Charleston restaurateur, Andrew D. H. Chin, 82, of Charleston, WV, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving wife, Susanna, and his family, on October 22, 2023, at The Hubbard Hospice House in Charleston.
Andrew, or to many “Mr. Chin” or “Papa Chin”, a restaurant pioneer in many respects, was born on September 13, 1941, in Canton, China, and then lived in Hong Kong until 1963, when he immigrated to the United States with his parents at the age of 22. He graduated high school in Hong Kong and pursued a degree in chemistry at West Virginia State College, but given his father’s ailing health, left college to take on managing the family’s restaurant (the second Chinese restaurant in Charleston, initially located near the Quarrier Diner). Andrew’s grandfather, Sam Q. A. Chin, owned and operated the New China Restaurant in Huntington, WV, one of the state’s first Chinese restaurants.
In 1971, Andrew returned to Hong Kong to marry his bride, Susanna, and resided there for a year before returning to Charleston.
Upon returning to West Virginia, he continued to oversee and manage the family restaurant business, then located in Charleston’s East End neighborhood, until 1976 when he and Susanna opened their first restaurant (and one of Parkersburg’s first full-service Chinese restaurants), the Golden Dragon in downtown Parkersburg, WV, located on Market Street. Andrew and Susanna opened their first Kanawha Valley restaurant in the late 1970s, the Golden Dragon in South Charleston, which at the time was the first and only Chinese / Asian restaurant in the City of South Charleston, WV, (in the building currently occupied by the Asian grocery store). The couple relocated the Golden Dragon to St. Albans, WV, in 1980, and in 1982, rebranded the St. Albans location as the Wai-Kiki Restaurant, which closed in the fall of 1985. On December 26, 1985, Andrew and Susanna opened Chin’s Restaurant in Kanawha City, which quickly became a Charleston institution for Chinese cuisine in the Kanawha Valley until the Chins’ retirement in September of 2021. During the 1980s and ‘90s, the Chins also operated fast-casual eateries in downtown Charleston, the Magic Wok on Quarrier Street (which is now the back portion of a local law firm), and at the Kanawha Mall food court, Chin’s Orient Express.
Multiple generations of Charlestonians grew up going to Chin’s Restaurant and Andrew’s other restaurants, and “Mr. Chin” always warmly greeted everyone that came into the restaurant and often times knew their exact order. During his 50-plus years of operating restaurants in Wild, Wonderful, West Virginia, to Andrew, every customer was a part of the extended Chin family.
An avid sports fan and loyal Mountaineer, Andrew always enjoyed sharing game highlights with many of the patrons when they dined at Chin’s. Andrew lived the “American Dream” and leaves behind a remarkable legacy as a Chinese immigrant, but more importantly, he leaves behind a community of friends who were fortunate to have been touched by his kindness and compassion.
A beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother-in-law and uncle, Andrew is survived by his wife of 52 years, Susanna; his children, Eleanor Chin of Charleston, WV, Gordon Chin of Washington, DC, Nelson Chin (Kathy) of Winfield, WV, and Nancy Chin-Wickert (Michael) of Cincinnati, OH; his two grandchildren, Leah and Landen Chin; his in-laws, Peter and Anna Ng of St. Albans, WV, and John and Amy Ng of Charleston, WV; his nieces and nephews, Joseph Ng of St. Albans, WV, Teresa Ng (Patrick Robrecht) of Columbus, OH, and Thomas Ng (Nicole McEvoy) of Northern Virginia, and Andrew’s siblings and their respective families & cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, an older brother, and his grandparents.
Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, November 4, 2023, at Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home, 1118 Virginia Street East, Charleston, WV, with Rev. Dr. Todd Wright, Village Chapel, officiating. Burial will be at Sunset Memorial Park, South Charleston, WV.
Friends may call on the family from 11:00 to 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Friday, November 3, 2023, at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial donations, in loving memory of Andew D. H. Chin, be made to Hubbard Hospice House, 1001 Curtis Price Way, Charleston, WV 25311 (www.hospicecarewv.org) or United Way of Central West Virginia, 1 United Way Square, Charleston, WV 25301 (www.unitedwaycwv.org).
If you do wish to send an arrangement, the family recommends local florist, Food Among The Flowers, as they are acquainted with chinese funeral customs. www.foodamongtheflowers / 304-345-7994.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.barlowbonsall.com.
Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.