Local Pig & Pigwich Bring Home Bacon to City Market

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Alex Pope, founder of Local Pig and Pigwich, says move to City Market is a homecoming.

By Kevin Collison

The Local Pig and Pigwich have opened in the former Winslow’s space in the City Market, and owner Alex Pope is thrilled to be back where his life began in Kansas City.

“I love the City Market,” he said. “We lived in the River Market when we first moved here in 2006.

“It’s a booming neighborhood. With the farmer’s market here, a butcher shop in this market makes a lot of sense.”

Pope came to KC from Eau Claire, Wisc. so his wife could attend pharmacy school at UMKC. He opened Local Pig in the East Bottoms in 2012 and a year later, Pigwich.

Both quickly became a destination for local foodie pilgrims.

“We initially imagined Local Pig would be 80 percent wholesale and 20 percent retail,” he said.

“I was surprised as everybody else that it wasn’t how it worked. It became apparent we needed a food service operation, that’s where Pigwich came from.”

Pope decided to relocate from his East Bottoms place at 2618 Guinotte Ave. to the former Winslow BBQ space at 20 E. Fifth St. because he needed new space.

“We had a good run in the Bottoms but our lease was up and the building was not for sale. I saw the Winslow stuff on an auction website and got a hold of the (City Market) property management here…This is the spot we wanted.”

The new Pigwich space seats 60 and has a dozen sandwiches on the menu.

A great feature of the new place is that while the Local Pig butcher shop and the Pigwich cafe have their own spaces, they share a common prep area in the basement.

The new Local Pig operation will feature more local goods including Shatto milk, wine and champagne to make it more of a one-stop shop. Pope said the recipes will remain the same.

Bigger changes were incorporated into the new Pigwich. Gone are the daily sandwich specials, replaced by a menu with 12 sandwiches. Fries and sweet potato fries also have been added, as well as a dessert section and kid’s menu.

“It’s a more robust version of what we were doing in the Bottoms,” Pope said.

He also plans to offer breakfast on Saturdays in the City Market when the weather improves in late spring.

The new Local Pig is at 20 E. Fifth St.

The indoor side of Pigwich accommodates about 60 people. The expansive patio will seat more, but the exact number hasn’t been determined.

Pigwich also will offer craft beer, wine and cocktails with a twist. All will come in cans to make it easier on the staff.

The Pigwich hours will be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays through Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays. the Local Pig will be open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m Sundays through Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays.

Pope said he likes how the business is structured because it gives him a balanced personal life with his wife and three children.

“I didn’t anticipate this becoming a big portion of my career, but I’m happy it has,” he said. “I love it because I can have a restaurant and a family simultaneously.”

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