I have a workaround, but isn't ideal. If any links use the standard hash url then my app is broken, but it's fairly simple to use a query string parameter to send users to a specific view from a direct link.
After app init, I just navigate to that page:
initialView = helpers.queryString[
navigateTo = initialView + $(location).attr(
Instead of navigating after init, it works to set data-initial attribute on the pane as well. But my app currently loads different Phone/Tablet layouts, so "app.contentPane" will store the app (for phone view) or pane (for tablet view), which have similar methods. So this initial view code will work for me, but might need some tweaking for someone else's purposes.
But since #ViewName links break the app, I'd prefer a better supported solution. Or a way to disable the hash view routing that kendo has built-in, now that I use my own mechanism.