Restaurants

Finding high-quality meats in the East Bottoms.

STORY BY Chris Smith
PHOTOS BY Randy Braley

Ask Local Pig owner Alex Pope for a butcher’s box, and he’ll flash you a man-I’d-love-to-help-you grin. Just know the waiting list is as long as the trek to the East Bottoms. Ask him how business is doing, and he’ll tell you he’s pleasantly surprised. Just know that means business is good. Really good.

Pope, a former sous chef at The American Restaurant and the executive chef at R Bar, opened the Local Pig (2618 Guinotte Ave.) charcuterie in March with business partner Matt Kafka. Since day one, their locally sourced meat -barely touches down in its old-world authentic glass case before being swooped up by Local Pig’s early adopters.

“We planned on ordering enough meat for 50 butcher’s boxes for the first six months, but we hit 50 boxes in six days,” Pope says of his subscriber-based program, which provides customers with a week or two of roasts, chops, burgers and sausages, starting at $50 per box. The Pig also counts area restaurants such as The Rieger and Tannin Wine Bar among its customers.

The excess demand sparked his search for more vendors to source his product, which is 97 percent local and hormone- and antibiotic-free. Shoppers also can find an array of meat behind the counter, anything from rabbit, goat and quail to the more mainstream beef, pork and chicken. Business is so bustling that the LP crew is already dreaming of more space. “It’s a nice problem to have,” Pope says. “We sold 500 pounds of meat yesterday. We’re having to adjust all our forecasting.”

Pope attributes most of the early success to delivering on a need for Kansas Citians. The Local Pig, he says, is one of only a handful of true charcuteries in the country, most of which appear in cities like New York and San Francisco.

“We knew it had to have the right feel,” Pope says. “It’s kind of an adventure for people to get down here, so we put a lot of thought into the décor and experience.” It appears the natives are eating it up.

See more pics HERE!