Old Restaurant Site Leveled by Demolition Crew

Here's a video of a 16-ton excavator chewing up the Mills Restaurant building on Redwood Boulevard in downtown Novato.

The building went down as smoothly as the greasy omelettes that slid down your throat within those walls.

On Thursday morning a demolition crew chewed up and spat out the old restaurant that stood at 7330 Redwood Blvd. in downtown Novato — one that started life as a Denny's in the mid-1960s and ended life as Mills Restaurant last year.

A crew of four men, overseen by Novato-based Rempe Construction, started biting into the exterior of the Mills building at about 7:20 a.m. Thursday and expected to be finished in the early afternoon, according to Steve Rempe.

A retail complex will be constructed there, designed by the San Rafael architectural firm that drew up the new complex going up just a few feet to the north at 999 Grant Ave. That structure will be the home of Circle Bank, a restaurant and several other businesses.

Carole Bennett May 25, 2012 at 04:02 PM
I remember the sweet couple who leased that building and started their French restaurant. It was an excellent restaurant. I can recall her asking me in her delightful French accent, "What is this 'Denny's'? Why does everyone come in here asking if this is Denny's?" She did not realize that the architecture of the building would be frozen in people's minds as a less expensive place to eat and would never project the image she needed. Architecture with a heavily branded image will always have this problem. I think planning departments today are more aware of the the negative long term impact of buildings with such a specific brand. I am not sorry to see the building come down. I just hope we can learn by such building mistakes.
Eleanor Sluis May 25, 2012 at 05:36 PM
Brent, thanks for the photos of a machine at work. The World of Work is one of the sections of a social science study unit for the second or third grade students. I hope that teachers will use this video as a presentation of our changing world.
josh harris May 25, 2012 at 08:00 PM
I find it a bit sad that both the bank building and this restaurant had to be demolished, rather than dismantled...couldn't any of the structure or equipment been salvaged?...very likely it didn't make economic sense....but It still seems wasteful to me...
Daryle Taylor June 03, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Great job on the video Brent, I wanted to see the demo but missed it. This sure made up for it. Mr Harris, The building was gutted before it came down an I am sure some of the interior fixtures were salvaged. Also with new construction standards all the materials from the demo are sorted and sent to facilities for recycling and turned into new materials. Land fills are limited to most of these materials. I am excited for the new growth that is happening in our town. Construction has hit hard in the recent economy, these projects will aid in a comeback!
David Randolph July 18, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Good riddance for an ugly old building. Too bad the Shell station still stands nearby. It's one of the uglier stations anywhere around. And it's also unfortunate that the old church building wasn't imploded instead of being moved and rebuilt as the city hall—think of the money the city would have saved on that overblown project—kinda like the money they are going to blow on the city offices they just broke ground on.


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