Local Pig Alex Pope

Alex Pope co-owners Local Pig and Pigwich with Matt Kafka.

Chef Alex Pope and his business partner, Matt Kafka, first opened butcher shop Local Pig in Kansas City’s East Bottoms in 2012, with Pigwich following a year later. In January, the duo relocated both to City Market to give their staff and customers room to grow. The move has allowed Local Pig to expand its retail footprint to include more local goods as well as select local spirits, bottles of still and sparkling wine, plus its excellent selection of sausages, steaks and various pickles. Pigwich, on the other hand, now boasts a year-round indoor space with seating, a seasonal outdoor patio and an expanded menu that includes more sides, a kids’ menu and dessert.

Why did you want to move to City Market? I’ve always loved this neighborhood. I lived in River Market for three years before I opened Local Pig and Pigwich in the East Bottoms. As a chef, I love the weekend farmers’ market; it’s a vibrant area with the perfect combination of retail, restaurant and residential. The Kansas City streetcar bringing in additional traffic doesn’t hurt, either.

What’s changed in the new space? For Local Pig, not much has changed, other than the fact that our team of butchers is now down in our lower-level basement space, breaking down whole animals instead of on a table in front of customers. For Pigwich, we finally have a proper commercial kitchen, where my guys won’t freeze in the winter and burn up in the summer months making sandwiches for our guests.

Tell us about the new space. I love the personal touches that we were able to bring to this space with help from some talented local artists. Jeff Huff from KC Furnishing Co. handmade our tables and benches from wood he had from floors inside train cars. I consider that a nod to our previous space in the East Bottoms, when trains rumbled by so often we didn’t even hear them. Also, a big thank you to local artist and designer Chris Foxworth, who helped decorate the walls with murals and lettering which really brought this place to life.

Local Pig and Pigwich, 20 E. Fifth St. (inside City Market), River Market, Kansas City, Missouri, thelocalpig.com; pigwich.com