Our Story

Chef/Owner Kevin Hanney

Chef/Owner Kevin Hanney’s dedication to fresh, seasonal cooking began in his native upstate New York at Wild Wind Farms, often known as one of the original farm-to-table, organic farms. His love for the qualities of ripe, seasonal, local ingredients was galvanized by the culinary movements in California as the house caterer for many Central Coast wine makers including David Bruce and Stephen Storrs. Hanney’s 35 years of experience include creating as a private chef in the Mediterranean and owning-running his own successful film catering company before finding the perfect location in Kaimuki neighborhood for his first brick and mortar restaurant.

As Chef/Owner of 12th Ave Grill and owner with Chef/Partner of Koko Head Cafe~Island Style Brunch House, Hanney’s commitment to sustainable practices and the contemporary expression of American cooking is a consistently bold articulation of the best of Hawaii’s farms and ranches.

Executive Chef

Jason Schoonover

Chef J has led his team to 14 Hale Aina Awards. He has previously earned the Executive Sous Chef position in the kitchen of James Beard Award winning Chef Roy Yamaguchi at the flagship “Roy’s” on Oahu. He honed his culinary skills at international events cooking side by side with celebrated Chefs like Tetsuya Wakuda and Nobu Matsuhisa but credits his love for natural flavors to being raised in his Mother and Grandmother’s kitchens. Chef J consistently seeks new flavors and ingredients by visiting the islands’ tropical growers and sampling the spectrum of new foods being cultivated now especially for chefs committed to the new movement of innovation with tropical and native sources locally. He takes time to teach his skills of butchery and hand crafting sauces to the next generation of chefs by mentoring many culinary students in our kitchens and often teaching specialized classes like lamb butchery at the local culinary college. Schoonover was hand-selected to be a part of this year’s Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, a prestigious annual culinary event showcasing the island’s finest chefs.

Executive Sous Chef/ Kitchen Manager              Ryan Durham



Durham has over 17 years of culinary experience ranging from family style to fine dining restaurants. He has served as Executive Chef for The Plaza Club and Sarento’s at the Top of the Ilikai. He operates our on-site catering events ensuring that each plate is presented to the guest in a flawless manner. In addition, Durham serves as our Sous Chef working directly under Chef J. Durham is responsible for planning and directing food preparation in our kitchen as well as providing incentives for his staff members to go above and beyond expectations. He also conceptualizes and oversees our weekly Sunday Supper offering

Wine Director

Rick Lilley                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Rick is Wine Director & Certified Sommelier garnering the People's Choice Best Wine Program 2017 Hale Aina Award.  His depth of knowledge extends from viticulture, harvest, wine making, blending to educating and pairing.  Travels with the Kermit Lynch team on the famous Wine Route, buying for 12th Ave Grill, inform and enrich every selection and pairing he and Chef J. create.  Rick's intuitive blending skills allow him to perfect wines specifically for 12th Ave Grill's bold flavors with much acclaimed Tyler and Neyers Wineries.  He assisted Master Sommelier, Patrick Okubo, in the preparation and presentation of the Certified & Advance Level Sommelier classes which took place at 12th Ave Grill in 2015.  

Mixologist                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Ben Flores

Ben Flores has immersed himself in a select few acclaimed bars and restaurants from Montana to Oahu alike. From the posh cafes of Missoula, Montana, to his current position here at Honolulu’s 12th Avenue Grill, Flores has collaborated and worked alongside a variety of award-­winning and diverse list of chefs and bartenders, absorbing a wealth of influence and knowledge which he uses in creating original and compelling cocktails.

Known for his sense of humor and warming hospitality behind the bar, Flores enjoys educating guest and self alike in cocktail culture, with drinks that are simultaneously playful and satisfying. His mantra is simple:­ “Palpable Obscurity. Create with passion beverages of unique components which thrive on their own as well as accentuate the overall dining experience.” At 12th Avenue Grill, Flores’s beverage program is inspired by the diversity of the individual palate and he has created a list that offers unique flavors associated with such endless possibilities.