Although there are several shopping areas I’ve grown accustomed to – such as the Village and Corinth Square – I recently realized I’ve been missing out on the stores with Kansas City charm. I had gotten stuck in a mundane routine, sticking with my Cheerios for breakfast and Urban Outfitters for shopping. To find the authenticity that was lacking from my life, I decided to head down to Westport for a day to explore the different restaurants and shops.
Upon arrival, I immediately admired the popular, yet not overcrowded cafe, with its black-and-white-striped window canopies and the red neon sign that read “Broadway Coffee.” The restaurant was quite spacious with windows that opened up the space, yet it felt surprisingly cozy. After seeing the customers holding ceramic mugs as well as pastries being served on actual plates (in contrast to Starbucks serving plastic cups and paper bags), I was even more satisfied. The ambience was exactly what you would want out of a cafe. From the checkered floor tiles to the hanging plants filtered throughout the space, it was the perfect spot to enjoy my breakfast.
I was met with a friendly smile from the barista – he even continued to smile as he suggested his favorite menu items as my indecisive self tried to pick a muffin from the plentiful display. Despite my cluelessness about where to place dirty dishes or which counter was for paying, I still felt very welcomed by the cheery employees.
The iced latte I ordered was on the stronger side, but nothing my running-on-espresso-shots body couldn’t handle. Tasting a latte that wasn’t completely sugar-infused was refreshing. The barista recommended me a lemon cranberry muffin. I didn’t know what to expect since I had never tried that flavor, but it was nothing short of incredible. The way the cranberries mixed perfectly with the creamy lemon filling turned out to be the perfect combination. Lemon didn’t used to be my go-to muffin flavor, but I may start branching out after that delicious muffin.
The total of my breakfast was only $6.39 – so with that, the friendly staff and the simplistic yet trendy atmosphere, I definitely plan on Broadway Cafe being my new go-to breakfast place.
Mills Record Company
When I found out Mills Record Company was only about a three-minute walk away from the coffee shop, there was no avoiding it. The outside of the building had a simple, fresh white paint finish with a vintage looking red “Westport” sign.
Knowing myself, I would never be disappointed by a record store, but this experience set a new level of expectations. I immediately fell in love when I laid eyes on the vast selection of records and vintage band tees (which was an unexpected bonus).
The staff was friendly and offered to help me find records, but I already knew to look for some of my favorite bands’ albums like Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” and the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”
Compared to other record stores I’ve been to, I can safely say I’ve never seen so many vinyls and CDs in one place, especially considering the wide selection of varying genres the store had. Under the displayed record albums, they had bins upon bins of extra records stocking every shelf. With artists varying from Eric Clapton to Halsey, they had a selection fit for any fan that came looking.
I came into the store to check out the scene, and ended up purchasing the $25 Mac Demarco album, “Salad Days.” If it wasn’t for the space’s modern, distinctive decor and welcoming staff members, I would not have felt so inclined to make a spur of the moment purchase.
Arizona Trading Co.
If I could describe Arizona Trading Co. in one sentence it would be “peculiar in the best way possible.”
Considering all the other places I visited, Arizona Trading Co. was the destination I was most unsure of what to expect. I don’t think I could’ve been met with a more delightfully surprising experience.
They had bizarre clothing pieces, shoes, handbags and jewelry – this store was the perfect embodiment of Phoebe Buffay. There was no piece of clothing or accessory I had ever seen before, including a turquoise cheetah-print skirt and a wooden textured satchel with a unique rose pattern. Everything had a retro charm. If you are ever worried someone will show up to school wearing the same thing as you, this store is the best solution to that concern.
Their selection ranged from grandma sweaters to kimono style dresses to a purse with a “Polly Pocket” embroidery – items so bizarre that no one could have ever envisioned such a thing (I surely didn’t).
If your closet needs some revamping or you simply want clothing items with a history and items no one else has, this store will have no issue exceeding that expectation. It seemed like a thrift store that had already been sorted through to find the quality vintage pieces, so items tended to be priced higher than a shirt from Goodwill.
I was missing out by being stuck in my Prairie Village bubble. There are so many different restaurants, stores and entertainment outlets that deserve to be discovered. So I urge you to branch out – take that 20 minute drive to a hipsteresque coffee shop instead of your local Starbucks, pick up a record from a band that your mom or dad listened to when they were in high school and find a bizarre top that looks like it’s from 2001 that maybe you wouldn’t have given a second glance before.