Cleaver & Cork is a gourmet butcher-driven gastropub, featuring Midwestern influenced offerings with fresh, seasonal and local ingredients. The menus, developed by chef Alex Pope, showcase classic yet bold ingredients featuring the highest quality meats and seafood available as well as cleverly curated cocktail and wine lists. The space celebrates timeless comfort using natural materials and colors while maintaining a subtle, urban feel.
We are located right in the heart of the Power & Light District in downtown Kansas City and are walking distance to the Sprint Center, Kaufman Center, Convention Center and the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland!
Pope began his culinary career in Madison, Wisconsin working as a line cook while studying economics at the University of Wisconsin. Born in Peoria, Illinois and raised in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Pope grew up in a family with longstanding culinary roots. The family founded a culinary school called the Antoinette Pope School of Cooking in Chicago in the 1950’s.
The energy and excitement of working as a line cook in the kitchen sparked a deeper interest in cooking as a profession. He moved to New York, attended the Institute for Culinary Education and earned a dual degree in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management.
With credentials and some experience under his belt, Pope moved to Kansas City for the next stage of his culinary apprenticeship. Pope selected the American Restaurant as his first destination in Kansas City. His tenure at The American Restaurant had him work under two James Beard Award-winning Executive chefs: Celina Tio and Debbie Gold.
In February of 2012, Pope opened an artisan butcher shop called the Local Pig which specializes in fresh sausages made from locally sourced animals using old-world seam butchering techniques. In March of 2013, Pope opened the wildly popular Pigwich, a sandwich shop featuring the premium meats of Local Pig on fresh breads with handmade pickles and sauces.
In April of 2014, Alex and his partners opened Preservation Market a restaurant in Westport featuring charcuterie and sandwiches inside of Bridger’s Bottle Shop, a craft beer bar.