‘Good Karma’: destiny takes a tasty turn

The Good Karma Cafe’s Merrie Roop places a salad and slice of corn bread in the window

The empty restaurant at the Friday Harbor bowling alley looked like a challenge and an opportunity to Merrie Roop, so she embraced both and returned to San Juan Island after a 19-year absence, opening wide the doors of the Good Karma Cafe on June 8.

Roop was an island resident from 1989 to 1994 (back when the cafe was called Jimmy’s Paradise Cafe), then married husband Jay, moved to Mukilteo, had two children and worked for the nearby Albertson’s, where she learned about professional-quality food preparation and service as deli manager of the grocery store for seven years.

She’s happy to be back in Friday Harbor, working in the restaurant with another child, grown daughter Cassie Dupraw. She’s also a firm believer in “karma” and good, simple food — bowling alley fare, like pizza, burgers and beer, and a full menu of sandwiches, snacks and salads. The restaurant also has a full bar.

She hired an experienced cook, Travel Jarrell, and two other employees, and decorated the cafe in Wolverine purple.

The Good Karma Cafe is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., with take-out pizza available during business hours.