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Location: 6476 Washington St. & 6534 Washington St., Yountville

Owner and manager: Thomas Keller Management Group

Architecture: Ware Malcomb Architects (Ad Hoc) and A2 Studios (Bouchon Bakery)

Engineering: structural -- Structural Design Group; mechanical -- TEP Engineering; electrical -- JRA Electrical EngineersContractors and suppliers: general -- Ledcor Construction; electrical -- Napa Electric; concrete: North Coast Concrete; earthwork -- Engelke Construction; foodservice equipment -- Harrison Koellner; architectural woodwork -- Kirk Brown Wood Products; fire suppression -- Alpha Fire Suppression Systems; plumbing -- TriMyc Mechanical; HVAC -- Bell Products

YOUNTVILLE -- The renowned proprietor of The French Laundry, Per Se and Bouchon Restaurant and Bakery opened his fourth venue, called Ad Hoc, on Yountville’s Washington Street.

[caption id="attachment_66491" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Originally intended as a temporary gourmet comfort food eatery, Ad Hoc has been upgraded into an ongoing venture.[/caption]

Ad Hoc

Ad Hoc, which literally means “for this purpose,” fulfilled chef Thomas Keller’s desire to have a restaurant serving dishes inspired by the comfort food he enjoyed growing up, such as fried chicken, pot roast and beef stroganoff.

Originally intended as only a temporary enterprise, he decided to keep Ad Hoc open and make it a permanent fixture in Yountville, based on its popularity with local residents and visitors.

However, with that decision came the need to upgrade kitchen facilities and to increase the number of seats as well as enhance the dining area.

[caption id="attachment_66492" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Ad Hoc's kitchen[/caption]

On Jan. 2, Ledcor Construction Inc., along with its subcontractors, started the Ad Hoc renovation.

“The project was not just a simple face lift or a minor tenant improvement, the existing facility was completed demolished down to the bare soil and rebuilt within sixty days,” said Jeff Baptista, project manager with Ledcor.

Mr. Keller wanted the project finished by March 1, with its doors open and ready for the first paying dinner customers by March 15.

To meet this deadline, a complete demolition of the kitchen was planned, one that included recompacting subgrade soil along with constructing a new a foundation with underground plumbing and electrical service. 

An all-new wood frame building, with new roofing materials, insulation, drywall, tile floors and kitchen equipment surrounded the core infrastructure.

An expanded entrance area to the dining room was designed from the ground up. Old wood flooring was removed and replaced, the bar section was modified and the interior was repainted.

Extensive modifications were also made to outdoor utility spaces. The parking lot was restriped and received a fresh topcoat. Contemporary landscaping was added, and an upgraded electrical system installed.     

"In order to fulfill Mr. Keller’s vision and meet his time schedule, everyone on the construction, ownership and design team went the extra distance. On March 2, the Ledcor group turned the project over to the kitchen staff. Thomas Keller’s vision had been fulfilled,” Mr. Baptista said.

[caption id="attachment_66493" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Buchon Restaurant and Bakery, destroyed by fire, was remodeled and reopened.[/caption]

Bouchon Bakery

In late September 2011, fire swept through the oven and baking areas of the Bouchon Bakery but left the retail area undamaged. The day after the fire, representatives from the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group called Ledcor Construction and asked the firm to work closely with their design team to plan the reconstruction.

“He wanted to make the spaces work more efficiently as well as upgrade the building structure and install modern equipment. At the same time, the retail area would be reconfigured and updated,” Mr. Baptista of Ledcor said.

[caption id="attachment_66490" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Reconstructed interior of Buchon Bakery[/caption]

The widespread popularity of the bakery made it difficult for large numbers of patrons to enter and exit, so a new and wider entrance was another major goal for the retail area. Mr. Keller did not want to shut down the retail section until both the bakery and oven areas were refurbished.

In early November -- after design and permitting processes were in place -- the Ledcor team began reconstructing the bakery and oven areas, finishing both projects on schedule.

 The baking staff moved back into the renovated work area from the temporary location they had occupied nearby.  The retail area was then shut down and remodeled.

 The retail remodeling phase included extensive site work modifications including a new grease trap, sewer main and water line, while keeping the bakery operating and working around a PG&E high-pressure gas pipe that passed through the site.

 In late March, the retail area was completed and although no formal announcement of the reopening was made, the bakery was flooded with patrons on the first day of business, to the delight of owner and the staff.