Sister Anne’s Records and Coffee opened in 2018, but it has been years in the making. Jim Oshel and Frank Alvarez met when they were both working at Westport’s Recycled Sounds in the nineties. When that shop closed in 2006, Oshel went to work for Broadway Coffee and Alvarez settled in at Vinyl Renaissance.
More than a decade later, the pair opened up Sister Anne’s Records and Coffee. The space is bright and homey, with eggshell-blue walls and a handful of tables where you can enjoy one of Oshel’s expert espresso pulls and pour-over purchases. In non-pandemic times, Sister Anne’s hosts shows featuring local bands—something Oshel hopes to continue soon.
Let’s talk about your coffee program.
I was always going to use Broadway. I’m really fond of their espresso blend—it’s the best in town, at least to my tastes—and they worked with me to put together a nice drip blend. I wanted to keep our coffee program simple and approachable, but I also wanted to have a smooth and drinkable brew for those that have a palate for it. Broadway hits both marks. You don’t have to explain why the flavors are attractive; they just taste good.
How do you decide what records to stock?
Frank has been working in a record store since 1985, and we’d been talking about doing this for a very long time, so he had been amassing an inventory. Beyond that, we bring in our favorite stuff. We buy, sell and trade, so there’s always an eclectic mix, but we keep the inventory pretty tight. We have a diverse selection of our favorite representations from many genres.
Who are some of your favorite local bands?
Emmaline Twist is one of my favorite local acts. They’re moody, edgy shoegaze. Hipshot Killer is a great rock and roll band, and Bummer is really fun to see live. The Shy Boys, the Uncouth— too many to name.
As a KC native, you’ve seen the city evolve. What are some things you’re glad have stayed the same?
I’m glad that there are still some local businesses that have been able to hang on over the last few decades. There have been a lot of corporate chains and developments coming in and changing the neighborhoods, but there are still some mom and pops holding out, and that’s special. You can go to any big box anywhere in America, but there’s only one Pryde’s in Westport and it’s been there forever. That’s where I get my cookware, and that’s Kansas City to me.
“I don’t do anything without coffee, so my first stop of the day is Broadway. I get a shot of espresso and I follow that with a short vanilla latte. Then I’ll hit McClain’s for breakfast—I get their veggie breakfast burrito and a cinnamon roll.”
BBQ & Diner Gems
“We’re situated equidistant between my two favorite BBQ joints, so I split my lunches between LC’s and SLAP’s. And, of course, Kitty’s is right across the street, and their pork tenderloin sandwiches are the reason I had to poke an extra notch in my belt.”
“If I’m going to hang out with friends, I’m a dive bar guy, and I love Lucky Boys in the West Bottoms. If I want to catch a show, my favorite venue in town is recordBar— they bring in some of the best up-and-coming acts.”