From an Interview with Sprudge:
Introduce yourself to our readers—tell us about your cafe!
Broadway Cafe opened up in the Fall of 1992! We remodeled, painted, and started Roasting Coffee in the back of the Cafe in 1998. I guess you could say we have a retro ‘90s vibe going on at the Cafe. Truth is, we just really enjoy Portlandia & Wes Anderson films.
What equipment do you use in your shop?
We started out with a 2 group La Pavoni, moved up to a 3 group La San Marco, and we are now rocking our third 4 group La Marzocco Linea.
Mazzer Electronic Dosers, all around. Ditting grinders and Fetco Extractors grind and brew our House Blend & Coffee of the Moment.
Which roaster or roasters do you serve?
We started Broadway Roasting Co in the back of the Cafe with an IR12 Diedrich. Within a few batches, we had requests from baristas and friends from all over town to supply them with Espresso for their Coffeehouses, Restaurants, and Offices!. After five years of maneuvering 70k bags through a Cafe full of people quietly reading or loudly plotting revolutions, we ran out of room and moved the Roaster a block away to a spot on Westport Road.
Being within walking distance of our Cafe is very important to us. We didn’t want to expand next door to any of our friends. Someone tried to do that to us once. It didn’t work out well for them.
In 2007, the 30’s era Westport Firestation #19 was listed by KCMO to be sold at auction, so we made a bid.
A Coffeehouse is much better for the neighborhood than lofts or another Vape Shop. Our bid was approved, and we moved again, one block away from the Cafe.
Our original Diedrich IR12 now sits next to a modified 1999 era IR40 Diedrich.
You can’t Roast Coffee without being able to drink & taste it, so we have a 3 group La Marzocco Linea, Mazzer Electronics, Ditting Grinders and Fetco Brewers at the ROCO.
What is the neighborhood like where you’re located? What’s some other cool stuff nearby?
Westport is the oldest neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri. The start of the Oregon & Santa Fe Trails, this area has always been known as a rough and tumble place that you could buy just about anything you might need for a journey.
The neighborhood is an entertainment district with bars, music venues, record stores, restaurants, locally owned boutiques, and now fancy apartments. We’re very close to the Kansas City Art Institute, the University of MO Kansas City, & the Country Club Plaza. The sidewalk in front of the Cafe is like the Front Porch of KC.
What’s something cool or unique about your cafe you want folks to know?
We don’t cater to one particular group. You don’t have to be a coffee expert to know there’s something special about our coffees. Our Baristas will probably treat you the same if you’re one of the greatest sommeliers in the country, a rock star playing a show up the street, or a student ordering a quad shot to stay up all night studying. Sure, our Lattes are photogenic, but it’s how they taste that we’re the most proud of.