Local Pig in Westport will close on September 12

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The worst-kept restaurant secret in Kansas City is out: Chef Alex Pope’s full-service Local Pig restaurant at 510 Westport Road —previously Bridger’s Bottle Shop — is closing Saturday, September 12. The staff was notified of the impending closing yesterday.

Alex Pope tells The Pitch that his one-year lease on the space ended this month and that he declined to renegotiate a new one.

“I only a signed a one-year lease last year because I didn’t want to get locked in for a long time,” he says. “I think Westport has a lot of potential as a nightlife venue, but for a traditional restaurant, there are issues here.”

Pope’s involvement with the space started in 2014 when he installed a casual cafe, Preservation Market, inside Bridger’s Bottle Shop. Last fall, he took over the location completely and turned the former beer shop and saloon into a full-service restaurant named for his butcher shop, the original Local Pig at 2618 Guinotte Avenue in the East Bottoms (where his popular food truck, Pigwich, also operates). Sources close to Pope tell The Pitch that Pope has been disappointed in sales from the one-year-old Westport restaurant.

“My focus is going to be Pigwich and the Local Pig in the East Bottoms,” Pope says. “If I ever do another project like this, in a different neighborhood in Kansas City, it will be a replication of the butcher-shop concept, not a full-service restaurant.

“This is a good time to refocus on the original Local Pig. Everything is going very well there,” he adds. “The butcher shop and Pigwich are big enough projects on their own, with a lot of moving parts.”

Pope continues to serve as culinary consultant for the seven-month-old Cleaver & Cork restaurant in the Power & Light District. “I’m actually working there more than I thought I would be,” Pope says of the downtown venue, where he’s planning to introduce a new fall menu in October.

Pope remains upbeat about his future plans.

“You can’t win them all,” he says of the Westport restaurant’s closing. “But if it’s not working, you need to move on.”

Categories: Dining, Food & Drink