Canadian food DYK: Original Cactus Club Cafe location still in its original design state

Cactus Club's original location in North Vancouver is a cool throwback to the restaurant chain's beginnings

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The first Cactus Club Cafe opened on Pemberton Avenue in North Vancouver in 1988. When conceptualizing the restaurant, founder and former Earls’ server Richard Jaffray aimed to offer a fun, upscale restaurant where guests would be welcomed with great food and friendly service in a relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere. This came to life in the form of peanuts on each table where guests were encouraged to throw the shells on the floor and staff wearing pale blue denim button down shirts, serving pizza perogies.

Thirty one years later, what started as a funky, eclectic restaurant has evolved into a multi-million dollar restaurant chain with prime real estate across 30 locations scattered throughout B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario. Today, the ultra-trendy interiors, beautifully polished staff and globally inspired Canadian cuisine that are consistent among the locations (aside from the flagship location) make Cactus Club a hip, go-to alternative for those who want upscale cuisine, with a more approachable price tag. 


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The original flagship restaurant that started it all is open to this day and has remained a steadfast member of Cactus Club's collection of restaurants. The structure and décor have more or less remained the same as when it first opened, with original signage and some decorative elements displayed throughout the space paying homage to its roots. In fact, one of the gentlemen who was part of the opening team more than 30 years ago still serves at that location today.