West Seattle restaurants: Inside Meander’s new White Center space, with public previews ahead

October 24, 2012 at 12:22 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle restaurants, White Center | 47 Comments

(THURSDAY UPDATE: The first preview day has been changed to Saturday 10/27, 8 am)
Story and photos by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog/White Center Now

About Meander’s in White Center (opening the next two weekends for sneak previews):

First things first: the ventilation is AMAZING. See for yourself:

(Miranda even turned on the vent so I could feel the rush of air into the hood.)

With her forthcoming opening in the former Papa’s Pub in White Center (here’s our original report from 6 weeks ago), owner and chef Miranda Krone continues the evolution of what has become a favorite diner of people on our fair peninsula and beyond: Meander’s — with breakfast served all the time except weekend nights, when it turns into a gourmet bistro.

With evolution comes change, and the first change you’ll notice is all the space:

There’s so much room that there will be a counter, a front room, a back room, and the seating capacity will be twice what’s currently available at the California Avenue location.

Miranda will have a pool table, books, and a jukebox for the back area, and is expanding her crew from five to seven.

What will feel very different is having the kitchen closed off from the dining area; this means less sass from the chef spicing up your meal.

However, you will immediately recognize the personal touches that give Meander’s its special feel: Vintage aprons, knick-knacks, art. These will be joined by antiques and other ephemera that Miranda has gathered over the years, to be displayed on the shelves behind the counter. Red velvet seating from Miranda’s home will welcome visitors when they walk in, “I want it to feel like you’re walking into someone’s living room.” Payment is of course still “cash only,” but …with a cash machine located inside the diner!

A familiar face is joining the Meander’s crew: Matthew Darling, long-time West Seattleite and veteran of the WS restaurant industry, will be the “front-of-the-house” manager, taking care of all service issues outside the kitchen.

Miranda says that Matthew and business partner Ed Kenoyer are a “huge gift — I couldn’t run this without them.”

Adds Matthew: “The saying in West Seattle is that people now have to open new restaurants for me to work at, but it’s my favorite thing to be part of an opening and see the fun and excitement from the community and the owner … it’s precious and exciting to me.”

The White Center business community is welcoming Meander’s with open arms, offering advice and assistance, and Miranda is hoping to join forces with the Rat City Business Association (WSB sponsor).

For the next two weekends, Friday through Sunday, Meander’s will host a soft opening with short days to get the ball rolling. Hours will be 8 am-1 pm Friday and Saturday, and 9 am-1 pm Sunday. (UPDATE: First day will actually be Saturday 10/27)

This weekend, as a special welcome, Miranda will be offering complimentary Caffe Vita coffee and mini versions of the beignets that are soon to be a regular menu item. Said Miranda excitedly: “There’s a fryer!”

The California Avenue location will remain open regular hours as the transition is made over the next couple of weeks. Miranda notes this means her staff will be “completely maxed out.” If the transition goes well, the White Center location should be open regular hours by mid-November. Late-night dining will remain at the California Avenue location for as long as possible, with White Center late night hours to be determined.

With all the new space, Miranda is looking forward to opportunities such as adding a stage for live music, burlesque and dinner theater. “And,” she adds, “we will start taking reservations for holiday parties!” Unless you were having a very small party, this would have been unthinkable at the California Avenue location. There was even mention of Matthew Darling hosting some karaoke.

Asked whether this expansion was part of her original vision, Miranda answers: “I always thought I’d have a little coffee counter, but now I have all this room for all these wonderful people, so why not?”

SIDE NOTE: You might also have heard of Miranda’s other new “site” – a Whidbey Island farm. We asked her how that plays into all this:

Sitting down quietly and watching the food grow, taking part in tending it, makes my heart feel better. I love cooking so much, and I love cooking under pressure. Turning a mad rush into off the cuff choreography that still has time for dips and twirls makes me grin ear to ear. But I also love the long, patient tending of the garden that takes months or years to come to fruition. There needs to be a balance, and a relationship between one and the other.

I will be dividing my personal residence between Arbor Heights & Whidbey Island for the time being. Over the winter months, I’ll be concentrating my focus on the new restaurant space in White Center. As we get settled in and spring approaches, I’ll begin to spend more time focusing on getting the farm set up to host guests.

And the terms of the lease? Include an agreement that I will use only sustainable growing methods, and agree not to use GMO seeds. I have the planting schedules from the past few years, and am very happy. :)

The intention behind the farm is to produce food (hopefully for the restaurant, itself) and to offer a space to connect with community on a deeply visceral level. I want to offer people the delight of taking part in creating the food they eat. I believe that many people want that connection. I myself very much do. I hope to create a space wherein creation, storytelling and shared meals are all part of the same process.

I am deeply excited about the people who have come forward with something to teach; something to share. Making beer, bread, cheese, fiber & spinning, exchanging stories with people you’ve not met before over the evening fire, or just a relaxing visit to a space where it’s ok to go sit by a tree and think about things for a while. That’s what our next step is. That’s what the farm is about.

47 Comments

  1. What a blessing for White Center. Thanks Miranda!

    Comment by Amanda — 12:25 pm October 24, 2012 #

  2. Still so bummed that Meander’s is moving. I’m going to miss that food!

    Comment by quiz — 12:30 pm October 24, 2012 #

  3. I love these pictures, looks like a great place. Also, you two are very silly and look like a lot of fun! ;-) Congrats on the new biz!

    Comment by Kari — 12:47 pm October 24, 2012 #

  4. With the evolution of Square for credit cards, I do not understand why this business cannot go to credit card payments. Sure there is an ATM, but the fees are insane.
    I also hope its a bit more “comfortable” that the current location. The interior of the existing spot is not overly pleasing.

    Comment by coffee — 1:03 pm October 24, 2012 #

  5. Miranda, this is the best news in the world. And you have Matthew, my favorite manager of all time!

    You’ll see us opening night. Morning. Whatever.

    <3 Amy & Luis

    Comment by AG — 1:13 pm October 24, 2012 #

  6. this looks and sounds amazing! i’m sad at the possibility (likelihood?) that the walking-distance WS location will close but happy for miranda and looking forward to both what the new restaurant location has to offer and the farm on whidbey!

    Comment by Ben — 1:15 pm October 24, 2012 #

  7. Amy and Luis we’ll be there too! Save us a seat.

    Comment by HelperMonkey — 1:25 pm October 24, 2012 #

  8. Can’t wait to go check it out!

    Comment by kayo — 1:35 pm October 24, 2012 #

  9. Congratulations!! I will be gladly be chowing down there ASAP. I only made it to the California location once (I hate lines). So happy for any new restaurant in the area!

    Comment by DRW — 1:38 pm October 24, 2012 #

  10. How is Miranda ever going to find time to sleep?

    Comment by kate — 1:39 pm October 24, 2012 #

  11. Miranda’s food and Matthew’s stunning wit, I can’t wait!!!

    Comment by GoGo — 1:44 pm October 24, 2012 #

  12. Is the food going to come out faster or not? It more looks like a dive. How about those seats that look like they are torn to shreds already Are you really going to use those seats? Scary looking.

    Comment by carlton — 1:48 pm October 24, 2012 #

  13. Can’t wait to make this our new weekend family hang out spot!!

    Comment by Katie — 1:58 pm October 24, 2012 #

  14. White Center = yuck

    Comment by A — 2:03 pm October 24, 2012 #

  15. If you aren’t clever enough to figure out how to get cash from the bank, don’t blame it on this business.

    Comment by Common — 2:09 pm October 24, 2012 #

  16. Yay Miranda!

    .

    Yay Matthew!

    .

    Yay Ventilation! ;-)

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 2:35 pm October 24, 2012 #

  17. There is no reason a business should NOT take CC/Debit Cards… MOST people do not carry cash anymore…

    Comment by Jtk — 2:36 pm October 24, 2012 #

  18. How is Miranda ever going to find time to sleep?

    .

    Kate, Miranda’s probably already getting pointers from WSB, on that! ;-)

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 2:38 pm October 24, 2012 #

  19. Is the food going to come out faster or not? It more looks like a dive. How about those seats that look like they are torn to shreds already Are you really going to use those seats? Scary looking.

    .

    carlton, that’s nice of you to be so concerned!

    .

    Here’s the link to Miranda’s gofundme site, where you can conveniently make a donation, to help with renovation costs.

    http://www.gofundme.com/19qrkk

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 2:44 pm October 24, 2012 #

  20. I will have to check it out this weekend…maybe some breakfast :) congrats

    Comment by ca — 2:44 pm October 24, 2012 #

  21. Congratulations to Miranda! We wish you the best and will be at the new location soon!

    Comment by Todd — 2:55 pm October 24, 2012 #

  22. There IS a reason. Debit/credit cards take money out for processing. As a small businessperson, I know this firsthand. And it adds up. Every business has to make the choice, of course, whether to offer it for customer convenience despite the money you lose. If you have an in-demand-enough bricks-mortar business to make that demand and not have your business suffer, then it’s certainly your right to. (We don’t have the option of taking cash, since we’re not bricks-mortar.)

    Comment by WSB — 2:59 pm October 24, 2012 #

  23. Donations? That whole process doesn’t sit well with me, have more respect for the places that make it on their own effort, their own level of risk that they are willing to take. I like the food, atmosphere of the current place — but the woah with me approach has turned me off.

    Comment by My two cents ... — 3:01 pm October 24, 2012 #

  24. This late-night regular cannot wait to try out the new location. *COUGH24hourservicepleaseCOUGH* :D

    Comment by cascadianone — 3:17 pm October 24, 2012 #

  25. I hope it works out for them. I was a loyal customer at the beginning, but the lack of service and the burnt smell just turned me off at some point. The current location is also a bit dirty. That being said maybe the new spot will come with some welcome changes. I’m in agreement with my two cents as far as soliciting donations, but if people want to give the more power to them I guess.

    Comment by natinstl — 3:19 pm October 24, 2012 #

  26. I’ll miss sitting at the counter and watching the magic happen. The new location is also that much farther from home base in Admiral. The bar stools are rather funky, but just imagine shooting pool while waiting for breakfast! And with the bar, shelves behind the bar, and plans for entertainment I would hope and expect there to be plans for a liquor license in the future. A good bloody mary would go extremely well with Miranda’s eggs and hash browns.

    Comment by onion — 3:44 pm October 24, 2012 #

  27. What is wrong with helping fund small businesses in our community to succeed? Especially in a neighborhood that is trying to become cleaner/safer? It takes a village.

    Comment by Lolaleah — 3:47 pm October 24, 2012 #

  28. You might try asking Uncle Mike about the later hours – I know when he first opened this was something he hoped to accomplish. I think he closes earlier now, but do not know the reason.

    Debbie

    WELCOME!

    Comment by Westcoastdeb — 3:51 pm October 24, 2012 #

  29. Donations? That whole process doesn’t sit well with me, have more respect for the places that make it on their own effort, their own level of risk that they are willing to take. I like the food, atmosphere of the current place — but the woah with me approach has turned me off.

    My two cents, Here’s a link to a Forum post by Miranda, that pretty much sums up how she came to the decision that she did, as far as setting up a crowdfunding account:

    http://westseattleblog.com/forum/topic/meanders-hvac-fund#post-177634

    .

    Miranda has taken the risks, and worked hard to build this business. Through circumstances beyond her control, and even, really, beyond the control of the owner of the building of the original Meanders, her business risked ceasing.

    .

    As you’ll see when you read the linked post, it’s very difficult for Miranda to ask for help. And, if you check out her gofundme site, you’ll see that at certain donation levels, she is offering various “thank you” gifts.

    .

    Would you just rather this wonderful asset and friend to the West Seattle community go out of business, should the owners of the original Meanders building find that they need to actually sell, or redevelop the site?

    .

    Miranda may not have your respect, but she has mine, and, as you will no doubt see, the respect of many, in the West Seattle/White Center community.

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 4:30 pm October 24, 2012 #

  30. I hope the new site works out. Make sure the owner keeps up the building.

    Comment by cj — 4:36 pm October 24, 2012 #

  31. Re: lolaleah & others– nothing “wrong” per se, just stated that I have some “odd” feelings about this process (especially given that they are making a jump in size, scope for this business) — I have no issues with saving, investing, and slowly growing your business model – as countless others have tried, with some success and some failure. On a personal note, I prefer my donations to go to the food bank in our community. That’s all — just my two cents.

    Comment by My two cents ... — 5:21 pm October 24, 2012 #

  32. ill be there glad its closer to my place now

    Comment by Nick — 7:30 pm October 24, 2012 #

  33. Also coming to White Center–TT’s Soulfood at 16th and Roxbury—sign went up on Sunday–anyone got intel on that?

    Comment by karen — 8:06 pm October 24, 2012 #

  34. My two cents, thank you for contributing to the Food Bank–seriously.

    .

    Sorry If I seemed a bit harsh, but I tend to get a bit defensive when I feel that a person and/or business that’s been an asset to our community, is “dissed”.

    .

    Of course, I would hate to see Miranda have to go out of business for any reason, but it would be sad that if it had to be because of losing her lease, when her business has otherwise been successful.

    .

    She was given pretty short notice of this, (just a few months), so that didn’t leave a heck of a lot of time for planning a move.

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 8:21 pm October 24, 2012 #

  35. big jump from a tiny dive to someone’s huge basement. and living on a farm? lots of stuff going on.

    I guess if people give you money you have to spend it! Go big or go home!

    Though the location sucks. Part of the appeal of the current location is that its in WS.

    Comment by steve — 8:54 pm October 24, 2012 #

  36. Karen, I saw that tonight and was wondering about it too! No idea, though. I went to the place that used to be there a few times and it was all right but not nearly as good as 88.

    Comment by datamuse — 9:34 pm October 24, 2012 #

  37. Really, cash only? Hate to say it but this will definitely keep me from going there. I don’t like to carry cash; it’s far too easy to spend. I’d much rather a business add a few cents to each transaction to make up for the CC fees. I do hope they change this policy soon and catch up to the current century.

    Comment by Catpie — 8:38 am October 25, 2012 #

  38. Catpie, the culprit here is not the small business owner, but the large credit card corps/banks that charge a merchant a percentage for each transaction, for accepting that institution’s own product.

    .

    This has been a pet peeve of mine for nearly 30 years now, when I first became aware of it. I honestly can’t believe it’s legal, and certainly think it’s highly unethical.

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 9:11 am October 25, 2012 #

  39. The new space looks fabulous and fun. It couldn’t happen to a nicer, more enthusiastic owner and staff. Can’t wait to get a grits fix in White Center this weekend. YAY Miranda and YAY staff of Meanders.

    Comment by chinook — 9:29 am October 25, 2012 #

  40. Mike, I totally agree that it’s the credit card companies who are to blame, but as I said, I’d be just fine with the business adding that percentage onto my bill. Usually it’s a very small amount, under a dollar; I’m happy to pay that to avoid having to get $20 or $40 out of a cash machine to go out to dinner. It’s an extra stop, it’s a hassle, and instead I’ll just go someplace that takes plastic. Yep, call me lazy, but surely I’m not the only one who feels this way.

    Comment by Catpie — 11:27 am October 25, 2012 #

  41. The seats don’t look torn to shreds at all…what’s the problem? It looks cozy and inviting, I’d love to hang out there and I will! So glad Meanders is coming to White Center!

    Comment by Lea — 1:36 pm October 25, 2012 #

  42. I love Meanders, and Miranda’s vision, and that she has found a location with great ventilation!

    re cash only, I prefer to only spend cash at small businesses when I can- no reason to line the pockets of the banksters! no credit card fees = more $$ for the hardworking small business owners.

    Comment by Sean — 2:25 pm October 25, 2012 #

  43. Cool,my mom has been raving about the food! As a WC resident and a regular of The Locker Room(bar next door)I look forward to trying the food!!
    Be advised that daytime parking(especially on weekends)is HARD!!
    WS snobs , yuppies etc beware this is White Center and your arrogance will not be tolerated!

    Comment by The Jack — 7:01 pm October 25, 2012 #

  44. I grew up in White Center/Highland Park it was tough, but I loved it. I now live in the Junction and I’m so happy that WC is making healthy progress. It still has an edge to it, beautiful cultures, rich heritage, and now some more soul. I would move back in a heartbeat if they put in a grocery store in Highland Park :)

    Comment by Kara — 7:08 pm October 25, 2012 #

  45. Congrats, Miranda! I’m so excited for you! I cannot wait to come to your new location. Do you have any idea what your evening hours will be this weekend?

    I’m bummed (and surprised) to see so many negative comments. I know you had to scramble to find a new location and I think the photos look like a CUTE, warm, inviting space. I love that you still have the second-hand, miss-matched furniture – that’s Meanders look! I, too, would prefer you took cards, but it’s not a deal-breaker for me. I cannot wait to sit in a bigger location, eat your amazing grub and not have to sit in a smokey room (so excited about your new hood). GO YOU!!

    Comment by Donna Lawson — 10:25 pm October 25, 2012 #

  46. I hope the new place would be cleaner, wait shorter and kid friendly.

    Comment by Tanya — 11:48 am October 26, 2012 #

  47. Walked to Meanders this morning! Welcome to the neighborhood! The food was awesome as it was in the other space with no smoke smell. The aprons looked great on the men serving us breakfast! You have to try it!

    Comment by April — 4:13 pm October 27, 2012 #

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