Cleaver & Cork opned in 2015 at 1333 Walnut St., on the Live Block of the Power & Light District Joyce Smith | jsmith@kcstar.com

Guy Fieri’s new downtown restaurant to take Cleaver & Cork spot, be ‘unique’ to KC

Guy Fieri Bruce Barton | AP Photo

Guy Fieri’s new restaurant and bar specializing in tacos will open in the former Cleaver & Cork space in the Power & Light District.

District officials announced Thursday that the celebrity chef, restaurateur and TV personality would be opening the concept in the Live Block of the district in 2019. On Friday they confirmed that it would be in the Cleaver & Cork space.

A “closed for renovation” sign has been posted on Cleaver & Cork’s front door at 1333 Walnut St. The business wrote on its Facebook page, “Thank you Kansas City! We made some pretty great memories. Cheers!”

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Fieri couldn’t be reached for comment Friday.

Though Fieri has smokehouse concepts in other Cordish centers, and a new Guy Fieri’s Taco Joint in Texas Live in Arlington, Texas, Cordish officials said Friday that Fieri would create a new concept for Kansas City.

“While tacos will be one of the featured components, the concept will be unique from anything he has done previously.”

Cleaver & Cork opened in the former Maker’s Mark Bourbon House & Lounge space in 2015 and was owned by ECI, an affiliate of the Cordish Cos., the developer of the district. Chef Alex Pope of Local Pig kicked off the concept as culinary director.

Taco concepts are not new to Power & Light, which originally opened with Tengo Sed Cantina. In 2014, it was revamped under a “collaboration” with local chef Patrick Ryan of Port Fonda fame, then replaced by Leinenkugel’s Kansas City in 2016.

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The announcement about Fieri’s new restaurant got mixed responses on social media.

One commenter said: “Who says dreams don’t come true?!”

However, another commenter posted a link to the “best review ever written,” a widely shared New York Times take down of Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square.

After a litany of complaints in the story titled “As Not Seen on TV,” reviewer Pete Wells wrote: “When you cruise around the country for your show ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,’ rasping out slangy odes to the unfancy places where Americans like to get down and greasy, do you really mean it? Or is it all an act? Is that why the kind of cooking you celebrate on television is treated with so little respect at Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar?”

The 2012 review gave the restaurant a “poor” rating. It closed in late 2017.

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Guy Fieri’s new downtown restaurant to take Cleaver & Cork spot, be ‘unique’ to KC