Demolition is Finally Starting on the New 12th Ave Grill

Kevin Hanney finally gets his SBA loan and starts demo at Victoria Inn.

Editor’s note: This is the sixth installment of a series, following Kevin Hanney as he moves 12th Ave Grill into the former Victoria Inn space. 

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The walls between Victoria Inn's dining room and bar area have been broken down.


Last week, Kevin Hanney hit two major milestones for the new 12th Ave Grill: Signing the papers for his SBA loan (which will finance 65 percent of the $1 million project) and demolition at Victoria Inn.


On the loan: It took 15 months from when Hanney started the process to finally get the money. “But I don't feel so bad … Thomas Keller said [in a Stanford School of Business speech] it took him 18 months to scrape up the money for French Laundry," Hanney says.

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In the kitchen


On breaking ground: He started the permit process to begin construction in January and received all the final permits two weeks ago. “It wasn't this horrible nightmare that you hear about. The first eight weeks of that was working with the architects and engineers to figure out exactly what I wanted. After that, the permit process didn't take that long to get through.”

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The back kitchen. The entire hood and ventilation system will have to be ripped out.


Hanney now spends a lot of his time at Victoria Inn, overseeing the demolition process, “making sure they're not knocking down the wrong walls … Demo was supposed to take a week and it's been two. So two weeks into it and they're already a week behind!”

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What's left of the walk-in refrigerator.


Naive of me to ask, perhaps, but isn’t there a full-time contractor on the project? Why does he need to supervise demolition? “It's like when you're a cook or a chef, and you try to tell someone what you want, you have a clear picture of what it is, and they seem to have a clear picture of what it is. But you’re not actually talking about exactly the same thing. It’s the same with construction.”


Case in point: When we tour the Victoria Inn space, walls and fixtures that are to be torn down are marked with green spray paint. Everything that stays is marked with red. Shelves, sprayed with green, are no longer there.

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The place is currently dirty and dusty and chaotic. It’ll be fun to see how it shapes up over the coming months. The original open date, June 1, has now been pushed back to September 1.