TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday updates; 35th SW blocked for pole problem

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:12 AM: Good morning – no incidents in/from West Seattle so far. Two reminders:

FAUNTLEROY WAY SPEED LIMIT: The stretch between SW Alaska and California SW is now 30 mph, with signage installed on Saturday as SDOT said it would be.

FERRY SUBSTITUTION: M/V Tillikum is taking the place of M/V Sealth on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth state-ferry run today; its capacity is 87 vehicles, while Sealth’s is 90.

7:06 AM: Crash partly blocking the right lane in NB 1st Ave. So. Bridge.

7:35 AM: WSDOT says that has cleared.

8:35 AM: If you’re headed southbound on 35th from the Triangle or anyplace northbound, you will be diverted at Alaska. A power pole is about to fall over – apparently just rotted through its base, according to SPD, which has the road blocked for about half a block at Alaska until City Light can take care of it.

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CONGRATULATIONS! WSHS tuba player headed for state competition

West Seattle High School music director Ethan Thomas sends word tonight of a student’s big achievement:

Maxwell Lemke (junior at West Seattle High School) placed at the top of his division at the Elliott Bay Regional Solo and Ensemble competition at SPU on Saturday. He performed the tuba solo “Beelzebub” by Andrea Catozzi, accompanied by senior Will Sullivan on piano. He will now advance to the State competition at Central Washington University in April. Both Maxwell and Will are strong members of the West Seattle High School music program and are involved in band, orchestra, jazz ensemble, and perform in the pit orchestra for our school musicals.

Maxwell’s father recorded the video during the division-winning performance.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Truck stuck at 42nd/Holly in Morgan Junction

9:53 PM: Just got a text from someone at 42nd SW and SW Holly in Morgan Junction, saying that a semi-truck “tried to make the turn here and is stuck blocking the road. Need to get the word out to neighbors to move their parked cars; don’t think it’s going to be able to move otherwise.” People are going door to door, but in case you’re in the area (or headed that way), they asked us to share the alert too.

10:20 PM: Tipster (who also provided the photo – thank you!) reports a neighbor moved their car and the truck is no longer stuck.

West Seattle development: Townhouse plan for 3062 SW Avalon Way, once planned for 100+ apartments

The newest development plans on SW Avalon Way are for nine 3-story townhouses on each of two adjacent parcels, one of which was previously proposed for a 7-story, 100+-apartment building. The sites are 3062 SW Avalon Way and 3070 SW Avalon Way, which county records show were bought together for $1.4 million this week by Isola Homes.

The city file for each site shows an early-stage plan for three rows of three 3-story townhouses, with each of those nine-townhouse clusters having seven parking spaces along the alley to the north. The previous plan for 100+ apartments at 3062 SW Avalon Way, under different ownership, idled after one Design Review meeting in 2012. The new proposals are described in the city files as candidates for what the city calls Streamlined Design Review, which does not require public meetings but does have opportunities for public comment. Watch for those when the formal applications are filed for 3062 and 3070, which currently hold a duplex and 6-unit apartment building, both built in the 1950s.

These proposals do not involve an adjacent site that had been proposed for an ~100-unit apartment building, 3078 Avalon, which has separate ownership and was caught up in an appeal filed by a neighborhood group; a quick check of that file shows the most recent document activity back in September, and we’re still looking into that project’s status.

In case you wondered about ‘assault with weapons’ call

Thanks to those who called/e-mailed to ask about the “assault with weapons” call on the 911 log for 59th and Admiral. We just talked to the last officer who was about to leave the scene. He says it was called in as two men attacking a third on the sidewalk just southeast of the intersection; when they arrived, they found the person who was the alleged victim, but he was “noncooperative,” not in need of treatment, and left.

High-school basketball postseason: First games

The regular season for high-school basketball is over and the postseason is about to begin.

The first Metro League tournament games are on the schedule for the varsity teams from West Seattle High School and Chief Sealth International High School.

GIRLS

*WSHS plays at 7:30 pm Wednesday (February 10th) at Nathan Hale HS (10750 30th NE), vs. winner of tomorrow’s Cleveland-Roosevelt game

*CSIHS plays at 7 pm Tuesday (February 9th), at Eastside Catholic HS (232 228th Ave SE, Sammamish), vs. ECHS

BOYS

*WSHS plays at 7 pm tomorrow (February 8th) at O’Dea (802 Terry), vs. O’Dea

*CSIHS plays at 7 pm Tuesday (February 9th) at home (2600 SW Thistle), vs. Roosevelt

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West Seattle’s only private high school, Seattle Lutheran, also is sending basketball teams to the playoffs, but opponents, locations, and times aren’t set yet – only the date: Next Saturday (February 13th) is when the SLHS boys and girls both will play their first games.

Super Bowl Sunday sunset: West Seattle views

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Thanks to Jim Spraker (above) and James Bratsanos (below) for sharing their views of the spectacular Super Bowl Sunday sunset (via editor@westseattleblog.com), knowing you might have missed it if you were watching the game without a westward view nearby.

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We photographed it too – here’s our view via Instagram:


Might be a few more ahead – the forecast includes sunshine for at least the next few days!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Celebrate Tết at Vietnamese Cultural Center in West Seattle

(WSB photo from 2013 celebration at Vietnamese Cultural Center)

Looking ahead to next Sunday – you’re invited to a New Year celebration at the Vietnamese Cultural Center in West Seattle. From Lee Bui and Lynda Bui:

The Vietnamese Cultural Center would like to invite the community to our Tết Celebration for the Year of the Monkey. We will have lion dancing and fireworks. Afterwards there will be light refreshments and karaoke inside.

12 pm-3 pm Sunday, February 14th – 2236 SW Orchard St.

If you haven’t been to the VCC – here’s some backstory from the WSB archives.

VIDEO: Seattle’s Civic Poet tells story of her ‘long journey’ at Southwest Youth and Family Services

You might have missed the chance this past Thursday night to hear an extraordinary West Seattleite tell her story.

Seattle’s first-ever Civic Poet, Claudia Castro Luna, headlined the quarterly Community Conversation gathering at Southwest Youth and Family Services in North Delridge. As SWYFS’s executive director Steve Daschle explained in the introduction, much of the nonprofit’s work is with immigrants and refugees, “helping them access resources and support to be successful, (with) a fabulous staff of advocates who come from the communities they’re serving.”

Take some time and listen to Castro Luna’s story of “An Immigrant’s Journey,” which we recorded on video. She arrived in the US from El Salvador in 1981, as her family fled civil war “that really destroyed the country … nobody was safe in El Salvador.” She landed in Miami on a Saturday morning, and started 10th grade there the following Monday, though she spoke no English then. What ensued was “a long journey to the place where I wanted to be,” including multiple careers. “Through the writing, I’ve come to understand my own story,” she told those who gathered to listen after complimentary dinner served by SWYFS. They also heard from members of Cambodian, Somali, and Mexican families assisted by SWYFS, which offers multiple volunteer opportunities.

Spring sports on the way! West Seattle Girls Softball registration time

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(Photo courtesy West Seattle Girls Softball)

As winter sports wrap up, it’s time to gear up for spring sports – including softball! Meg Simmons from West Seattle Girls Softball shares the news that signups are happening now:

West Seattle Girls Softball is a local nonprofit recreational league for all girls ages 6-15. No previous softball experience necessary. Registration is open through February. Skills and drills clinics offered in March, with regular practices begin in late March. Season wraps up by the end of the school year. Go to westseattlegirlssoftball.com to register.

Datapoint: WSGS was founded in 1999.

West Seattle Sunday: What else is super today

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It was a super sunrise – vivid pinks to the east, reflected – as you see in the panorama sent by John Kalinoski – on the Olympic Mountains to the west. Here’s what’s up for the rest of your Super Bowl Sunday, besides the game (which starts at 3:30 pm):

FARMERS’ MARKET: Looking for local treats for your game-day party? Or next weekend’s Valentine celebration? The market in the street is open 10 am-2 pm as always. (California SW between SW Alaska and SW Oregon)

SUPER PETS: You might find a new furry friend at the Seattle Humane MaxMobile, visiting the Farmers’ Market today, 10 am-2 pm. Look for the big bright-yellow van, likely toward the south end. (California/Alaska)

OPEN HOUSE: Little Pilgrim School, the preschool at Fauntleroy Church, has an open house 11 am-1:30 pm today. (9140 California SW)

POKEMON TRAINING CAMP: Noon-3 pm at Meeples Games (WSB sponsor), no experience necessary – info in our calendar listing. (3727 California SW)

IVAR’S STORY: The Southwest Seattle Historical Society tells us you’d better arrive at the West Seattle (Admiral) Library Branch right at opening time, 1 pm, if you want to snag a seat for Paul Dorpat‘s 1:30 pm photo-history presentation about Ivar Haglund – it’s free, but space is limited. Here’s our preview. Right after the presentation, around 3 pm, head to SWSHS’s Log House Museum for a guided tour of the Ivar exhibit; the museum’s open until 4 pm. (Library’s at 2306 42nd SW; museum’s at 61st SW/SW Stevens)

SUPER SWIM: Before the game, go in the pool – $2 family swim at Southwest Pool, 2 pm-3 pm. (2801 SW Thistle)

SUPER MUSIC: “Folk troubadour” Joe Kaplow is live at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 3-5 pm. (5612 California SW)

SUPER BOWL SUNDAY NOTE: Some West Seattle establishments that aren’t showing the game traditionally take advantage of the chance for a break and close on Super Bowl Sunday. We don’t have a list but have seen a mention here and there around social media, so keep it in mind and check before you go.

HAPPENING NOW: West Seattle Beach Run 2016

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Thanks to Bonnie for texting the photo to our hotline (206-293-6302)! The 2016 West Seattle Beach Run is on. It’s a 25K/50K “fun run” formerly known as the West Seattle Fat Ass. Runners are going from Lincoln Park to Seacrest Park and back if they’re doing the 25K, twice for the 50K (no road closures – this is on sidewalks/paths). Proceeds after expenses are going to the White Center Food Bank.

CONGRATULATIONS! Westside School 8th-grade boys win basketball championship

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Thanks to Meg Simmons for photos from the big game: In its first-ever postseason play, Westside School‘s 8th-grade boys basketball team has won the CYO championship, defeating St. Edward this evening, 54-39.

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This season marked not only the first championship won by Westside, but also the first time it’s played in a championship game, and the first time it’s won a postseason game!

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To get to the finals tonight at Bishop Blanchet, the Wolves defeated St Francis in the quarterfinals last Saturday 44-32, and then beat archrival Holy Rosary last Sunday, 55-46.

VIDEO: West Seattle dog to compete at Westminster; searching for room to run

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(WSB photos and video unless otherwise credited)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

One week from tonight, you might find yourself cheering for a West Seattle dog in a televised competition that precedes the legendary Westminster Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show in New York City.

Marcia Lyons tells WSB that she and Liberty, her 4-year-old Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, are the only team from our state set to compete in the club’s 3rd annual Masters Agility Championship.

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After Marcia e-mailed us about Liberty, we asked if we could come meet her and see what she does. Marcia obliged, so there we were near their home on a sloped stretch of SW Juneau this morning:

In the original announcement we received from Marcia, the Agility Championship is described this way:

This event, which features some of the most talented K9 athletes in the country, will feature dogs and their handlers excitedly attacking an obstacle course of jumps, tunnels, weave poles, and more, racing against the clock. At Westminster, each dog will compete in two qualifying rounds. The ten dogs from each height class with the lowest combined scores will move on to the Championship round Saturday evening (February 13th), creating a field of 50 finalists competing for the coveted title of Westminster Kennel Club Masters Agility Champion. The Championship round will be televised on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 5:00 pm Pacific.

Liberty and Marcia also will be in the All-Breed Dog Show itself, which starts on Monday, February 15th, competing against other Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers – the smallest breed of retriever, Marcia explained. The evening finals will be that night 5-8 pm PT on CNBC and Tuesday, February 16th, same time slot, on USA Network.

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(Photo courtesy Marcia Lyons)

But first, next Saturday’s agility competition, which starts with daytime runs before the televised evening finals. Liberty, she says, is already fastest runner in her class, and she feels good about their chances at the championship, “as long as we run clean” – no mistakes.

Liberty is the first dog with whom she’s competed; she says they’re also working on “competitive obedience.”

The full schedule for the Masters Agility Championship and All-Breed Dog Show is here.

P.S. There’s one way you can help: If you look at our video again, you’ll notice Liberty running on a planting strip along a busy street. Marcia’s backyard isn’t quite big enough for proper training. They’re looking for a space in West Seattle that is large enough for them to practice, especially before they take off for the competition.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Bus driver hit; package stolen

Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes tonight:

BUS DRIVER HIT: A texter asked about a police investigation at a Route 21 bus on northbound 35th SW just north of Morgan around dusk. The dispatch was for a report that somebody had punched the driver on the bus. No medic dispatch, so the injury apparently wasn’t major; we don’t know if anyone was taken into custody.

PACKAGE THEFT: A police report is now on file for a theft in the 8200 block of California SW in Gatewood. A neighbor tells WSB that they saw it happen around 4:30 pm Friday, describing a white male backing a gold KIA SUV into the driveway, grabbing the package, and tossing it into the hatchback before taking off.

FOLLOWUP: Signs are up, speed limit’s down

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(WSB photos)

That sign along southbound Fauntleroy Way just south of Edmunds is one of the new signs SDOT has put up in the past few hours between SW Alaska and SW Morgan, along with radar-equipped speed-checking trailers like this one:

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And with that, the speed limit on Fauntleroy between The Triangle and Morgan Junction is now uniformly 30 mph, down from 35. SDOT had announced yesterday that the signage changes were planned for today; the trailers were in place this morning, the signs followed this afternoon. It’s been almost exactly a year since the city announced speed-limit reductions for arterials including this stretch of Fauntleroy; some are still pending.

West Seattle weekend scene: Chief Sealth Link Crew goes ‘late night’

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That’s Amy Ly, one of this year’s leaders of Link Crew at Chief Sealth International High School, the program in which juniors and seniors mentor and partner with freshmen from literally day 1. That includes activities throughout the year, as the new arrivals get used to high-school life, and Amy invited us to stop by for a special “late night” event on Friday night. It included volleyball, soccer, and other games in the gym:


Though the date had been set for a long time, the timing was perfect – a stormy night, wind and rain, the kind of night you’d want to spend inside. The event ran long enough for students to stop in and duck out – four hours, until 10 pm, with pizza and other treats alnog the way. And of course a photo booth:

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The school year, by the way, is at its midpoint – the second semester is about to begin. This year’s midwinter break is two days – February 15th and 16th (here’s the calendar).

ELECTION 2016: Ballot-dropoff vans today, Monday, Tuesday

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(WSB photo)

Haven’t sent in your ballots yet for Tuesday’s vote on two Seattle Public Schools levies? The King County Elections ballot-dropoff vans are at West Seattle Stadium (4432 35th SW) and Greenbridge Library (9720 8th SW) until 5 pm today, and again 10-5 Monday and 10-8 Tuesday. Above, we visited Daylin, Alana, and Lorenzo at the stadium spot around 11 am and they’d already received 34 ballots. Getting there is a little more of a challenge today because of the crane-removal lane closures just north of the stadium (see the photo in our daily preview), but it’s a fairly easy turn from and into the outside northbound lane. If you use the vans (or 24-hour dropboxes outside our area), it’s free, no stamp required, but if you are going to mail your ballot, be sure it has postage and that it will be postmarked by Tuesday.

ABOUT THE LEVIES: Both are renewals, though at higher amounts than the previous versions. The three-year, $750,000,000+ Operations Levy provides a quarter of the district’s day-to-day budget; the six-year, half-billion-dollar BTA Levy funds projects including capacity expansion and renovations. One big BTA project for West Seattle is renovation work at now-vacant E.C. Hughes Elementary in Sunrise Heights, which as first reported here last fall is expected to be reopened as the home for what is now Roxhill Elementary.

For the full text of the levies and other background info, go here (Operations) and here (BTA).

West Seattle Crime Watch: Intruder awakens mom; suspect arrested

9:54 AM: A terrifying close call for a Gatewood family early today: A woman tells WSB she was asleep with her 5-year-old child when a man broke into their home and tried to get into bed with them, attempting to molest her in the process. She is recovering from surgery. The intruder fled and the victim says police arrested a suspect. This happened after 3 am near 39th and Morgan. We’re working to find out more and will update with any further details.

10:26 AM: Police have just posted a few more details via SPD Blotter:

Officers arrested a man after a woman called 911 Saturday morning when she woke to a burglar in her bedroom.

The victim was sound asleep in her home in the 6500 block of 39 Ave SW around 3:30 this morning when she felt someone touch her face. The victim woke, and assuming it was her husband, asked what was going on. The the woman heard a reply that was not her husband and tried to turn on the nightstand light. The suspect fled out of the home, taking the woman’s cell phone with him.

Officers quickly arrived and found the suspect in an nearby alley. The victim confirmed that officers had arrested the correct person. Officers determined the suspect entered the home through an unlocked back door before making his way to the bedroom.

Officers booked the suspect into King County Jail for investigation of burglary.

West Seattle Saturday: Chocolate, chili, ballots, beach, basketball, more …

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(Male hooded merganser, photographed in High Point by Mark Wangerin – click for closeup view)

Happy Saturday!

FIRST, A TRAFFIC ALERT: Reminder that the tower crane at Aura (35th and Avalon) is scheduled to come down today, blocking four lanes of 35th SW most if not all of the day, as previewed here. We will be checking out the scene a bit later for an update.

(Added, with photo above: Traffic is using the two NB lanes.)

Now, from our calendar:

BALLOT DROPOFF VANS: Sent in your ballot for Tuesday’s school levies yet? If not, two King County Elections dropoff vans are in the area today – 10 am-5 pm at West Seattle Stadium (the crane takedown mentioned above might complicate things somewhat), 4432 35th SW, and Greenbridge Library, 9720 8th SW.

OPEN HOUSE: 10 am-2 pm, drop in to see the Community School of West Seattle (preschool). Adults only; details here. (9450 22nd SW)

FREE TAX PREP: 10 am-2 pm, another chance to drop in and get free tax-prep help via the United Way of King County @ West Seattle Food Bank – details here. (35th SW/SW Morgan)

SOUTHWEST LITTLE LEAGUE SIGNUPS: 11 am-2 pm at the Steve Cox Memorial Park Log Cabin in White Center:

All boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 16 are welcome. If your child lives or attends school between SW Juneau St. and 128th St. SW, you are probably within the Southwest Little League boundary! Divisions include T-Ball, Coach-Pitch, Minors, Majors, 50/70 and Juniors. Tryouts for Minor & Major divisions will be held Saturday, February 20th, 2016, at Steve Cox Memorial Ball Park. Please visit www.southwestlittleleague.org for more information about signing up for Southwest Little League.

(1321 SW 102nd)

VIETNAMESE STORY TIME: Stories, songs, and rhymes in Vietnamese, 11:30 am at Delridge Library. (5423 Delridge Way SW)

MERCADO AT HPIC: 1-5 pm at Highland Park Improvement Club: “Pop Up Mercado: Corazon Fuerte. … Music, Food, Art, Apparel, Handmade Gifts, and Jewelry. Buy something sweet for your sweetie(s) while supporting local artists and small businesses. This event is FREE and for all ages.” (12th SW/SW Holden)

WINE AND CHOCOLATE: 2-7 pm at Viscon Cellars‘ (WSB sponsor) tasting room, wines will be paired today (and next Saturday) with chocolates from Seattle’s own Intrigue Chocolate Co.. (5910 California SW)

HOME-BUYING CLASS: 3-5 pm, free but registration required – our calendar listing explains how. With HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) and RE/MAX Realty. (4727 44th SW)

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: As noted here on Friday, Westside School (WSB sponsor) has its varsity boys-basketball team in the CYO championship game at 4:30 pm today vs. St. Edward. The game’s at Bishop Blanchet. (8200 Wallingford Ave. N.)

NO CHILI LEFT BEHIND: Chili cook-off and auction fundraiser at Seattle Lutheran High School, 6 pm. Info in our calendar listing. (4100 SW Genesee)

LATIN JAZZ: Totiyo Y Amigos play C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)

LOW-TIDE BEACH WALK: 8:30 pm, check out nighttime low tide at Constellation Park with Seattle Aquarium beach naturalists. Free. Look for the canopy. (63rd SW/Beach Drive)

MORE FOR TODAY/TONIGHT, AND BEYOND … on our complete calendar.

FOLLOWUP: Donation-delivery day for Southwest Seattle Strings Project

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(WSB photos @ Roxhill Elementary)

They asked for help – you gave it – and Friday was delivery day for some of the students in the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras‘ Southwest Seattle Strings Project: Donation-funded supply baskets with practical and vital items such as replacement strings, chin rests, shoulder rests, rosin, and method books.

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Back in November, we published the call for donations to fund one basketfor each of the seven local schools with which SYSO partners – Arbor Heights, Concord, Highland Park, Roxhill, Sanislo, and West Seattle elementaries, and Denny International Middle School. The drive was a success, and today we were there as Roxhill got its basket.

Through SYSO, students can borrow instruments for free if needed, and they get expert coaching from professional musicians in free weekly lessons. But the supply baskets were just a bit above and beyond what the project could do, so the extra donations made sure the students can keep taking advantage of the gift of learning music.

West Seattle restaurants: Meander’s comeback in Morgan Junction, this time to Kokoras Greek Grill space

ORIGINAL REPORT, 8 PM: Earlier today, we noticed a liquor-license application for Meander’s at 6400 1/2 California SW in Morgan Junction – home to Kokoras Greek Grill, which has been listed for sale for quite some time. You’ll recall Meander’s closed in White Center last year; since then, proprietor Miranda Krone had mentioned she was working on a new venture, and at one point said it wouldn’t be far from her original location. We asked her earlier today for comment; she said she was awaiting word that Kokoras’s owners had talked to their staff. And now she’s just announced:

At last, I can let the cat out of the bag!

Morgan Junction, we’re coming home to you…

I’m working with Kim Depew, a longtime West Seattle resident and school teacher, to open Meander’s back on California Ave in what has been Kokoras Greek Grill.

We love Kokoras, but Spiros has decided that it’s time for him to return to Greece. I’m really looking forward to working with him next week, learning his recipes, and a few bonus family recipes, besides.

We’ll definitely be bringing back the breakfast you know and love, but I’m personally really excited about the evening menu. After five years of breakfast, I’m pretty eager to play on the dinner line and in the pastry kitchen. Look for old family favorites, some things I’ve picked up in my travels, and some collaborations with dear friends and talented chefs.

Oh, and? You know how you’ve been hassling us for mimosas and bloody marys for the past five years? All that, and more.

And yes, we’ll bring the waffles back, too.

This will be the fourth location for Meander’s, which originally opened five years ago in the former Jade West Café at 6032 California SW (now home to Harry’s Chicken Joint). A little over a year and a half later, the café moved to a big White Center space (now home to Noble Barton), then downsized to a spot about a block south in late summer 2013. That’s where the café remained until some tumult last year, followed by closure in November.

8:41 PM: Speaking of closure, Trickycoolj asked in comments when Kokoras will be closing. We asked Krone just now. She says it’s dependent on the aforementioned liquor-license change; they’ll know more on Monday. Also: “We plan to retain the current staff, and will continue running as Kokoras until about a week before the changeover.”

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