From bangers to bratwurst: McLadden’s to make way for Wurst Haus

  • The space at 27 Pleasant St. in Northampton that formerly housed McLadden's will soon become the Wurst Haus. STAFF PHOTO/BERA DUNAU

Staff Writer
Published: 11/25/2019 4:54:01 PM

NORTHAMPTON — McLadden’s Northampton location closed last week. When the spot next opens, it will be Wurst Haus, a spinoff of the iconic Springfield German restaurant the Student Prince.

“We are doing a complete refurbishment,” said Andrew Yee, principal managing partner of the Bean Restaurant Group, which bought the chain of Irish pubs in 2018 in partnership with the Vann and Picknelly families. The other two locations are in West Hartford and Simsbury, Connecticut. Michael Ladden, the chain’s original founder, as well as a partner and the beverage director of the Bean Restaurant Group, will play a financial role at the Northampton Wurst Haus location.

The partners also purchased the Student Prince Cafe and Fort Restaurant in 2014.

Two years later, they opened the Wurst Haus, a food stall, at the Big E, which Yee said has been “wildly, wildy popular.”

The Student Prince first opened as an all-men’s club in 1935. German immigrant and longtime employee Rupprecht Scherff became a co-owner of the restaurant in 1961 and ran it until he died in 1996. He was the “heart and soul” of the place, according to the restaurant’s website.

McLadden’s began leasing its 27 Pleasant St. location in 2012. Before that, the space housed the famed Pleasant Street Theater, a mecca for independent film in the Pioneer Valley.

Yee said that while McLadden’s was doing well in Northampton, converting it to the Wurst Haus would bring a unique brand to Northampton, while offering food not currently represented in the city.

“We know what venues bode well in the community,” Yee said.

He noted that the other two McLadden’s locations, in Connecticut, will stay McLadden’s, and the original Wurst Haus will continue to be part of the Big E.

Yee said that managers at the Northampton restaurant currently are being retrained, while all former McLadden’s employees will have the opportunity to reapply to work at the Wurst Haus, although Yee described the application as a “formality.”

An opening date has yet to be set, but Yee said that there will be a soft opening in December before Christmas. For the grand opening, Yee said that instead of a ribbon-cutting, a link of bratwurst will be cut.

“It should be an event for the city of Northampton,” he said.

Bera Dunau can be reached at


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