Followup: Meander’s Kitchen crowdfunding campaign, as work begins at new WC space

October 1, 2012 at 3:31 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle restaurants | 34 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Two weeks after announcing plans to open a bigger location in White Center, Meander’s Kitchen owner Miranda Krone tells WSB she’s taking possession of the new space tomorrow.

And with that, she has launched a crowdfunding campaign in hopes of getting some extra capital for the move. It launched at GoFundMe.com early today; we asked her a few followup questions about the campaign’s goal.

Miranda explains that besides having more room, the main impetus for moving is “because the future of our lease is in question. … Our lease ends in December, and I thought it wisest to start looking for a new location now, rather than wait until the last minute and find ourselves scrambling to find a place or be forced to close down. Though we’ve been crazy busy, all of our costs have gone up significantly, too. Everything goes back into the restaurant; equipment repairs (of which there have been many), increased labor, higher overhead for the expansion, so on and so forth. I can’t really afford to move us, but it’s that or close if we lose that lease.”

Does the new space – downtown White Center’s eight-months-closed Papa’s Pub – need much work? we asked. Miranda says, “The Papa’s space is in pretty good shape, and the building owner is making a few minor repairs for us. We will be purchasing all of the equipment from him, however, instead of it being included in the lease. We’ll also need to purchase some additional pieces of equipment, as well as things like plates and silverware and paint and the labor hours to get the paint on the walls and all of the little things that add up very quickly.”

She is planning on two months before they’ll open in WC, but hoping they won’t need that long. She also says, “It’s been pretty amazing how much support we’ve had from the White Center business community … Folks from several of the businesses in the neighborhood have stopped by or sent messages to welcome us … I feel really, really good about joining them.”

P.S. Her crowdfunding pitch, by the way, isn’t a simple case of “give me money.” As many do with these types of campaigns, she’s offering gifts for donors at various levels, such as her homemade ketchup for $30 donors and a private dinner party for $500 donors. The goal: $15,000.

34 Comments

  1. can’t wait till they open I can now walk to the new location from highland park and they will be another great restaurant in wc

    Comment by Nick — 4:15 pm October 1, 2012 #

  2. sounds like a winning plan. Put me down for 10 bottles of ketchup.

    Comment by steve — 5:08 pm October 1, 2012 #

  3. I’ve never understood the appeal of Meanders. Admittedly, it’s got a cool vibe, but both times I went the food was very subpar. Just because you’re going for a divy dinner look doesn’t give you the excuse to serve us burnt biscuits or cold potatoes. Maybe I was just unlucky.

    Comment by Eric G — 5:35 pm October 1, 2012 #

  4. It was obvious to my wife and I that they truly cared about the food they served. The ventilation in their restaurant was unacceptable and kept us from coming back after the second visit. We will try their new digs for sure! Hard working folks trying to improve! They have the food down pretty well! I love it! Good luck…..

    Comment by biscuits&gravey — 6:42 pm October 1, 2012 #

  5. Eric.. i think you were just unlucky.
    i had the luck to put the winning bid in on one of Miranda’s private dinners this last year and it was possibly the best meal i have had.

    Comment by JoB — 7:00 pm October 1, 2012 #

  6. I hope the owner of the new building treats her right. The last owner got evicted and did have issues with the law but also complained that the owner refused to fix some important plumbing issues. Best of luck in White Center.

    Comment by cj — 7:50 pm October 1, 2012 #

  7. I’ll donate to keep her in Morgan Junction area. Not to move.

    Comment by quiz — 8:12 pm October 1, 2012 #

  8. I started my line cooking career at Perkins in white center. For the longest time I thought parking was an issue. If you or any one has the gift of home style cooking, They will park blocks away to eat your food. That said Miranda should have stayed where she was. Unless of course she was going to lose her lease. In that case she should have stayed in West Seattle.

    Comment by Cinder — 8:14 pm October 1, 2012 #

  9. I’m happy about the move, because now Meander’s will be closer to ME! Pretty soon all my faves will be in White Center…

    Comment by datamuse — 9:06 pm October 1, 2012 #

  10. They definitely need a bigger place, but it sucks to see them move out of WS. I think from reading her quotes carefully, she wasn’t really in danger of losing her lease, but the ventilation is borderline unfixable and you have to get there early to get a table on the weekend mornings. I wish there would have been a place to get her to stay around here.

    Comment by amnesiak — 9:56 pm October 1, 2012 #

  11. I love our current space, and I do love being here in West Seattle.
    Eric, I’m truly sorry that you had a bad experience. Feel free to drop me a line and I’d be happy to arrange to pick up the tab for you to come in again.

    As to the lease, I was told that they wouldn’t be renewing it. Then I was told that they weren’t sure. Then I was told that they weren’t renewing. Then I was told that they weren’t sure. That’s where it currently stands.

    I’ve been looking at locations here in West Seattle, including the Charlestown. There was a space that was in fantastic shape, but was less than a block away from another West Seattle breakfast favorite. The Charlestown has been completely gutted, and would need an extensive build out in addition to being very high rent. Chuck and Sally’s needs major structural work, and the spot on Delridge would have required building a kitchen from scratch. I just don’t have those kinds of resources. Jade West was pretty much turn key, but this space was never designed for the kind of volume we are currently doing…which is one of the concerns of the building owners.

    The White Center space seems like a natural fit, and getting moved into it will cost significantly less than building from scratch. I’m not keen on leaving Morgan Junction, and I will miss those who choose not to join us in White Center. These are the options open to me, however, and I’m thrilled to become more involved with a community that is so excited about building good things together in White Center.
    I would also point out that it is literally only three miles away from our current location, has more parking than we currently do, has better ventilation & even has air conditioning (for the three weeks of the year that we need it), and will allow us to seat you before you start staring hungrily at other patrons’ food…and with a bigger kitchen, you won’t have to wait so darned long for your food once you’ve ordered.
    I know what the issues are; the staff and I all feel the stress of not always being able to give you what we feel you deserve…like clean air. We’re trying to resolve those issues with the resources available to us, and using the fundraising website to peddle jam and ketchup and tee shirts to gather more resources. (And I keep waiting for someone to ask me about the mysterious adventure. I didn’t actually expect that anyone would donate at that level, but the crew and I have really, really enjoyed making plans for anyone who does. :)
    And we really, really like you.

    Comment by Meander — 12:42 am October 2, 2012 #

  12. Miranda. You beat me to it. I was just going to point out to folks that there is plenty of parking in White Center! Also, White Center is part of West Seattle.
    If any of you haven’t been to downtown White Center in awhile come check it out! There are many great, newer restaurants to try as well as some old staples. Delia’s Coffee, Proletariat Pizza, Company bar, Full Tilt Ice Cream, Banh Mi 88, Pho 99, and after you’ve stuffed yourself you can skate at the Southgate Roller Rink!

    Comment by Mo — 2:56 am October 2, 2012 #

  13. Well said meanders! I’ve only been to the current spot once – though I really enjoyed it! Sounds like the move will help alleviate a number of issues for your business and your customers. Looking forward to the new space!

    Comment by st2003 — 4:38 am October 2, 2012 #

  14. I’ll bite (pun intended), Mirander — what’s the Mysterious Adventure?

    Hints, please!

    Comment by Tony S — 7:17 am October 2, 2012 #

  15. I also meant to take her up on the last line of the narrative on the GoFundMe.com page, which says something like “Ask me about the farm” …

    Comment by WSB — 7:26 am October 2, 2012 #

  16. Miranda is a smart babe. She will figure it all out and even if some of the current clientele don’t follow her to White Center, she will easily draw in new fans. Best of luck!

    Comment by lox — 8:32 am October 2, 2012 #

  17. Miranda, your food and community spirit is worth the 3 mile drive.

    Additionally, you have been very generous to our local charity groups and individuals in need.

    When I had a house fire earlier this year, (that we lost pretty much everything in), you donated to the Furry Faces Foundation’s fundraiser. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to return the good karma.

    Cheers,
    Teri

    Comment by Teri Ensley — 10:19 am October 2, 2012 #

  18. The farm. I apologize in advance for lengthy posting. :)

    The bit of money I used to open the restaurant (a loan from my father) was originally intended to put a down payment on an owner contract for a farm outside of Olympia. The deal fell through, and Olympia is too far from my daughter’s father, friends & school, anyway, so now Meander’s Kitchen exists.

    Over the years, I’ve collected bunches of friends with farm skills, stayed & worked on various farms in various areas, and plotted, schemed and dreamed about making a farm happen with a bunch of good folks.
    You might be surprised, by the way, at how many train hopping traveling kids consider themselves “barn punks”, and hold dear many of the ethics my grandparents did. I learned how to card and spin wool, make cheese, drive a tractor, grow veggies, scrape & tan cowhide, build a still (um, for making fuel, of course), and a host of other skills during the time I had the house that all the traveling kids stayed in. I cooked for them, and they taught me things.

    And then I worked as a chef in a sport fishing tent camp in the Alaskan bush for a few months. And the following year, I worked as a chef and deck hand on a 54′ charter sail boat. And I talked to clients about the farm, and they said that if I built it, they would come.

    So I’m looking at renting a 10 acre farm on Whidbey with a 1930′s farm house & outbuildings. It rents for about the same as the house I live in now, and only sustainable growing methods have been used on the property for the past two decades. I would straddle Seattle and Whidbey if it works out; my daughter is a freshman in high school, and I need to be present for her. I also seem to have this restaurant thingy that I really like, now, too.

    The idea is to supply the restaurant with at least some food, but also to host retreats & workshops. You could come to the farm, see the food in the fields, and eat it for dinner that night. You might even go home with a cashmere scarf that you dyed, spun and crocheted yourself. ;)

    Even better, I have a friend involved with the FEEST program in Delridge, and we’re discussing hosting the teens from that program on the farm next summer. You know, if there is a farm.

    That’s pretty much been the grand scheme all along. I mean, I love making hashbrowns & eggs for you, but I’ve got ulterior motives. I want to make hashbrowns & eggs for you to eat at my kitchen table, on the farm. :-)

    As to the Mysterious Adventure, I think I will amend that it is for up to three people for the single donation. It will involve several of the restaurant crew, and probably a sailboat, some fishing poles or crab pots (depending on when), and definitely food. Although some of the crew suggested a train hopping trip to a friend’s property in Montana. I don’t think my knee would hold up for that, though.

    Comment by Meander — 11:15 am October 2, 2012 #

  19. Although I realize there are going to be some folks that are going to be genuinely inconvenienced by Meander’s move, but it’s not like she’s moving to Ballard, Kent, or the Eastside.

    .

    People that appreciate small businesses, and especially a particular small business enough, will go the extra distance to visit.

    .

    I was thoroughly surprised, in early 2004, when I started working at McLendon’s in White Center, and during my time there saw so much of my customer base from my previous job at Seattle FilmWorks/PhotoWorks, which was in West Seattle, at 35th & Fauntleroy. Two totally different types of businesses, around 4 or 5 miles apart but both locally owned.

    .

    I had no doubt when I started at McLendon’s, that I’d see some of my SFW customers, I just had no idea how many. To this day, I still believe I saw the bulk of my SFW customer base at McLendon’s during my time there.

    .

    MIke

    Comment by miws — 11:16 am October 2, 2012 #

  20. Miranda! I would really like to donate but the wepay.com payment window keeps timing out on me, at home and on the fancy work connection. Is there another way that I could donate to the cause? SO happy about this move!

    Comment by highland park — 11:17 am October 2, 2012 #

  21. Miranda,
    We’ll follow you anywhere, and support you completely in doing what you need to do to keep your business not just afloat but profitable. With a bigger space and better air, you’ll draw new customers and old alike. We will certainly be there.

    Maybe just maybe, you’ll even be able to have longer hours. There are many weekdays where I’d kill for Meander’s breakfast for my dinner, or for breakfast at 5am before work. Perhaps even both, though I suspect I would be unable to fit through the door if I did that… :)

    Best of luck to you at the new location. We’ll see you there on opening day!

    Comment by Luis & Amy — 11:19 am October 2, 2012 #

  22. Highland Park, I’m not sure why the website is doing that; I see others are coming through. You’re more than welcome to drop by the shop, and do it the old fashioned, way, though! Just be sure that your contact info is included, so we can get you some jam or a tee shirt or what have you. :)

    The support and input is so very much appreciated; aside from the donations, this stuff makes me tear up a bit. Thank you!

    And Luis & Amy, we’ve started serving dinners Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Next week we’re shifting that around a bit. Dinner will start at 6pm and include both some of our breakfast menu & dinner menu items, and will run all the way through our late night service.
    AND, instead of closing at 4am and reopening at 8am on Fridays & Saturdays, we’ll stay open straight through into breakfast. Which means that on Saturdays & Sundays starting October 13, you can come in for breakfast at 5am and we’ll be there. We think it will smooth out the flow a bit, so we won’t have the entire restaurant fill up all at once when we open the doors.

    Comment by Meander — 12:01 pm October 2, 2012 #

  23. I’m confused – when will the Meander’s Morgan site close, and when will the White Center site open??

    Comment by maxine — 1:33 pm October 2, 2012 #

  24. White Center we plan on opening by the beginning of December.
    Morgan Junction, we don’t know. Depends on the building owner.

    Comment by Meander — 2:48 pm October 2, 2012 #

  25. Miranda, I’m happy to hear about the extended hours! Any chance the new White Center location will be 24-hours, at least on the weekends? As a late night regular I can assure you that the night owls will be following you to White Center. If we lose a few here and there, I’m sure we’ll pick some new friends up along the way.

    Comment by cascadianone — 3:05 pm October 2, 2012 #

  26. And Luis & Amy, we’ve started serving dinners Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Next week we’re shifting that around a bit. Dinner will start at 6pm and include both some of our breakfast menu & dinner menu items, and will run all the way through our late night service.
    AND, instead of closing at 4am and reopening at 8am on Fridays & Saturdays, we’ll stay open straight through into breakfast. Which means that on Saturdays & Sundays starting October 13, you can come in for breakfast at 5am and we’ll be there.

    OMG Miranda you have our undying love and devotion forever — and our breakfast at least once a week! :)

    xoxox and we’ll see you soon!

    Comment by Luis & Amy — 3:11 pm October 2, 2012 #

  27. I would have been willing to help fund a low interest loan through microfinance sites like kiva/prosper/etc, but if I’m essentially going to be giving money away, I feel there are much more worthy causes.

    Good luck with the move.

    Comment by Jacob — 5:28 pm October 2, 2012 #

  28. Jacob, that is your prerogative. I’m not sure of your goal in posting that, however? Although there are items offered in exchange for the donations, they are clearly not at a straight retail exchange rate. True.
    I suggest looking for Jan Seeley’s gofundme page (not sure if linking it here is considered a faux pas…?). She’s been on a kidney transplant waiting list, and has now just had to have heart surgery. She is a lovely woman, and a great reason to give your money away.

    Comment by Meander — 6:24 pm October 2, 2012 #

  29. HEAVENS no, it’s not a faux pas. I wish I had promoted it more. There’s still time. And unfortunately I just saw on the Forum that Jan is back in the hospital, some irregular heartbeat trouble post-surgery.
    .
    Anyway here’s the link:
    http://www.gofundme.com/14rlws
    .

    Comment by WSB — 7:41 pm October 2, 2012 #

  30. congrats on the new location. I hope there will be better service and debit\credit options along with the new place.

    Comment by amber — 7:44 am October 3, 2012 #

  31. Our wee little kitchen was designed to serve about 10 people, and we have over 30 seats. We’re really excited to be in a kitchen that allows us to provide much better service.
    We have no plans to add credit/debit cards.

    Comment by Meander — 9:43 am October 3, 2012 #

  32. As a fellow smallbusinessperson, I do want to add a voice of support for those who choose not to take plastic. We don’t have an option for that – since we’re not a bricks-and-mortar business – but every payment service out there, whether PayPal or credit cards, takes a cut that does add up after a while (at least 3 percent in most cases, and I know how tiny the margin of profitability is for restaurants!). Remember that when you go to a small, local, independent business … if you have the opportunity to pay them cash, it saves them some $. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:55 am October 3, 2012 #

  33. I have to step in and agree with Jacob on this one. Meander’s has not been burned out, nor has the owner been injured or in need of medical help. They are just asking for money to continue a private, profit making, venture. It would seem like going with a micro loan, or the likes, would be the way to go. But that is just my take on it. I did give a bit to Janet, though and am glad to have found out about her!
    Thank you to WSB for having a forum where we can all voice our opinions in a civil manner!

    Comment by Nearby Resident — 8:10 pm October 4, 2012 #

  34. As an occasional customer I’d say Meanders now is not a place to go if you’re in a hurry but worth the wait. Also more employees means more expense so have to figure if More business, more employees wokrs to the good. There are those who are never happy with change of any kind. You can’t please everyone and the ones you do deffenitely are numbers and extremely happy. They’ll be the ones to follow you. I’m not in a position to contribute but do wish you the very best in this venture. I love your outlook for other possibilities. Love your food, haven’t known about dinners til recently.

    Comment by Betty T — 12:11 pm October 11, 2012 #

Sorry, comment time is over.

All contents copyright 2014, A Drink of Water and a Story Interactive. Here's how to contact us.
Header image by Nick Adams. ABSOLUTELY NO WSB PHOTO REUSE WITHOUT SITE OWNERS' PERMISSION.
Entries and comments feeds. ^Top^