Meander’s to WC: Another hot West Seattle restaurant plans White Center move

September 14, 2012 at 8:34 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle restaurants | 54 Comments

(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.

54 Comments

  1. Yuck. What a mistake. We’ll never go again. Oh well. Good luck in WC.

    Comment by E — 8:50 pm September 14, 2012 #

  2. Excellent! It’s nice to see her success. My favorite breakfast spot in Seattle. Good luck, Meander! :)

    Comment by RickC — 8:51 pm September 14, 2012 #

  3. I am so excited about this! Looking forward to finally getting a breakfast place in WC and will definitely be supporting this establishment.

    Comment by Seattle — 8:52 pm September 14, 2012 #

  4. I’m gonna have to start putting miles on my car…a late breakfast, followed by a cone at Full Tilt…mmmmmmmmm

    Comment by JanS — 8:56 pm September 14, 2012 #

  5. All hail Miranda!

    I will try your new dessert with florentines when you open. Of course, I’ll eat everything else too, but just wanted to mention that I noticed that inparticular ;)

    Nom nom!!

    Thank you!!!

    Comment by westseattledood — 9:10 pm September 14, 2012 #

  6. Yay! Closer to home for me!

    Comment by datamuse — 9:24 pm September 14, 2012 #

  7. Yes! More goodness coming to White Center! I love my neighborhood. ;)

    Comment by Mo — 9:28 pm September 14, 2012 #

  8. I’m so happy to have a breakfast place moving in!! And my property value is also very happy!!

    Come on down businesses – WC is the new Columbia City!!

    Comment by Amie — 9:29 pm September 14, 2012 #

  9. Yeah Miranda,
    We live in the Arbor also. Can’t wait for the new place to open. The “W.C.” needs a great breakfast joint. It already has the best pizza!!! (Proletariat).

    Comment by Dr. House, MD — 9:36 pm September 14, 2012 #

  10. Wahoooooo! A breakfast joint in White Center!!!

    Comment by HP Gal — 9:40 pm September 14, 2012 #

  11. I’m so happy and proud of you, Miranda! I’m glad you found a spot you feel great about. So exciting! Do you think you’ll stay cash only? If so, I have to get better about having cash. :-)

    Comment by dameDonna — 10:28 pm September 14, 2012 #

  12. What is the parking like there? Is there a lot in back, or just street parking?

    Comment by Sue — 12:41 am September 15, 2012 #

  13. Miranda: I am glad my suggestion in the forums for WC resonated :) I still think you could crowdsource improvements if you needed to. You have a very loyal following and you will do great in WC! We will certainly come and visit. Your only competition will be Young’s which is kind of basic in my opinion…nothing like all your special touches!!! Congrats

    Comment by Kgdlg — 3:59 am September 15, 2012 #

  14. I’m certainly hoping the original venue remains open. I never shop or eat in White Center. The area is certainly improving, and the new restaurant will be a great asset to the district, but frankly, WC is still too dodgy an area for me. Good luck Miranda. Your place is the best.

    Comment by Ray West — 5:35 am September 15, 2012 #

  15. Well that just stinks for those of us who can walk to your place now, and have supported you from the begining, will not be getting up to drive to rat city for breakfast, bummer we finally had a breakfast place and now gone!! UGH

    Comment by SillyGoose — 8:07 am September 15, 2012 #

  16. My whole family is so excited! Meanders – within walking distance? White Center is awesome. And the people taking risks on opening new businesses there are even more awesome. Thanks for taking the risk Miranda – the people of WC won’t let you down :)

    Comment by Amanda — 8:29 am September 15, 2012 #

  17. Sorry, Miranda, I hope your new place doesn’t get TOO popular. I’d love to bring a couple of my friends, but none of us can stand in line long. :-)

    Comment by KatherineL — 8:34 am September 15, 2012 #

  18. At Ray West – come and give the WC restaurants a try. You’re missing out on an incredible variety of good eats…Salvadorean, Vietnamese, pizza, homemade ice cream, barbecue, coffeehouse and pub food to name just a few. Meander’s will be a great, unique addition and will increase the diversity of options without the risk of directly competing with anyone who’s offering the same kind of fare.

    Comment by m — 8:36 am September 15, 2012 #

  19. ACK! I will now be able to walk to Zippys, Proletariat, Full Tilt, AND Meanders?! There is not enough walking for me to not gain weight. I may have to move further away or use my gym membership more! :P

    Comment by jedifarfy — 8:42 am September 15, 2012 #

  20. White Center just got a whole lot cooler. Best pizza, best cocktails, best ice cream, best burgers and now Meander’s. The rest of Seattle doesn’t know what they’re missing by avoiding Rat City!

    Comment by HelperMonkey — 9:09 am September 15, 2012 #

  21. I am beyond excited. Here’s my only concern-the folks next door! A LOT of peoria stand out and smoke. If you ever want to open those lovely French doors we are going to be smoked out by cigarettes instead of cooking fumes! And of it’s going to be as it is now, family friendly, it will not be wasn’t to work our children through the Amalie to get to you. I don’t know of anything can be done about that but I see it as a turn off- sorry, but I’m in the area regularly and I think it’s a problem! But White center YES-love it here xxx

    Comment by Sarah — 9:39 am September 15, 2012 #

  22. If you never shop or eat in WC, what experience of yours is driving that decision? It would be a pity for Miranda to lose customers and for you to lose s great dining experience because of fear based on the way WC was. Do yourself a favor and go have breakfast there when she opens.

    When Meanders opens for breakfast, the streets will be safe. The streets are safe now and filled with great folks like you doing commerce. I see potentially sketchy folks in the Junction area every time I go there. It is not a valid reason for me to not support those businesses.

    There is angled parking and there sre always lots of empty slots in the AM. The furthest I have ever walked for parking is 1/2 block. Not much of an issue.

    People, White Center is about many interesting things, but it is also about The Food by uniquely talented folks.

    Let’s move forward together.

    Comment by westseattledood — 9:58 am September 15, 2012 #

  23. ray west what does “dodgy” mean?

    Comment by happywalker — 10:30 am September 15, 2012 #

  24. Ray, if you never go there, how do you know it’s getting better?
    .
    But by all means, stay away. More for the rest of us.

    Comment by datamuse — 10:46 am September 15, 2012 #

  25. How do you know if some place is too dodgy if you never eat or shop there?! Wow! Best burgers, best ice cream, best pizza and best BBQ in Seattle is actually just across the city limits in White Center.

    Comment by newnative — 11:00 am September 15, 2012 #

  26. Actually, newnative, I maintain that the best BBQ is in Highland Park. Morningstar Deli on 9th and Henderson does it right. (The BBQ place on 16th is pretty good, I’ll grant you, but…Morningstar is better.)

    Comment by datamuse — 11:52 am September 15, 2012 #

  27. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! That space has needed something friendly for a long time! All this good stuff within walking distance, LOVE IT!

    Comment by AJP — 11:55 am September 15, 2012 #

  28. Have had 2 meals at Meanders and both times food was sublime but the surly man at the grill was so rude to me (a paying customer) I vowed the second time never to go back. I get the whole let’s be really rude shtick they may think is cool but I was so taken aback and have talked to others who feel same way. Our friends own Proletariat in White Center and have such amazing customer service – may it rub off on the Meander staff.

    Comment by Thd — 12:50 pm September 15, 2012 #

  29. Meander’s Rat City Diner, Soda Fountain, Book Store and Dinner Theater Emporium ? ;-)

    .

    Hope this can come to fruition for you, (and us), Miranda!

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 12:53 pm September 15, 2012 #

  30. As a resident of the White Center area for over 40 years, I’ve never understood the negative reputation. Yes, there is crime, but almost all of those incidents have taken place in the late-night and early morning hours when not many people are out and about. It’s not like West Seattle doesn’t have it’s share of criminal activity, mostly during the day time hours with burglaries and car thefts. Both West Seattle and White Center are filled with really great people and great businesses, I think the advantage to White Center is that it is not in the City of Seattle, so you can still get your groceries bagged in paper or plastic without having to pay for it. Welcome to the neighborhood Meanders!

    Comment by Joby — 12:55 pm September 15, 2012 #

  31. I am bummed. We just recently discovered Meanders and have enjoyed walking there (just under 2 miles) for fantastic brunches on the weekend. Happy for your success but we hope you stay, Miranda…

    Comment by West Seattle Wanderer — 1:43 pm September 15, 2012 #

  32. I think “dodgy” might include shielding your children’s eyes from the porn signs in the store window while walking from Proletariat to Full Tilt.

    Comment by Neighborly — 2:17 pm September 15, 2012 #

  33. I have to speak up in appreciation of White Center, since we’ve gotten to know its businesses, and many of its community leaders, a bit better after four years of running White Center Now along with WSB. Yeah, it has some X-rated shops. Unlike such places as downtown Seattle and SODO, they do NOT have giant two-story animated lit-up marquees with skimpily clad women. The folks who live, work, and do business in WC have high praise for one shop owner, Stan, as a devoted member of the community. You bet – it’s absolutely not Disneyland Main Street. But it also is not crime-ridden. We cover that beat in WC as well as WS and most of the time there’s more burglaries, street robberies, etc. on THIS side of the line. If you are among the few who still steer clear of WC because of some old reputation – when Meander’s opens give it a chance. Or heck, give it a chance right now. And not just the great places everyone mentions (Full Tilt, Proletariat Pizza on 16th, Zippy’s on 14th) but also Caffe Delia (open mornings in the Proletariat space), nearby Uncle Mike’s Superlicious Barbecue (which has spectacular vegetarian offerings despite being a “barbecue joint”), Company Bar (which is a restaurant too), the new San Fernando Roasted Chicken a little ways south on 16th, Salvadorean Bakery, the roller rink, I could go on. Many of the establishments linked to past trouble are gone – including the space Miranda’s taking over, and a dance club further north whose fans used to rumble in a nearby parking lot every weekend – so much of the changes are thanks to community members rolling up their sleeves and saying, we’re going to keep the pressure on … It’s also a time of potential transition for WC; Seattle showed no interest in annexing it, though it had dibs, so Burien is proposing to do so, with a vote coming up in November. Anyway, as is the case with some parts of WS, undeserved reputations linger, and you’re missing a lot if that is keeping you north of Roxbury, in this case. We wish Miranda all the luck in the world and as I told her during our chat last night, I hope the expanded space means Patrick and I will FINALLY get to try her creations – we’ve driven by a million times and seen the wait out front and just didn’t have the time to spare, no matter how fabulous the eventual food would have been … TR /soapbox

    Comment by WSB — 2:44 pm September 15, 2012 #

  34. Neighborly,

    TR is correct. There is nothing explicitly pornographic in front of Stan’s shop. Right now there is a custom painted Seattle skyline in the window. Stan’s uber family-friendly neighboring businesses like Stan. Some parenting types just aren’t able to negotiate the paradoxes ever-present in urban life, I guess. Odd that, when you’ve chosen to live in a city.

    Comment by westseattledood — 3:41 pm September 15, 2012 #

  35. Neighborly, I’ve yet to see a thing in Stan’s windows that I haven’t seen in a PG movie. They’re pretty good about that, really.
    .
    As WSB pointed out, the displays downtown are FAR more risque and attention-getting. And frankly, I’ve run into far more trouble on the street—in ostensibly “safe” areas, yet!—in Seattle than I ever have in White Center.

    Comment by datamuse — 4:15 pm September 15, 2012 #

  36. Hey, I never meant to say I don’t go there with my family. I was just helping define “dodgy”.

    Comment by Neighborly — 5:09 pm September 15, 2012 #

  37. Awesome…White Center is the place to be…having lived here for 15 years, I can ssy this is an awesome place!

    Comment by karen — 7:02 pm September 15, 2012 #

  38. I guess my point is that means downtown, Capitol Hill, and Lake City are dodgy too…well, I’ll grant that last one. ;)
    .
    The most memorable Stan’s display I ever saw was the Christmas village; something about the juxtaposition with their racy posters just cracks me up.

    Comment by datamuse — 7:41 pm September 15, 2012 #

  39. Really hate to see Meander’s leave WS but fully understand the possible necessity. I can’t walk to WC but easily accessible by bus. I’m glad to see her doing so well with her new business that she’s looking on to bigger and better things.I’m sure that it wouldn’t be long and she’ll again have an overflowing business clientelle. I wish her the best in this venture.

    Comment by Betty T — 8:14 pm September 15, 2012 #

  40. I’d drive to Tacoma for Miranda’s Epic Punk House Hash or Afton’s Hot Mess!

    Comment by kate — 9:08 pm September 15, 2012 #

  41. I’m SO very happy you have been so successful! I’ve been going since the second day your were open (though I cant say Im’ a regular because I travel so much for work). I’m going to be REALLY sad if you give up the current location entirely. But I would LOVE to see it stay/go back to a little 8 seater. I enjoyed the chit-chatting….

    Comment by vanceg — 9:39 pm September 15, 2012 #

  42. Thrilled you are opening in WC, been hitting Proletariat hard since they opened and would love to see another place to go…WC now has better food choices then WS when you count in the food trucks, PHO, and desserts. Love it!!!

    Comment by UrbanCountryGirl — 11:23 pm September 15, 2012 #

  43. This is disappointing. My family loves Meanders and White Center is just not safe enough to go eat in the middle of the night. The last time I went to Papa’s to see a friends band it was extremely scary walking to the car after the show. I have traveled the world and I don’t shy away from all sorts of neighborhoods here in Seattle. But it’s not worth it. The thugs out number the decent folks at night and it’s just downright dangerous. Well, Meanders is not gonna be our late night b-fast place anymore.

    Comment by Lfauntleroy — 12:56 am September 16, 2012 #

  44. To those who responded to my “dodgy” comment, just let me say that I once worked in the White Center district for about ten years, so I have had occasion to eat and shop in the area, and I still have to travel through it from time-to-time. I also follow the news, and there are still problems with drugs, gangs, prostitution, and other crimes. Claiming that it mostly happens at night is not comforting or realistic. The community has made great strides in attempting to overcome these problems, but there’s still a long road ahead. I applaud the civic leaders and business people like who are working so hard to revitalize this area.

    Here’s an FYI article.

    http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20031119&slug=whitecentercrime19m

    Comment by Ray West — 5:44 am September 16, 2012 #

  45. 2003? Are you kidding?

    Comment by Karen J — 7:15 am September 16, 2012 #

  46. For White Center news from the past four years, here’s our site: http://whitecenternow.com – you can use the category link archives in the sidebar to go right to the crime category (or any other category of coverage!).

    Comment by WSB — 7:19 am September 16, 2012 #

  47. really now your not going to come eat in wc ???? im not eating in west seattle ? come on now read your crime watch !ADMIRAL PIZZA ROBBED ? WOMAN STABBED ON ALKI? GUNFIRE ON ALKI TAIL PARK ? O AND A …>MULTIPLE -MURDER IN WEST SEATTLE ?? COME ON NOW ! I’LL BE EATING IN WC *_*

    Comment by lee — 4:28 pm September 16, 2012 #

  48. Proletariat’s sign says “The Pizza that made White Center famous!” I was in Full Tilt when I read the sign below their counter: “The ice cream that made Proletariat famous!” I split a gut so hard that even the guy working the counter started laughing. He told me “You’re obviously from here. Not everyone gets it…”
    So in the interest of continuing the tradition, should Meander’s add a sign in her new WC location that says: “The restaurant that made Full Tilt famous!”???
    Methinks so…

    Comment by Pibal — 11:37 pm September 16, 2012 #

  49. The only way a neighborhood can change is by people stepping up and voting with their $$$. Ballard, Belltown and Columbia City were urban deserts in the mid-90′s and look at them now! Creative artistic folks move in first because of lower rents, then urban hipsters visit and eventually the sidewalks are so full of “regular” folks you hardly recognize the old neighborhood. Even though I can walk to EATS for breakfast, I will buckle up the kiddos and head to Meander’s! Thanks to all the business owners that believe in the community!

    Comment by Dark eye — 8:49 am September 17, 2012 #

  50. Could you please open up a second restaurant on Alki for those of us who are breakfast regulars and transportation challenged? Thank you.

    Comment by Amrakx — 7:35 am September 18, 2012 #

  51. Downtown WC is getting better. Definitely. But as Ray West says, it’s got a long road ahead of it. It’s in a transitional phase right now and could easily go either way. It could keep moving forward, but it could also easily go back to what it was ten years ago. It would’ve done that, in fact, if not for the big police raid last spring.
    .
    Stan’s is not the problem. The problem lies half a block south of ex-Papa’s on the same side of the street, a spot where lowlifes still congregate to buy dope and do other kinds of unsavory business. Even though that cesspit of a “marijuana smoking lounge” was closed, there are still a couple of marijuana shops on that block. So far, they’re not causing any trouble, but they’re something to keep an eye on. There is also a tavern in that block that has been known to serve alcohol to inebriated people. And I’m not talking about myself . . .
    .
    I will try out Miranda’s new digs in W.C. But when it comes to that area in general, I’m not ready to don the rose-colored glasses just yet.

    Comment by DBP — 9:59 am September 18, 2012 #

  52. lmao rose- colored glasses ?and you are from what part of town ?i no it cant b west seattle are wc now can it !becuse i never seen rose- colored glasses in west seattle are wc really come on now. and your not talking about your self ? okay then … im going 2 b eating in wc and west seattle all over town . you well spot lowlifes here to all over seattle .. good luck Miranda *_*

    Comment by lee — 2:59 pm September 18, 2012 #

  53. I’m so glad to see this business is coming to W.C. The neighborhood has changed so much in just 2 years that I’ve lived here. I always knew it had potential and it has exceeded my expectations.Welcome Meanders!

    Comment by Lea — 8:29 am September 25, 2012 #

  54. This is a total bummer. I enjoyed it while it lasted.

    Comment by quiz — 10:32 pm September 29, 2012 #

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