comscore Award-winning 12th Ave Grill in Kaimuki to close Jan. 16 | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Award-winning 12th Ave Grill in Kaimuki to close Jan. 16

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / 2020
                                12th Ave Grill owners Kevin Hanney and Denise Luke reopened in 2020 with new seating arrangements in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / 2020

    12th Ave Grill owners Kevin Hanney and Denise Luke reopened in 2020 with new seating arrangements in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

After 18 years in Kaimuki, 12th Ave Grill will close its doors following dinner service on Sunday, Jan. 16.

Owners Kevin and Denise Hanney posted a letter to customers on social media, thanking them and informing them that its focus would now be on Koko Head Cafe, which will take over the location at 1120 12th Ave. in February.

“As we all know the last two years have been a wild ride for all, but especially for those of us in the restaurant business,” said the Hanneys in the letter. “It has led us to much reflection about our work, life and what is most important to us. This has led Denise and I to make the difficult decision to close 12th Ave Grill.”

“Although the challenges of the pandemic and staffing are not entirely without consequence in our decision, this is not a pandemic tragedy, but a natural evolution,” they continued in their letter. “12th Ave Grill grew from (its) cozy, 56 seat location to our current larger space over eight years ago. We thrived with our loyal regulars and enjoyed new ones too with our expanded bar and events spaces. We loved celebrating your birthdays, anniversaries and holidays with you and supporting our local farmers, ranchers and community too!”

Koko Head Cafe is currently located around the corner at 1145C 12th Ave.

The Hanneys said they also plan to reopen a takeout concept, chopchop rotiserrie, in Waikiki.

Many Hawaii restaurants have struggled to pay rent during the pandemic, and some have had to pivot quickly, with some switching to takeout full-time or a hybrid of the two.

Last March, the 12th Ave Grill & DeliCafe debuted, featuring a deli counter with grab-and-go items in what was once a private dining room, according to a Star-Advertiser review.

The restaurant in 2019 was awarded a Star-Advertiser ‘Ilima Award for its strengths as “an upscale bistro that aims high.”

More than 100 Hawaii restaurants closed permanently last year due to struggles with the pandemic, according to the Hawaii Restaurant Association.

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