stall in Flushing, it now has 12 locations throughout New York City.

Co-owner Jason Wang says that sales almost doubled on Friday as fans poured in to show their support, and the Greenpoint location even ran out of food an hour before closing.

“I’ve received thank you’s from Tony’s fans and our guests alike, and as much as I appreciate their words, ultimately this is a tribute of thanks to our friend Tony who made it possible for us to achieve this at all,” Wang said in an email. “It is moving to see the amount of support people have shown, and it sure shows how many people loved Tony and how many of our fans found their way to us through Tony’s recommendation.”

On Friday, Wang penned a heartfelt tribute to Bourdain, writing in part:

I remember years later in 2015, after interviewing together for an article, I approached Tony and told him, while he may have no idea what he has done for our family and business by simply saying he enjoyed the food, I wanted him to know it helped bring our family out from living in one room in Flushing to living the American dream. We were able to grow our business and provide great food for our guests, and opportunities for our employees. I looked at him in the eyes and said, this is something we will always be thankful for, Tony. And he simply replied, “I’m just calling out good food like it is, that’s all.”

The money, raised from net sales on Friday, will go to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255).

Story by Stefanie Tuder @stefanietuder

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