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Cactus Restaurants

Breathe Easier: We Have You Covered!

At the beginning of the Pandemic, we resolved to use this as an opportunity to up our game and to create a better experience for our guests and, at the same time, create a safer working environment for our staff. You’ve likely noticed and appreciated many of these measures.

We knew, however, we had to address something you can’t see—the air you breath. This October, we invested in clean air technology: Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization (NPBI). This technology is decades old and in use all over the world in spaces ranging from the White House and Google to the Mayo Clinic, Ramstein Air Force Base, Harvard University and dozens of hospitals.

Installing NPBI at Cactus SLU.

This patented technology produces a high concentration of positive and negative ions, delivering them to the space via the heating and cooling system. Within the air stream, ions attach to particles, where they combine, become larger and are more easily filtered from the air. Additionally, during the NPBI process, contact with ions disrupts pathogen’s protein membrane (those spikes on the cells) and effectively kills them without filtration both in air and on surfaces. These systems have been tested to more than 99.9% effectiveness on the SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 virus.

Ionization cleaning will not introduce ozone or any other harmful by-products into our dining rooms. In fact, ionization is effective at eliminating odors and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs), so we will all enjoy the additional benefits for years to come. In conjunction with the NPBI technology, we continue to find ways to flood our dining rooms with fresh, clean outside air (let us know if you think the dining room is too cold!). We hope you and are our valued employees will breath easier. The best news? It operates silently all day and night cleaning our air and killing virus’ while we take care of you.

Learn More About NPBI

From the manufacturer GPS Plasma Solutions

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Order Delivery & Pickup From Us And Save 20%

The Economics Of Delivery

Eating Cactus at home is a great option during this pandemic. But the reality of getting food delivered to your home presents additional costs that aren’t built into our regular dine-in or pick-up pricing structures. Restaurants run on very low margins, so delivery costs are passed along to you when you order with our third party partners (DoorDash, UberEats, GrubHub, Caviar, Postmates, etc.). When ordering Cactus from any of our third party delivery partners (DoorDash, UberEats, GrubHub or Postmates) you will be paying 20% higher prices vs. our take-out or in-store pricing. If your goal is to pay lower prices, you do have some alternatives.

Delivery From Our Website

Ordering direclty from gives you a great low-cost delivery option. When you order from us, we make your food and then we hire DoorDash to deliver it to your home (the DoorDash driver keeps 100% of any tip you leave). While we still collect a small delivery fee to offset the delivery cost (currently $2.99, $0 for orders over $60), you are taking full advantage our regular menu prices by using our website and not thiers. With large orders, we will waive this fee altogether. This works great for us and it saves you money.

Pickup orders

Pickup is obviously your best bet for quality control, and you can order Cactus pickup directly from our website with zero fees. With pickup, you are in complete control of the delivery process and this matters. A lot of third party delivery services take advantage of batching, where one driver is picking up multiple orders along any given route. If your order happens to be the last in the batch, you might end up with cold food, and nobody wants that.

Ultimately, we want you to get the best deal and the freshest food possible. Hopefully this information will help you next time you order Cactus. Thank you!

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Welcome Back!

Learn How We are Keeping You Safe and How to Get a Table

We opened our humble Madison Park location 30 years ago this summer and thus it seems fitting, somehow, during these crazy times, for us to be “relaunching” and reimagining Cactus in 2020.

Before we outline the significant measures we’ve taken to make dining at Cactus safe as possible for you and our team, we’d like to thank our amazing managers and team members for helping us survive and transform during those dark and difficult days of March, April and May. Also, equally important, we want to thank you, our loyal and valued guests, for keeping Cactus and our employees afloat with a robust take-out and delivery business during the closure. Thank you, we are truly grateful!

Safety is Paramount

We are certain you’ll notice and appreciate many changes at Cactus when you return for your first visit.

Getting a Table Waiting in our lobby to put your name on our waitlist isn’t fun and now, it’s potentially dangerous. We have moved our hosts outside to avoid inside congestion and improve their safety too. Most of you know we have been offering you the ability to get on our waitlist from your phone anywhere you happen to be. This continues and we have made this the primary way to get a table. We still have hosts and we will put your name on the list if you wish, but it will be much faster to scan a QR code and add your name. We’ll ask you to wait in your car or go for a stroll and we’ll text you when your table is ready. Our policies have changed slightly in that we can’t accept groups of more than 5 and, as always, we DO NOT take reservations.

Join the waitlist on our Yelp page or just check how long the wait is right now:
Alki Beach
Madison Park
South Lake Union

Digital Menus You’ll scan a QR code and use your phone to view our menu. If you prefer to hold some paper, we’ll have a single use menu for you.

Touchless Payment The payment process is fraught with contaminants and, also, it’s inherently a point of friction when you want to leave. We’ve addressed both issues—simply scan a QR code and pay with your phone and leave when you want. It is amazingly fast and efficient—you will love it.

PPE It seems compulsory, but all our employees will be wearing masks and have access to gloves and sanitizer. We’ve changed how our teams operate. For example, when we bring your drink, we’ll hand it to you with a clean, unused glove. That glove will be thrown away and we’ll do it all over again for the next guest. When we remove items from your table, we’ll be using another glove that will get thrown away.

Sanitation and Cleanliness If there’s one thing the restaurant industry is good at, it’s cleaning. We have always taken great pride in the cleanliness of our locations, but we’ve truly ramped up efforts as though your life may depend upon it. Scheduled cleanings by designated team members will regularly hit the critical touchpoints inside the restaurant. We researched our cleaning products and found the one supplied by our cleaning chemical supplier (DC-33, used by many restaurants) needs to be stay on surfaces for 10 minutes to kill the novel Corona virus so we brought in another product that does it in 45 seconds. We have examined every aspect of our interaction with you and made changes. For example, your silverware will be assembled in a clean room by an employee using PPE—they will be presented in such a way that you will know it’s not contaminated.

Social Distancing We’ve thought of every aspect of your travel through, and experience inside our stores. We’ve limited tables and put up barriers per Washington State requirements. We’ve created new process to eliminate needless congestion inside the restaurant (see “getting a table” above).

Employee Health Stations We created health stations and a check in protocol to make sure each team member is healthy and safe. Temperatures are taken and recorded before each person starts their shift, and we ask a number of questions to ensure everyone is feeling healthy. Of course, anyone not 100% will be given the shift off using any earned Paid Leave to ensure they are paid and motivated to provide truthful answers to these questions.

Training Before we opened, we provided both in person and e-learning training in English and Spanish to bring great awareness about Covid-19 and our changes to protect everyone.

Etc., Etc., Etc. There is much more we’ve done, changed and improved to make sure you are as safe as possible eating in our restaurants or getting take out e.g. one employee only in the break room at a time, tamper evident stickers when you order delivery

We truly are committed to opening right and keeping everyone safe. Let’s wear masks and wash our hands and we can continue to move forward and live a better version of life than we’ve been subjected to over the past 90 days. It’s up to each one of us!

Please let us know how we are doing or ask us any questions using our online survey.

We truly appreciate the opportunity to serve you.

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Cactus Takeout & Delivery Service is Online

Current Delivery Services Available:

DoorDash (No fees to guest)
GrubHub (No fees to guest)

Takeout Orders

Order online directly from our website


For easy mobile ordering use the Toast Takeout App which connects directly to our website for quick pickup ordering.

Looking Ahead

Thanks for your continued support during this challenging time. This year we celebrate our 30th anniversary—no small feat in a difficult market. There is no doubt we will get through this surreal period in our nation’s history. More than anything, we look forward to serving you and all our neighborhood regulars as soon as we are able. Stay safe out there Cactus people!

Thanks, from your friends at Cactus
Not authentic, uniquely Cactus since 1990

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Spring News: Cactus Proctor is Now Open in Tacoma and Much More!

Photo of Cactus Proctor

Hello, Tacoma

Spring is in full swing around the Pacific Northwest and changes are afoot at Cactus! As you may have heard, we have just opened our sixth location in Tacoma’s Proctor Neighborhood and it’s been a really great experience to get this one up and running. Our last two openings, South Lake Union in 2011 and Bellevue Square in 2013, were built in very densely populated urban trade areas, so we knew that this time around we really wanted to get back our roots. Meaning, we really wanted to get back to being a local neighborhood joint. We love being part of the communities that we are in, and Proctor was a neighborhood that immediately spoke to us. It felt like we could really add something significant that was missing.

Photo of Bar

The wrap-around bar with cozy captain’s chairs.

We initially started looking outside of Seattle because there are a number of issues confronting the market there. Specifically, rents are too high and labor is the tightest we’ve seen in 25 years. In addition, the city council has made it clear they don’t really want or need additional businesses. And despite all of this, the restaurant industry is overbuilt—there are just too many seats in Seattle. So we looked north, we looked east, and we looked south, and we eventually found the perfect spot in the Proctor Neighborhood—it felt right from the start.

The space itself is wonderful. It’s positioned on a corner with a large outdoor patio facing west that we will convert into a ten month (if not year-round) dining room. There’s an ample wrap-around bar, a bar dining area, a main dining room and a smaller dining area just off the entrance that faces Proctor street. Overall, this location is more contemporary than any of our other spots and we introduced some really great operational improvements that will be appreciated by both staff and guests alike.

Game-changing paperless ticket system.

There are power outlets at almost every table which will keep your devices running. We have a side entrance for delivery drivers (Uber Eats, Door Dash, etc.) so they can get in and out efficiently and don’t interfere with our guests in the process. Behind the scenes we have installed paperless display screens in the kitchen to manage guest orders and that has really changed the way our kitchen operates. The order flow is now much more efficient (and environmentally friendly) and the whole team loves it. And in the bar, we are doing draft margaritas! This is huge deal. There is a whole new world of bar equipment that has made this possible, and the result is a more consistent drink that is made quickly. Our bartenders have been thanking us since day one for saving their shoulders. 

Please come visit us at Cactus Proctor soon. It’s a great neighborhood and we’re lucky to be a part of it. Visit the Proctor page for hours and information.

Photo of Business Cards

Southwest Kitchen + Bar

In addition to opening a new Cactus in Tacoma, we have also been quietly refreshing our brand over the last year or so—both visually and conceptually. Working with designer and longtime Cactus collaborator Geoffrey Smith, we first looked to simplify our logo mark a bit and to also be a little more deliberate in our messaging. We are now officially calling ourselves a Southwest Kitchen + Bar. We have never had any intentions of owning the somewhat nebulous (and trendy) concept of “authenticity” at Cactus. Instead, we have always opted to carve out our own path. Being unique is a point of pride with us, and we’re very happy to leave authenticity to others—we’re uniquely Cactus and we’re staying that way. And, part of that unique identity is celebrating a menu that borrows heavily from the cuisine of the American Southwest. So, we’re Cactus Southwest Kitchen + Bar now. Same as it ever was…

Photo of Menu

New Menu Design

In addition to new brand collateral, we also redesigned our menu system from the ground up. New Cactus menus have larger fonts (yes, our eyes are getting older too!) and the aesthetic is much more in line with the overall look and feel of the rest of the Cactus brand—simpler layout and easier on the eyes. Look for the new guacamole options that are now available at all locations as well as a newly organized agave section with both tequila and mezcal flights. And of course, we’re still producing our popular Feature Menu each month which acts kind of like the Cactus “farm team” menu. With this menu you can sample some brand new (occasionally experimental) dishes and cocktails that may someday make it to the big league menu. Let us know if there’s something you really like (or would like to see in the future).

We hope you are enjoying Spring! And we hope you will stop by your friendly neighborhood Cactus very soon. Salute!

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