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March 8, 2013

25 years in the making

Like many before him, Richard Jaffray spent a good amount of his teenage years waiting tables. By the time he turned 19, however, he realized that the restaurant industry had much more to offer than just a part time job.

In 1986, Richard opened his first restaurant, Café Cucamongas, selling cappuccinos, sandwiches and ice cream. In 1988, at the age of 23, he sold Cucamongas and opened the first Cactus Club Cafe in North Vancouver, British Columbia. The goal was to offer a fun, casual-upscale restaurant where you would be welcomed with great food and friendly service in a relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere. What did that restaurant look like in 1988? Well, there were peanuts on each table and guests were encouraged to throw their shells on the floor, the staff wore light denim button up shirts, and you could find menu items like: Pizza Perogies, Elvis Ice-Cream Pie, and Texas Tea.
Times have obviously changed and Cactus Club has matured and evolved into one of Canada’s favourite Casual dining restaurant groups. Over the past 25 years, Cactus has grown into 22 restaurants that span both British Columbia and Alberta, employing over 2,500 individuals. Although many things like décor and menus have changed through the years, the original Cactus philosophy remains intact: continuous improvement is sought in every project, product and design, with the goal of offering every guest the highest quality for the most exceptional value.

What do the next 25 years look like for Cactus Club Cafe?

Later this month Cactus Club will be opening the doors to its 23rd Cactus Club restaurant, a stunning glass flagship location on Coal Harbour with views of the harbour, the Olympic cauldron, Stanley Park, the Lion’s Gate bridge, and the North Shore.

There are four other new Cactus Club restaurants also underway in: Langley (fall, 2013), Edmonton (summer, 2013), Saskatoon (late 2013) and Toronto (spring, 2014).

The menu will continue to advance with the help of Cactus’ Chef, Rob Feenie, and the Test Kitchen, a team of world-class chefs

The 25th Anniversary of the restaurant is a tribute to Richard Jaffray having big dreams in his twenties. He followed his dreams and has had to conquer numerous obstacles and challenges over the years, but has continued to succeed. Cactus Club Cafe will continue on its journey.