Andy Yee, partner of West Hartford’s Union Kitchen and Wurst Haus, has passed away – We-Ha

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Andy Yee, co-owner of the Bean Restaurant Group, passed away on Thursday, May 27.

By Ronni Newton

Andy Yee is remembered Friday for his laughter and his always positive attitude.

Yee, the co-owner with his brother, Edison, of Bean Restaurant Group, died Thursday just 10 days before his 60th birthday.

The Massachusetts-based Bean Restaurant Group, in partnership with Peter Picknelly, CEO of Peter Pan Bus Lines, and Chef / Partner Zach Shuman, own Union Kitchen and Wurst Haus in West Hartford.

A toast at the grand opening of Wurst Haus West Hartford on March 31, 2021. Left to right: Scott Dolch, Mayor Shari Cantor, Zach Shuman, Peter Picknelly, Andy Yee and Edison Yee. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (file photo we-ha.com)

The Yee family also owns, alone or in partnership, several restaurants in Massachusetts, including Wurst Haus in Northampton, The Student Prince in Springfield, Johnny’s Tavern in Amherst, Johnny’s Bar and Grill in South Hadley, Iya Sushi and Noodle Kitchen in Amherst. and South Hadley, Johnny’s Roadside Grill in Hadley, The Boathouse in South Hadley, The Halfway House in South Hadley, Johnny’s Tap Room in South Hadley and White Hut in West Springfield.

“It is with great sadness that we announce that our brother, Andy Yee passed away on Thursday, May 27, 2021,” the Yee family said in a statement Friday.

“Anyone who knew Andy knew his laughter was infectious, his personality larger than life, and he was always full of pride for his family and friends. Our family appreciates your support and privacy during this time. “

Yee was in West Hartford as recently as late March, attending the “sausage cut” which celebrated the opening of Wurst Haus, the German themed restaurant that replaced McLadden’s on LaSalle Road.

He said he was delighted to bring award-winning German cuisine paired with a wide selection of European beers to West Hartford. “The pandemic gave us the opportunity to rename this restaurant,” Yee said at the opening.

“We want to build a community and know that the restaurant will provide a fun and relaxed atmosphere where people can come together for dinner and to raise a bunch of beer,” he said.

Andy Yee of Bean Restaurant Group with Kenny, captain of the Philadelphia Aqua String Band Mummers outside. Union Kitchen in West Hartford. March 16, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

“Andy and I have worked side by side for the last seven years of my career with BRG,” Shuman said on Friday.

“He always pushed me to do more. He was like an uncle to me, and I believe I am where I am today because of him and his family! Always laughing, never negative, I saw the positive in any situation, ”he said.

Shuman recalled many fond memories of drinks after work with Yee and trips to Chicago, Boston, New York, Orlando and elsewhere.

“A true legend of the industry!” he added.

Kristen Fritz and Jeannette Dardenne, owners of Eat IN Connecticut, also reflected on Yee’s passing on Friday and its impact on the restaurant industry.

“We are saddened to learn of the passing of our friend and colleague Andy Yee – one of the most generous, intelligent and energetic people we have had the opportunity to work with,” they said. “His passion for living your best life was contagious. He leaves behind a legacy with Bean Restaurant Group, a legacy that we know will thrive for years to come, perpetuating Andy’s enthusiastic spirit, larger than life personality and ‘Think Big – Go Big’ mentality. ‘. Our hearts and prayers are with the Picknellys, Yees and the entire Bean Group team throughout this difficult time.

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