He was extremely beloved in the community and known for his efforts to save landmark establishments from closing in the area.

WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM)--Many in western Mass. are mourning the loss of Andy Yee. The well-known restauranteur and businessman died Thursday at the age of 59. He was extremely beloved in the community and known for his efforts to save landmark establishments from closing in the area.

Family members told Western Mass News us anyone who knew Andy Yee knows he had such pride for the community. He stepped in when the White Hut was forced to close last year during the pandemic and got the doors back open within months.

Andy Yee was not only known for the great businessman and restauranteur he was here in western Mass, but a beloved friend and family man to many. He was part of a team including Peter Picknelly saving the Fort Dining Room in Downtown Springfield, the Student Prince Cafe and of course, the White Hut here in West Springfield.

Yee was extremely devoted to his family’s Bean Restaurant Group as well. Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno was emotional earlier Friday remembering his longtime friend.

“Andy Yee, a talent and gentleman taken way, way too early from us. My family, especially my wife’s side, go way, way back with the Yee family when they started the historic fame Hu Ke Lau in the late ’60s. Ironically, Carla and I had the opportunity to see Andy yesterday with his family,” Mayor Sarno said.

Sarno said he received a call around 8:30 Thursday night with the devastating news. His family released a statement saying in part: “Anyone who knew Andy knew his laugh was contagious, his personality bigger than life, and he was always bursting with pride for his family and friends.”

Sarno added that Yee was just full of life and said he was always the guy who said “why not? Think big and do big.” Yee would have turned 60 next week.

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