(SATURDAY NIGHT UPDATE: Proprietor Miranda reports via FB that she has signed the lease.)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
She’s not sure yet whether it’s a total move or an expansion.
But Miranda Krone, proprietor of Meander’s Kitchen in north Morgan Junction, tells WSB she is signing the lease tomorrow for a space in White Center (the former Papa’s Pub, closed since February, at 9635 16th SW).
If you follow Meander’s on Facebook, you know she’s been talking for the past week-plus about a potential new location – first, maybe Delridge, then, maybe White Center. And now, the decision is in – like Zippy’s Giant Burgers before her, she’s heading south to WC.
Prime reason: Too much uncertainty surrounding the current location, which is one of the hottest tickets in town – even after expanding, often still with a wait. The WSB Forums recently discussed whether she might consider launching a donation drive to improve the ventilation. At the time, Miranda suggested she might consider a crowdfunding campaign – then came the decision to look for another location instead.
The current space’s landlords are its longtime owners, Wah and Salina Wong; Wah Wong ran the beloved Jade West Café till the aftermath of a devastating crash led him to close it permanently. Miranda says they’re not sure about the property’s future, and since her current lease is up in December, she needed to make sure hers had some protection.
It’s only been a bit more than a year and a half since she opened what began as a hole-in-the-wall café in the ex-Jade West space. Her sassy personality and banter with diners won her fans, but the food was the star. She has since expanded into late-night breakfasts, even dinner as of a month and a half ago, all with dishes that win raves.
If the White Center location becomes an expansion rather than just a larger replacement, maybe the current spot could “go back to being a smaller, more personable (venue),” Miranda mused during our conversation. “We’ve grown so much that I don’t get to chit-chat with people as much when I cook – it would be great to shift our volume, but then still have the little counter.”
Whatever the eventual result, Miranda says, “I’m really excited about the move to the (White Center) location.” For one thing, it’s not far from the Arbor Heights neighborhood, where she lives (though Morgan Junction isn’t, either) – second, she likes the evolving White Center business district, saying that “being part of that community really suits us; we fit into the business community there.”
She already has been talking with Justin Cline, proprietor of Full Tilt Ice Cream a few doors away; Miranda says she’s hoping to put in a soda fountain when the new space opens. She is dreaming of offering egg creams (which, you may know, don’t really include eggs), among other soda-fountain classics – with of course, a unique Meander’s twist, possibly some herbs or flowers.
She plans to focus on non-alcoholic beverages, at least for the initial months, “just to make sure the focus is on the food and being a restaurant” – under previous ownership, the space had its troubles, including a clientele that eventually drew a federal raid. “But there’s not that kind of vibe any more,” she notes. “Businesses in the area are doing well … I don’t think White Center is any worse than Belltown; you just pay much higher rent in Belltown!”
More room for books, and even dinner theater!, are part of her plans too, along with more pastries – overall, the plan goes far beyond what you find at Meander’s now, in a space that is generally filled to the gills. The White Center location will have not only more space but also more equipment, so they can have more cooks on the line, which means getting your food faster, she says, also expressing excitement about the French doors out front.
So will the White Center space also be called Meander’s Kitchen? we ask.
“Well … Meander’s something,” says Miranda, who acknowledges she’s been pondering that point. “Should we have a different name? We should definitely still have Meander’s on there somewhere, so you know that’s where you can get the good hash browns.”
And the hearty laughter, which follows that declaration.
No timetable yet; Miranda says it’ll take a few months to sort things out.