Preston Smith opened Mecca Cafe in 1930, one year after opening 5 Point Cafe in Belltown, which David Meinert purchased in 2009.
Preston Smith opened Mecca Cafe in 1930, one year after opening 5 Point Cafe in Belltown, which David Meinert purchased in 2009.

The Queen Anne News has confirmed that David Meinert, once a prolific business owner in Capitol Hill’s nightlife and music scene, before multiple female acquaintances came forward last year with allegations of sexual misconduct, including rape, has entered an agreement to acquire Mecca Cafe in Lower Queen Anne.

Local reporter Sydney Brownstone reported, in July 2018, about five women accusing Meinert of sexual misconduct. That number rose to 11 by August. Meinert sold interest in his Capitol Hill bars — Grim’s, Lost Lake Cafe and Queer Bar — to his former Guild Seattle business partners in September.

Mecca has been a Lower Queen Anne institution since 1930, and was opened by Preston Smith. His son, Dick, took over the business in 1975. Dick Smith died of cancer in 2001, at which point his wife, Darlene, took over, followed by their daughter-in-law, Karon Hanke.

Hanke declined to comment about the sale to the Queen Anne News, having decided the publication wasn’t worth her time.

“I really like Katie [Herzog] from The Stranger, so if I am going to do an interview, I’d rather do it with The Stranger,” she said.

Brownstone is a former reporter at The Stranger, and reports she received a tip about one of Meinert’s accusers from coworkers there, and eventually was able to publish the story through KUOW.

“I had to fight to get this story published in a responsible way,” Brownstone wrote in a tweet on July 20, 2018, denying upper management at The Stranger had assigned her the story. “I’m glad KUOW did.”

Meinert admitted then to sometimes acting inappropriately and “handsy” with women, but denied allegations of sexual assault and rape.

In the fallout regarding the allegations, Meinert retained ownership of the 5 Point Cafe in Belltown, which Preston Smith opened in 1929. Meinert purchased that cafe in 2009.

A Mecca Cafe employee, who requested to remain anonymous, confirmed staff was informed about the sale last week, while Meinert was present. Ownership is not expected to transfer to Meinert until mid- to late-September.