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.”

107 Replies to "West Seattle restaurants: Meander's comeback in Morgan Junction, this time to Kokoras Greek Grill space"

  • JanS February 5, 2016 (8:08 pm)

    I, for one, am glad to see her back closer to home. I wish Miranda good luck with this venture, and am excited about dinner plans. Mimosas a bloodies with breakfast? Oh, my. Thank you…super excited :)

  • Lindsey February 5, 2016 (8:12 pm)

    Oh no! I will miss Kokoras! They had such a good gyro sandwich.

  • Trickycoolj February 5, 2016 (8:16 pm)

    Kokoras say it ain’t so!!! I haven’t had Gyros so good outside of Europe. 

  • Trickycoolj February 5, 2016 (8:19 pm)

    When is Kokoras closing? 

    • WSB February 5, 2016 (8:41 pm)

      Tricky – I just asked Miranda that. Adding the long answer above, in a minute.

      • Trickycoolj February 5, 2016 (9:01 pm)

        Thanks. Sounds like a night of Kokoras is in order!

  • B February 5, 2016 (8:24 pm)

    That’s horrible news for a variety of reasons.  Kokoras will be missed.  

  • flimflam February 5, 2016 (8:31 pm)

    OMG KRONE IS A GENIUS!=…..!…..

  • flimflam February 5, 2016 (8:54 pm)

     it will run as current business with current staff until it becomes her new place?

  • afrikando February 5, 2016 (8:56 pm)

    I’m so sorry to hear that Kokoras is closing. :-(

  • Lisa February 5, 2016 (9:01 pm)

    NOOOOOOO! This is the worst news all year. Kokoras can’t go :(

  • eater February 5, 2016 (9:05 pm)

    Hasn’t Kokoros been up for sale for YEARS?Regardless, I will commence grieving for the best baklava I’ve ever had. The citrus notes were perfect.I have been visiting and appreciating those folks forever.  I won’t be in after the change though that’s a tiny restaurant which is probably a manageable size for Miranda to cope with.But, really, who knows?  Restaurant people can be an interesting lot sometimes. Never say never.

  • Loves Burien February 5, 2016 (9:34 pm)

    If you love Greek food, The Greek House in Burien is fantastic!!

  • cj February 5, 2016 (9:36 pm)

    Meander’s coming back???  That is so awesome!  I remember some of the best food in that tiny little place.

  • Anon February 5, 2016 (9:39 pm)

    I would have been excited except for the fact that Meanders seems to be full of drama since it left in the 1st place. 

  • Jehu February 5, 2016 (9:51 pm)

    What a bummer. Kokoras will truly be missed. Best of luck to Spiro on his return to Greece!I was a fan of Meanders in the early days but have no interest in returning. No need to list those reasons here, as they’ve been discussed enough by others whenever there is news about this business and the drama that follows it from location to location.

  • Yeah February 5, 2016 (9:59 pm)

    But isn’t the entire building for sale? How long will any business in this site last before the whole thing gets torn down for another mixed use building?

  • Yumpears February 5, 2016 (10:04 pm)

    OH NO!! So sad… I will miss Kokoras! Our family loves their food.

  • AJP February 5, 2016 (10:07 pm)

    Hopefully there is a smart business person to run that side of things so Miranda can focus on what she’s so good at! 

  • Keri February 5, 2016 (10:16 pm)

    Agreed.  Sad news indeed – on many levels.  Despite the explosion in population, our WS culinary options are still lacking.  Saying good bye to an establishment that isn’t the standard pizza fare is hard.  Ushering in the drama and attitude that comes with Meander’s is just creating another sore spot.  

  • karooke22 February 5, 2016 (10:28 pm)

    While I’m happy for Spiro and his return to Greece, I am actually really depressed about this news.  I will really miss Kokoras and wish Spiro the best of luck! They have been my go to place since I moved to West Seattle and you could always count on them for amazing food and service.  Meanders will not even come close to filling that void and I have no desire or excitement to see Meanders back in the neighborhood let alone taking over a beloved spot.

  • AlexDex February 5, 2016 (10:34 pm)

    Bummer…really enjoyed Kokoras and can’t see me going to Meanders.

  • GHO February 5, 2016 (10:37 pm)

    Ugh. Horrible news! Glad for Spiro, but going to miss the place and have no interest in Meanders.

  • Kmac February 5, 2016 (11:17 pm)

    Sorry, can’t support Meanders after so many failed attempts.  I’m not sure what to believe about Korkoras and their reasons for closing but Meanders has too much drama to support.

  • C February 5, 2016 (11:35 pm)

    I do miss Meanders from its first location… But lost interest after the multiple moves…. Hearing Kokoras is closing sickens my heart… I hope losing Kokoras turns into a good thing if Meanders can stop meandering around the SW side.

  • RayWest February 6, 2016 (4:23 am)

    Meander’s should change their name to Phoenix–they continually rise from the ashes again and again. Hopefully this venue will be successful, and I wish them nothing but luck, but I’m very sorry to see Kokoros go. While there are many restaurants in West Seattle, the variety is slim, as most are just copies of what already exists. 

  • RayWest February 6, 2016 (4:29 am)

    Regarding the “drama” with Meander’s. I suspect most small restaurants have their own dramas behind the scenes, but they just don’t happen to get reported in the media. Hopefully Meander’s has learned from past mistakes and can move forward and be successful in a highly competitive and tumultuous industry.

  • K'lo February 6, 2016 (5:42 am)

    My crystal ball says ‘look for another restaurant vacancy to fill in about 6 months.” Hope the new building owners are requiring a lease. Drama Mama back in the ‘hood!

  • SueBDooo February 6, 2016 (6:14 am)

    Kokoros was great for a call-in order to take home or across the street to the Beveridge…and it was a nice place to have a sit-down dinner too. Delish moussaka.  Meanders…… Meh!  Not interested.

  • BusinessVsBiscuits February 6, 2016 (6:55 am)

    Seems like restaurants should adapt a 3 strike policy.  If you can’t make it in 3 attempts, time to get out of the game or totally reboot.  I for one followed Meander’s to 3 locations, and they definitely struck out on the last one.  Sorry, very talented cook but not a lot of business sense.  Seems like a re-branding and an injection of business savvy is in order.  For me, anything named “Meander’s” will not be competing for my monthly restaurant budget, too many other good places to eat around here that don’t come with a side of drama.  Frankly, just keeping the name makes me think the owner still doesn’t get how businesses work.

  • WS gal February 6, 2016 (7:15 am)

    Kokoras you will be SO missed!!! Have to agree with the drama comments on Meanders. 

  • LC February 6, 2016 (7:17 am)

    +1 not interested in Meanders. Sorry to see korkoros go!

  • EL G February 6, 2016 (7:27 am)

    Best of luck to both Spiros and Miranda.

  • miws February 6, 2016 (7:33 am)

    Glad to see Miranda and Meander’s coming back! I was heartbroken when she had to close  down her great little location in White Center, which was around a 1/2 mile, flat walk.  Oddly, though, the new location will be easier in one way, even though it’s about a three-mile, 15 minute or so bus ride away; there will be less walking. Plus, I’d likely stop at Thriftway to grocery shop, which is where I already shop.Best of luck to you, Miranda and Kim! Mike

  • Kadoo February 6, 2016 (8:16 am)

    Sad to see Korkoras go and happy for them all the same. 

  • Dr. Clue February 6, 2016 (8:57 am)

    Speaking of great business sense, I’m going to be opening a pop-up at a WS location TBD called The Griddler. At The Griddler, there will be no menus; instead, waitstaff will provide clues to customers as to what’s available to eat. All staff will also be dressed in the likeness of The Riddler of Batman fame. Our objective will be to feed customers’ minds as well as their bellies–get ’em thinking, even when they’re hungover. To that end, no one will be permitted to order a Bloody Mary until they solve at least one staff riddle.

  • Sarah February 6, 2016 (9:07 am)

    We are really really going to miss Korkoras!! We went to Meanders twice, first time at the old place, left feeling smokey and greasy. Gave it another go at WC. They were out of all the things we wanted to order. Left feeling unhappy, and greasy. I do not understand the draw of this place.We wish the owners of Korkoras well, the staff was always so charming. Their food was always excellent. Meander’s has BIG shoes to fill there. And does a liquor license mean that they will be open for more than breakfast? Will it become another bar? An all-day bar?

  • ACG February 6, 2016 (9:53 am)

    Sad to see Kokoras go, but I second the vote for the Greek House in Burien. A little drive but sooooo yummy. 

  • kg February 6, 2016 (10:23 am)

    The passing of my beloved Kokoras will be a stark reminder that flavor is fleeting, ouzo lasts but a night, and our sorrow will last for eternity.Goodbye my beloved gyro salad.

  • JoB February 6, 2016 (10:23 am)

    I am sad to see so many people trashing a local business before it even opens…

    • BusinessVsBiscuits February 6, 2016 (10:56 am)

      Correction JoB, as the article highlighted this will be the 4th opening for this business.  Your personal bias is well documented towards your friend, but perhaps it would be good if business owners did some market research before opening rather then getting consumer sentiment through the WSB.  Business school 101, it is much cheaper to retain the customers you have then get new customers, and this business has done a good job of alienating a lot of customers that used to frequent it.  This community owes nothing to a business that would rather play by its own rules then listen to the consumer.  We live in  a free market economy, which means the consumer is all that ultimately matters.  Time will tell, as financing doesn’t last forever and there are a lot of deserving businesses competing for the same revenue…

  • GG February 6, 2016 (10:34 am)

    I am so sad to hear that Kokora’s is closing! Their food is so delicious and the staff is so nice.  Not thrilled at all about Meanders. Their food is so incredibly overpriced for what you get. There are so many other better choices for good restaraunts in West Seattle that I’d rather go to.

  • Up Chuck February 6, 2016 (11:14 am)

    Oh for Gawd sake! Location is clearly not the problem for Meanders! Let it die! Was hoping to never hear that name again…

  • HelperMonkey February 6, 2016 (11:14 am)

    Gross. On so many levels. 

  • WSFoodie February 6, 2016 (11:29 am)

    Thanks for being my go-to place for a good gyros salad Kokoras!  I wish the owners well.  I’m kind of over all the drama with Meanders and don’t really care.  Meanwhile I really want to know when the Ramen place and the sports bar are going to open in the Junction!  It seems like they’ve been in “coming soon” mode for months.  

    • WSB February 6, 2016 (11:40 am)

      Both still say “spring.” In our daily checks of records/documents online, we noted that permits were only recently granted – those tend to take a very long time.

  • DDelRio February 6, 2016 (12:21 pm)

    So sad about Kokora’s,  guess I’ll have to check out that Greek place a few of you mentioned in Burien. I hope I’m not disappointed!

  • Cheryl February 6, 2016 (12:31 pm)

    I will miss Kokoras terribly. Best baklava I’ve *ever* had. As was their salad dressing, their gyros, their amazing service, their… well, EVERYTHING to be honest.Meanders? 4th time’s the charm? I highly doubt it.

  • wait and see February 6, 2016 (12:59 pm)

    Meanders had some damn good food. With a business partner, new hours and a liquor license… who knows? 

  • motormike February 6, 2016 (1:05 pm)

    Thank you to Spiros and Demetra for creating and running such an awesome place. I will miss your restaurant sorely. You were a neighborhood treasure. I wish you lots of luck and happiness on your new adventure. 

  • squareeyes February 6, 2016 (1:09 pm)

    Oh man HUGE bummer! We loved our Beveridge Place/Kokoras evening combo. Meanders can in no way fill that void. Gave them a couple of chances and tasted only disappointment.Best wishes to Spiros and family, you will be missed.

  • humanbeen February 6, 2016 (1:21 pm)

    Drama? There’s a lot of drama in these comments! Kokoras wanted to sell, and they sold. No one’s pushing them out. And you either like the food at Meanders or you don’t. If you don’t, then don’t go there. No reason to trash talk. I personally really liked Meanders. Unique food, well executed. 

  • flimflam February 6, 2016 (1:35 pm)

    I am truly confused/curious why on earth you’d get a restaurant space of your own, keep the old business running, then change into your new place at some point in the future. it just sounds like a strange path to me.  

    • JanS February 6, 2016 (2:55 pm)

      flimflam…you do realize that Meanders in WC has been closed for some time. Right?  And now she’s moving into a new place. Nothing strange about that.

      • flimflam February 6, 2016 (4:28 pm)

        what is strange….. is that…… it sounds as if it will continue with the same menu as Kokoras for some time……. before turning into her new place – unless I read it wrong….

        • flimflam February 6, 2016 (4:30 pm)

          “We plan to retain the current staff, and will continue running as Kokoras until about a week before the changeover.” not attacking anyone, so relax. it seemed odd to me, so I asked about it. nothing more. 

          • JanS February 6, 2016 (10:46 pm)

            flimflam…I will check, but I believe that was a request from the Kokoras owner

  • H February 6, 2016 (1:43 pm)

    Darn! I loooove  Kokoras! One of the first places we would frequent when we first moved to WS.I do wish Meanders luck. Unfortunate situation to be replacing a beloved restaurant. I personally really liked the food at meanders when in the mood for a big breakfast, quirks and all (except I really do want some G.D. peppers with my omelet. What is with that?). However, I don’t wait in long lines for a table and that location is tiny.

  • Twicksea February 6, 2016 (2:29 pm)

    I don’t wish Meanders any ill will but I am very, very sad about Kokoras leaving.  I am happy for the owners if this is their wish, but I will miss their delicious food so much! We’ve tried the Greek place in Burien, the people were friendly and the food was good–but not as good as Kokoras, and it’s not walking distance from our house.  Jeez, I’m just getting more bummed out as I type this.  

  • Jason February 6, 2016 (4:05 pm)

    Can someone fill me in on the ostensible drama surrounding Meanders? We have eaten there a dozen times, and while the service was slow, I found the staff to be friendly and the food quite good. We also really liked Kokoras. Reading through the comments there are multiple references to drama but nothing substantive. To what are people referring? Why are you trashing on Meanders?

    • Alan February 6, 2016 (4:21 pm)

      Jason, the easiest way to come up to speed is to read this story from August and the associated comments. Clearly this divided people though it seems like most of those posting is on the negative side. https://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/meanders-kitchen-changes-management-closes-early-today-says-it-will-reopen/

    • melissa February 7, 2016 (6:40 pm)

      She’s been in three different locations in the past few years. The first was great and she was forced to leave through no one’s fault. The second one was too big; she admitted that she’d over-extended herself. The third one involved an extended saga about which I don’t know all of the details, but however much of the fault was hers or theirs, she handed the shop over to the wrong people when she left town for another job. Things went to hell in a hand basket. When she’s on, she’s SO on, but when she’s not, things can spin into crazyland pretty quickly and dramatically.

  • JanS February 6, 2016 (4:32 pm)

    @Jason….and it’s all done and over with. There were false stories abounding about the owner, and it loos like they are still out there. I had eaten numerous times there after the August incident, and it was drama free. And the food was delish. People need to unclench and let it go. This will be a new venture, and I think our community is better than the negative comments on here.I, for one, will support the new Meanders until it’s proven otherwise that I shouldn’t. To all, if you do not want to eat there, don’t. No need to try and influence others to not go there. Perfection is illusive. Seek it in your own life first. And I say that in the nicest way. :)

  • JoB February 6, 2016 (5:02 pm)

    BusinessvsbisquitsYes, i like Miranda.. but that has little to do with my sadness at seeing people trash a business before it opens.. and Miranda is opening with a new business model and a partner.I seem to remember a wonderful little place on Alki that someone decided was too hoity toity because of a comment made about wine.I used to really like that place and i was really sad to see it fail because of the comments of people who obviously didn’t like the owner…the food was delicious.. but they couldn’t overcome the maliciousness…… Is that really who we are?

  • BusinessVsBiscuits February 6, 2016 (8:36 pm)

    JanS/JoB: My god, please stop.  My wife and I ate at the original location (loved it minus the cramped location and terrible ventilation).  We were excited to follow to the larger location in White Center (even ignoring the fact that a for-profit enterprise would use crowd-funding to raise capital).  We were excited when the owner decided she had bit off more then she could chew at that huge location and moved down the road in WC.  We happily brought visiting guests to the 3rd location and gushed about the food.  We even took our daughter there when she was only 1 month old because of how much we loved the food.  Then we saw the decline.  We saw the service become terrible, we saw the food quality go down and the portions shrink.  We stopped going before we learned about Miranda taking on a chef job on a boat and the management issues.  Those were the final straws.  It all started to make sense, the move from a small location to one that was way to large, discussions on the blog about aspirations of live music and “The Farm”.  Every tiny aspect pointing to a terribly gifted chef that was given to flights of fancy with no business sense and a short attention span.  I know people that have lost everything chasing their passion.  People that have risked it all starting the business of their dreams only to lose everything and missing out on the retirement they could have otherwise had.  The entire journey that is “Meander’s” is an affront to everyone that has put everything they had into something and I for one am jumping off the roller coaster.  Unless this business becomes a food truck or the owner becomes a chef at someone else’s restaurant, frankly, she hasn’t earned my business.

  • cindi b February 6, 2016 (10:06 pm)

    I will really miss Kokoras! I am in love with their pilaf, can I eat it every day until they leave? And I would especially want to mention what good neighbors Kokoras was, they were one of the first supporting restaurants in the “Bite of Morgan” at our yearly festival. A couple of years they even opened early so they could participate.  What a loss, but I wish them well in they journey home.

  • Seriously? February 6, 2016 (10:20 pm)

    Well said BusinessvsBiscuits. My issue is with Miranda’s lack of self awareness and apparent decision to avoid paying taxes. Don’t believe me? Look up her name under the Washington court records website and you will find countless lawsuits against her from the states L&I, Unemployment security taxes as well as lawsuits from restaurant suppliers for unpaid bills. Enough is enough.. she clearly lacks any business sense and thinks she’s above paying her bills. Why should we support that? 

  • JanS February 6, 2016 (10:40 pm)

    wow…any of those court cases resolved? Countless? How many are countless? 3 ? 10? 30? How many? Care to back that “countless” up? Wow, I had no idea my  neighbors were so hateful and vicious ! @Businessvbiscuits.  Why does anyone have to stop anything because you say so. If you don’t want to support her, don’t. Period. But you don’t know me and I don’t know you, and I will do what I feel as far as this or any  business is concerned. Damn, enough already. You are under no obligation to support any business that you choose…that’s for all here. But quit with the trash talk before it even opens. Obviously you believe what her former employees say. So be it.

  • Seriously? February 6, 2016 (11:21 pm)

    @jans. Does it matter? Whether it’s 1 unpaid tax bill or 100, the amount is completely irelevant. Facts are facts.  It is at least 12 different bills she has been sued for. Maybe Miranda should focus on that before opening a new location. Whoever said anyone was obligated to support anyone? People are allowed to express concern..that doesn’t make it ” trash talk”.  

  • aa February 7, 2016 (12:11 am)

    It’s food people!  Talk about a high class problem.  Judging, condemning , hurt feelings, what because you’re  not getting your favorite dessert or service was bad?  Looking into other people tax problems, sheesh.  How about doing something helpful with all this energy?

  • RayWest February 7, 2016 (4:49 am)

    This would all make for a great “reality” TV show.

  • JoB February 7, 2016 (6:07 am)

    Has anyone noticed that there is more than one name on that announcement?  …  Somehow i don’t think that Kim DePew who has invested in this venture deserves your rain of abuse… … do you? ….. she definitely doesn’t deserve to have her business trashed before it opens. ….             

  • BusinessVsBiscuits February 7, 2016 (7:32 am)

    JanS/JoB:  If anyone wanted to lay claims about internet forum negativity I think I could stomach it from just about anyone other then you two (well, I could probably add a few more from the WSB Forums, but you two are for sure in the top 5).  Do you recognize the hypocrisy you are displaying?  This web site has been your personal playground for displaying righteous indignation for any number of topics that annoy you, I would even hazard to guess you are within the top 5 of comments made on the site all-time.  If anyone doesn’t believe me,  just search the forums, according to their profiles (JoB: 495 topics started,  19,340 replies created; JanS: 492 topics started, 12,275 replies created).  Pay attention to topics regarding off-leash dogs, fireworks or anything to do with their perception of the “me” culture.  I think it is important to point this out since you are accusing so many others of what you deem as “trash talk”.  In order to further set the record straight, I do not know the owner, any of their former staff, or anyone on this forum (at least as far as I know).  I have no idea what actually happened at the previous location, what (if any) laws were broken, or who to believe, nor do I really care.  What I do know is what I have experienced, plus what has been reported on the WSB.  I’m sure some of these issues occur at other establishments, but the reality is you generally don’t hear about them.  In fact, I can’t tell you who the owner is of any of the restaurants I frequent in West Seattle; don’t know, don’t care.  Who owns Elliot Bay, Easy Street, Fiddle Head, Bakery Nouveau, Prost!, Endolyne Joe’s?  I have no idea, I don’t really care, but man do they have good food and have created a nice atmosphere to dine.  Also, when have you ever heard about those places in the news for anything other then some event that might be going on?  The answer is that you generally don’t.  With Meander’s it has always seemed like it is all about the owner, all about their dreams, all about what they want to serve (see homemade ketchup), all about their drama .  It should be all about the food, all about the customer experience.  I don’t know Kim DePew, but man I feel for her.  She clearly believes in her partner, but I don’t think she took into account the baggage that partner brings.  My recommendation (and I truly mean this to be helpful), change the name from Meander’s, make Kim the public face of the new enterprise, de-emphasize any connection to the previous location, remove mention of Miranda from anything to do with control of the restaurant and highlight the culinary skill of the chef.  Let people learn of this new location without any baggage of the old and let your product speak for itself.  This is basic PR and managing a brand.  Images can be rebuilt, but not until you learn from your previous mistakes.  Hopefully for Kim’s sake I’m wrong, but with over 70 comments and growing I fear I am not…  One final note, based on these comments I am really sad I never got to experience Kokoras, sounds like the food was amazing!!!

  • JanS February 7, 2016 (9:31 am)

    Businesswhoever. You’ve made this personal. You still don’t know me, you know nothing about me, you’ve never met me…yet, for some reason, you feel it’s OK to call me out. Have you ever taken the time to actually meet when  forum members have meetups?  Nope.  But you feel that you can judge someone on that basis….wow.I do find it odd that for all the years that  Kokoras has been there, you’ve never gone, since you seem to frequent many restaurants in West Seattle. It was good. But like a few things now, you simply don’t know anything about it.As I said before. If you don’t want to eat there, don’t. It’s that simple.

  • JoB February 7, 2016 (10:29 am)

    BusinessVSBisquits…… You get a pass for trashing a local business before it opens because i post a lot about things i care about?  Really? ….. Exactly how does my participation in this forum excuse your decision to trash a business you either know very little about or as your handle suggests.. think you know all too much? ….. i think you need to get your priorities straight….. We have already had one West Seattle  Restaurant fall to malicious postings….  the restaurant business is tough enough.. let it succeed or fail on it’s own merits… these owners like any other deserve a chance to win your business.. if they don’t.. they will fail.

  • flimflam February 7, 2016 (10:44 am)

    guys, guys – can we all agree on one thing? no…no…..no to all the……ellipses. .they….aren’t intended to be used……in….this….way!

    • melissa February 7, 2016 (6:52 pm)

      Bless you, flimflam! The ellipses! Oh god, the ellipses! Make them stop. They…don’t…show…deliberation…or…deep…thought.

    • RayWest February 8, 2016 (4:12 am)

      Flimflam, you are exactly right on about ellipses. People, try using the em dash or semi-colon instead.

  • jissy February 7, 2016 (11:50 am)

    BusinessvsBiscuits:  SPOT. ON.

  • WStransplant February 7, 2016 (12:29 pm)

    We will miss Korokas!  We made sure to go by last night for dinner, great gyros salad (as always) and superb 2″thick lamb chops that had been marinating since Wednesday!  So glad we made it there and hope to at least one more time before they leave.  Sounds like most of the staff will stay (hopefully, the main waiter as well).  Many regulars were teary-eyed, myself included.

  • Go Broncos! February 7, 2016 (2:21 pm)

    We loved Kokoros and are very glad to hear their staff will be staying after the transition! That might be a reason we would try the new place (keeping an open mind, even though we are not Meanders fans).

  • kg February 7, 2016 (5:44 pm)

    Is Kokoros not open today? Did I miss something in the article? Nothing but the answering machine. Website says they should be open.Nothing says “America” like a Chimay in a proper glass and Gyro while watching the Super Bowl.

    • WSB February 7, 2016 (5:50 pm)

      We mentioned in today’s daily preview that some establishments close, or close early, on Super Bowl Sunday, if they’re not the game-watching kind of place. No list but we’re driving south on Calif right now and just noticed Spiro’s and West City are dark… (added) Continuing down California, we did notice Kokoras is dark. Azuma Sushi too. Couldn’t tell every place’s status … maybe next year if we think about it early enough, we’ll put out a call for “open or not” … TR

  • Elle Nell February 7, 2016 (6:27 pm)

    Hello people, just wanting to through out here that people are basically giving there opinions and somewhat reviews on a resturant. It has been the subject of way too many business debacles, in MY humble opinion. There is NoTHING wrong with pointing out “issues” to save someone a burden of an experience. As for me, we have given them 2 more visits than I knowingly, ever should have and reached the same OPINION. It was a burdensome experience that I had to pay for. I personally like to patron a resturant where I am served and cooked for… Oh wait, is this not YELP!! 

  • Elle Nell February 7, 2016 (6:28 pm)

    Throw and their- 😬

  • Loves Burien February 7, 2016 (9:07 pm)

    Businessvbuscuits:  EXACTLY!  On all points.

  • Brian February 7, 2016 (9:53 pm)

    Have to chime in. I loved Meanders from day one on California and after they moved to White Center. The last two times I ate there, most recently this Fall, I was so disappointed. Mostly absent service, and the food had seriously gone way downhill.  For example, my eggs Benedict dish was served without hollandaise, and when I asked for some, about 10 minutes later I unapologetically received a small bowl of …. melted butter. Vowed to never return. So sad!

  • Meander February 8, 2016 (2:21 pm)

    Oh, hey there. My ears were burning.

    I’ll miss Kokoras, too. It’s a small, family run place with warm, friendly service and really good food. I, too, have ordered takeout while sipping a beer at the Bev, and was surprised to find that Spiros was selling when Kim & I were searching for locations. I know it’s a neighborhood favorite and will be sorely missed, but that was Spiros’ decision.Part of why I like that space so well, and why I advocated that we buy it rather than build out other locations we were looking at, is precisely because it’s small, cheery and so close to the first location. And has excellent ventilation. You have no idea how strong my feelings about hood vents are, these days.

    I promise you, no one misses what Meander’s was when we were in our first location more than I do, or has been more impacted by the changes.

    @Melissa, yes, exactly, on all counts.That big space in WC was leased to us as “turn key”; after getting into the place and trying to make the best of it, I asked the health inspector what he recommended. He said, “Move”.Two years later, we were still trying to catch up with the deficit of that place. Yes, @Seriously?, I do owe taxes, though I think it’s a bit weird/creepy of you to spend your time rooting out my dirty laundry. Geez, you could have just asked me. We’d gotten to the point that we were keeping current on our tax liabilities and on payment plans for past balances, until the debacle in August. Please note that, as a former sole proprietor, I am and will continue to be personally liable for every debt, including the bad checks the former manager wrote from my account.

    @Businessvsbiscuits, funny thing is, I *am* going to work as a chef for someone else. Kim is the owner. I will eventually become a partner, and, while I am certainly prone to ‘flights of fancy’, a great deal of the issues you point out have more to do with doing my best with what I got.I’m not sure why you and so many others take umbrage at the notion that I should work a second job or on other projects. It’s fairly common, but here’s the scoop on why I took a different job, since you and others have asked. While arthritis made the repetitive motions of line cooking nearly impossible for me at the time, the broader range of motion of cooking on the ship was something I could do while earning enough money not to be a drain on the restaurant and still doing something I love.  I’m a better cook than administrator or bookkeeper; no kidding. I hired a manager and a bookkeeper, and gave the manager full access to the business account with my personal account as overdraft protection, ostensibly to be run in conjunction with the bookkeeper. Because I’m a nitwit, apparently. And off to work I went.

    As to the events of this past summer, I wonder if it missed your notice that the entire thing went down at the beginning of the only two week period of the summer that the manager knew I would be working out of the country and without phone or internet access. By the time I returned, I’d been pilloried, my accounts drained, and everyone had made up their minds, moved on, and were sick of hearing about it. Since then, I’ve had rotten fish dumped on my doorstep (weirdo), the fellow who bought our building during all of this was accosted by former employees and I later lost my lease, the shop was entered repeatedly by someone with keys who left feces in the space on one occasion and stole the cash register on another, and I’ll remind you that my child lives in this neighborhood.

    Also since then, many people who didn’t think the accusations fit into my otherwise broad range of character flaws, who gave me a chance to show them records of what happened, or who offered support in many different and much appreciated ways. Walking into my favorite coffee shop and being greeted with hugs and smiles. My kid doing awesome stuff. Cooking for and with friends.

    I’m glad of a chance to continue working to fulfill my many obligations and to apply some of the lessons I’ve paid very dearly for over the past five years. I’m excited to work with Kim; she’s fiercely driven, creative, far more savvy than some of the remarks here give her credit for, and it’s an enormous relief to share this process with someone else who is personally invested in it. More than anything, I’m looking forward to getting back into the kitchen.

  • HelperMonkey February 8, 2016 (2:39 pm)

    has there been a definitive answer on when the ownership will be changing? I’d like to visit Kokoras one last time before the changeover. 

    • Meander February 8, 2016 (7:30 pm)

      At this point, we’ve gone into escrow and should be closing the sale shortly. Kim and I will be spending the day with Spiros tomorrow; I know she and I are both eager to get to work, and his broker has told us that Spiros would like to move quickly. I did just find out today that we’ll be able to get our temporary permit for alcohol service in 14 days, and we’d planned to be closed the week prior for the change. Net, I don’t have a definitive date just yet, but I’d get in there quick. Note, they had planned on being closed yesterday for the Superbowl, as they do every year.

  • miws February 8, 2016 (3:37 pm)

    Meander, thank you for weighing in here with the facts, and clarification.  Wishing you…and…Kim…the best of luck in this new venture. Mike

    • Meander February 8, 2016 (7:31 pm)

      Thank…you…Mike.  ;) I’m looking forward to seeing you again, under happier circumstances!

  • BUSINESSVSBISCUITS February 8, 2016 (4:04 pm)

    @Meander: for what it’s worth, thank you for taking the time
    to explain.  I think it takes a lot of courage to read all the negative
    comments and respond in what appears to be a heartfelt way without getting
    defensive.  My biggest issue with everything was the lack of any kind of
    explanation, and frankly, while you might not have felt you owed anyone an
    explanation, unfortunately sometimes silence implies consent (especially since
    no one is required to give you their business).  I truly meant it when I
    said I thought you were a gifted cook and I for one am willing to take you at
    your word and give the reincarnation of Meander’s one more try.  My wife
    and I will give the new place a go and see if the original charm has returned.
     Please understand though that one more try is all that my wife and I have
    left to give, so here is hoping that you have truly learned from all this.  Good luck and here is hoping you have fair
    winds and following seas…

    • Meander February 8, 2016 (8:58 pm)

      Thank you for hearing me out. Seriously. To be frank, aside from seeing that I’d already been convicted in the court of public opinion, I don’t think I could have responded any sooner without being so bitter and defensive as to further discredit myself. I was a *wreck*, and I would have simply come across as a blustering, crazy-eyed harpy. *cough, cough*Though the stories that took root while I was away at work were inaccurate, it’s pretty clear that Mistakes Were Made (going further back than just this past summer), and the only way to avoid them in the future is to own it, learn it, and get back to work. As to whether or not I *owe* an explanation, of course I do!I started Meander’s as a hail mary to get out of working nights as a chef when my daughter was starting middle school. I literally had no money. I mean, I pre-paid six months’ rent, and by the time I opened my doors I had a negative balance in my change jar.You guys showed up, and you put up with smoky hoods and grease coated walls, stood in line for hours, put up with the coin toss of whether I’d tell you that your special request would taste bad and I wouldn’t do it or if I’d make up a special dish just for you, and through that I managed to (more or less) pay rent and buy groceries for me and the kid. I don’t think y’all understand that the path from being a 17 year old street kid to opening your own business is not exactly a clearly demarcated, conventional route, but y’all showed up, and it was like magic the way strangers would sit at the counter and end up exchanging tomato starts by the end of the meal.Of *course* I’m accountable to the community that gave me that. And anything less than busting hump to see it through would be a jerk move on my part.At this point, now that we’re in escrow, I’m actually letting myself feel a little bit giddy about The Menu. Thank you for the comment about my cooking…that’s the bit I’m really in love with, and I’m glad you’ll give me a shot. I’d love it if you introduced yourself when you come in.

    • Meander February 8, 2016 (9:16 pm)

      And it’s worth noting that while Jan & JoB are both vocal friends of mine, we actually met through the restaurant (although Jan is also the mother of another friend of mine, we hadn’t really met until after the shop opened). They’ve chosen to befriend me based on things they know about me by asking, engaging and showing up.They’ve both dealt with massive, life-threatening and physically debilitating health issues in that time, and have still scrounged up the energy to come see me and ask what the hell was going on. We met through a community fundraiser they were participating in, where a donation of a dinner party I’d made was won and re-donated to another benefit.In addition, they’ve found a venue to remain engaged and active in their community, even when their bodies weren’t co-operating. I aspire to that sort of determination.

  • Ratso Riz February 8, 2016 (8:50 pm)

    How could you buy a big boat (and brag about it!) while employees and bills went unpaid? It’s not a question of whether you’re a great cook; the question is, why would the community want to do business with you? If you’re just an employee there, why would the restaurant be in your name?

    • Meander February 9, 2016 (6:13 am)

      I’m so glad you asked that.A couple of things; just after I started on the ship this past summer, the landlord at my home informed me that she wouldn’t be renewing my lease. I started looking around for other places, but I’d also been looking at boats, daydreaming.Rent was incredibly high, and I’d found a boat with owners who were willing to carry the financing. The down payment was about what I would’ve paid for first, last & deposit on a rental, and the combined monthly payments for the boat and moorage were less than I would have paid in rent for a 2 (or even 1) bedroom apartment. Not only that, but I’d thought to do dinner cruises for paid passengers on her at some point, bringing in more revenue and tax deductions, and in two years I’d own her outright, with only moorage, insurance and maintenance to pay.I thought it was hilarious that it was cheaper for me to live on a “yacht” that to rent in Seattle. If I’d made the same deal for a trailer in a trailer park or to rent a home, I doubt anyone would have thought it excessive. As to the bills and paychecks. I set up payment schedules with our vendors; most were on one week to one month terms, so we always carried a balance, but within 30 days aging of accounts. Those payments were made by the manager, in conjunction with the bookkeeper. When I returned, I found that those bills were current, though I heard that a bill for an L&I account I was negotiating a payment plan came in during that time. I’d sent in an authorization letter to the tax agent so that my bookkeeper could take part in managing that account. Many of those bills are still waiting to be paid, due to the closure of the place.As to the paychecks. When I sent in my down payment on the boat, I checked the payroll statement from the bookkeeper, checked my account and the restaurant’s, and I asked the manager about outstanding checks. I deposited my paycheck from the ship, and I sent off the down payment. The manager even congratulated me for being able to pull off the purchase after making sure all our ducks were in a row. That pay period, everything was covered.The reason I made sure to double check with the manager about outstanding checks is that he’d overdrafted several that had to be paid out of my personal account. (I was later told by the bank that they’d told him our account would be closed because of all of the overdrafts. There’s a limit, even if they’re being covered from the personal account.) I’d spoken to him about sticking to his budget and the payment cycle. Most of our revenue comes in over the weekend, so one week we pay payroll, the next is rent and some of the vendors & utilities, the next is payroll, the one after that is DOR (sales tax) and more of the vendors & utilities. Because our bookkeeper was filing and paying our DOR but the manager also needed access to our checking account to be able to pay for COD deliveries & Cash & Carry runs, he was supposed to be working with her on timing, balances and how much he had available to spend.I know that we had enough to cover payroll and the outstanding checks on the payday that I made the boat deposit. The following payday, I noticed his numbers were really, really high. A few days later, on a Wednesday, I got a phone call from the bank that a paycheck was trying to clear, there weren’t enough funds in the restaurant’s account to cover it, and they couldn’t reach the manager. I told them to cover it out of my personal account, tried to reach the manager, and then called the bookkeeper. I asked if he’d been checking in with her on the budget and checking balances. She said that he had not.In the mean time, I looked at our bank account, and noticed that he’d been using the company debit card at a few different local bars.When he called me back, I asked him what was going on. He said he’d forgotten about a check coming through, it was all good, he was taking care of it, don’t you worry, Mama. Everything’s under control. I told him that his costs were running out of control, and that I’d seen the debit card purchases. He said they were an accident. I told him if he didn’t get his numbers together by the time I got back from the big trip, I’d have to come down and go through the books and revamp the schedule with him.Two days later, that Friday, I deposited my paycheck to help cover, and worked a dinner cruise. That night, I got an email from the manager telling me that he wouldn’t be depositing any cash into our account unless I agreed to remove myself from the bank account, that he was writing this email with our floor lead and kitchen lead, that no staff would accept phone calls from me on the matter, and that if I refused to do so, he would close the restaurant down. Please note that even if it were possible for me to remove myself from the account and I were bonkers enough to have done so, he didn’t send the email until 6:07pm, just after the bank closed. Our bank doesn’t keep weekend hours, and he knew I was leaving to Canada for work in the morning, with no cell or internet reception. Someone also used his copy of the company debit card to take out the maximum amount of cash allowed from the ATM Friday night. He wrote some large checks to Cash & Carry that day, as well, which have since gone to collections.My understanding is that he was late paying some of the crew, and paid the remaining off out of the sales on Saturday, though some of the checks that were marked as having been paid in cash later cleared through my bank account. There was a post that they were going to run Sunday, then close, and I think the intention was to use those sales to cover as much of the pay checks they would have coming the following week as possible.At the point that Afton went in to take over as manager, all the staff were current on their pay, according to the former manager. The checks they were demanding weren’t due until the following week, though by shutting us down, they made it awfully difficult to make good on that. Some of the crew have been in since then, some took me up on my offer to look at the accounts to back up what I was saying. As I understand, they were told that if they stayed and kept the place open, they wouldn’t be paid. Those that have seen the accounts realized they hadn’t been give the whole story.Oh, and as to the restaurant and my being an employee; it’s not in my name. It’s owned by an LLC, of which I am not a member. If we do well and I’m able to meet my obligations, I’ll be able to work into a partnership, but we’re working with a lawyer and an accountant to keep all of that proper.

      • Meander February 9, 2016 (6:15 am)

        Arg…sorry for the massive text block. I haven’t figured out how to make the paragraph breaks I’m typing show up in the published post.

  • cj February 8, 2016 (9:31 pm)

    Please come back to W Seattle Meander.  I really missed your biscuits and gravy!  :)  

    • Meander February 9, 2016 (6:13 am)

      Thank you! Will do, and soon, too!

  • Brian February 9, 2016 (11:25 pm)

    OK, that’s heartfelt and sincere enough for me. I’m unvowing my vow to not go back and will be giving the new place another try. Wishing you good luck Meanders to keeping it together this time. 

  • JanS February 9, 2016 (11:53 pm)

    You’re living up to your name by meandering back to us. Much love and hugs for posting on here, and in general. I, for one, can’t wait. To Brian and businessnbiscuits…thanks for taking a chance again :)

  • KA February 12, 2016 (12:54 pm)

    I really, really do not want Kokoras to go. It’s the only good Greek food around Seattle. While I liked Meanders in their original days, I LOVE Kokoras.

    Kokoras Facebook page is quite confusing. They keep saying last day, last week, etc. but there are also posts about Kokoras NOT going away, just changing. Will Meanders be attempting to cook Kokoras food?

    • WSB February 12, 2016 (12:58 pm)

      If you read upthread, Miranda was going to be working with the crew there to learn some of their dishes. I haven’t seen the posts to which you’re referring but that would likely be it…

  • Twicksea February 16, 2016 (7:47 pm)

    We stopped by tonight hoping for Kokoras’ deliciousness but it’s closed and clearly the transition is under way.  

  • Kit. H. February 16, 2016 (8:06 pm)

    Miranda, I’m THRILLED to be able to, once again, treat my tastebuds to your miraculous skills. Gimme some corned beef hash!!!!! puleeeeeze….

    THANK YOU for comin’ back,

    Kit 

  • Elizabeth February 21, 2016 (1:46 am)

    Miranda’s is a food wizard! I am thrilled to be able to eat her wonderful wizard food again. It is yummy magic.

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