Major Setback: Blue Rock Disrupts Construction at the New 12th Ave Grill

Breaking up the blue rock to install any underground utilities has made the work take ten times as long as planned.

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.


“Welcome to my nightmare,” says Kevin Hanney when we step into Victoria Inn/the new 12th Ave Grill. There are about a dozen guys inside, sparks are flying from welding the new hood and there’s a lot of banging. Hammering sounds like a dripping faucet compared to the noise that was going on.


12th Ave Grill
The front of Victoria Inn


In the month since we last checked in with Hanney, Victoria Inn has gotten new drainage and plumbing underground, new concrete floors and new electrical wiring above. The biggest setback was discovering blue rock underneath Victoria Inn. It’s a hard rock; breaking it up to install any underground utilities has made the work take ten times as long as planned. The hardest part: putting in the 1,000 gallon underground grease trap. The original plan was to dig a hole for it in two days; it’s now been two weeks of jackhammering solid rock.


12th Ave Grill
Left: Kevin Hanney peering into the pit for the grease trap; right: the yoga studio dictates ceiling work


“I never want to see another rock in my life,” says Hanney.


Minor compared to the rock are the yoga studio restrictions. Right above Victoria Inn is a yoga studio; the contractors have posted the half-hour to two-hour increments of time during which ceiling work can be done, so as not to disturb classes above.

  12th Ave Grill

The back kitchen


But inside Victoria Inn, most of the heavy-duty stuff is over, and things are taking shape quickly. The hood and duct that will go three floors up to the roof seems to be the biggest project left.


The only things remaining of the old space are the set of glass-etched double doors that will lead into the new private dining room, the front-line hood, and a dishwasher, which Hanney estimates to be only a few years old. He says dishwashers are so expensive to buy that, if he hadn’t inherited this one, he probably would have leased one for $150 a month.

  12th Ave Grill

The booths Hanney has ordered (the chairs will be different). 


Then there are the little things: Hanney has put in orders for dishes, small kitchen wares and furniture—the new 12th Ave Grill will keep the cozy-booth style seating, but ditch the patterns for a sleeker look.