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Cactus Restaurants

Leadership Spotlight: Congratulations Staff Sergeant Buschko!

Jodi at Cactus Alki Beach

Meeting and working with impressive leaders is one of the greatest joys of operating a restaurant group. One thing we’ve learned over our 30 year history is that running restaurants requires a strong and diversified skill set as well as tireless drive and determination to succeed. We’re super proud of all our managers across the company and know that they are the “secret” to our success. But today we’d like to spotlight the achievements of one of our brightest stars by congratulating her for her accomplishments outside the business and by thanking her for her service to our country. Please join us in congratulating Jodi Buschko for her recent promotion to Staff Sergeant within the US Army Reserves. Jodi, we are so proud of you and are inspired by your tireless drive to succeed!

Basic training

Staff Sergeant Buschko

Jodi has always had a life goal of joining the military, having a long history of strong military service in her family and a strong personal desire to serve her country. In November of 2013, Jodi acted on her dream and officially enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves as a Chemical Weapons Specialist. After nearly a year of training, Jodi returned to West Seattle and walked into Cactus with an application in hand (in the dead of winter, which the absolute worst time to look for a job on the beach)! While we were not hiring, Jodi made such a positive impression on us that we felt compelled to bring her on board…and we’re super glad that we did.

We could wax on about Jodi’s accomplishments but we feel the timeline below will do a better job of highlighting her exceptional career growth both inside and outside of the restaurant. Here’s what she’s been up to since joining the company:

Click to enlarge image.

Staff Sergeant Buschko on the range

Jodi, you are an inspiration to all of us and we’re so grateful for your service to both company & country. Your success in the restaurant group alone has been remarkable, but to know that you’ve simultaneously achieved your degree in Hospitality Management and that you’ve been promoted to the prestigious rank of Staff Sergeant while working full time is beyond remarkable. Congratulations from all of us on the Cactus team and thank you for being a huge part of what makes this such a great company! With leaders like you on board, we know that we have a bright future ahead.

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New Indoor Dining Option: Open Air Seating

The State of Washington recently updated the definition of “Open Air Seating” to present customers and businesses with new alternatives to indoor dining.

This means we can seat guests inside following certain guidelines. In short, we are following the guidelines for “Open Air Concept 1”, which allow for occupancy of 25% with proper C02 monitoring to not exceed 450*ppm, table size less than six, and spaced 6’ apart.

We are grateful to be able to offer both heated patio and now indoor “open air” dining options to you. If you’ve been visiting us through the pandemic, we know you’ll agree that Cactus has been following the rules and going above and beyond to keep our employees and guests safe. This is our #1 commitment and we will never compromise or put that trust in jeopardy.

We’re not authentic, we’re uniquely Cactus.

*From the State: “CO2 is used as a measure of air movement. Ambient CO2 levels in outside air are about 400 ppm. People release CO2 in their exhaled breath, so if air movement is enough to maintain levels below 450 ppm, this indicates that there is enough air flow to dilute respiratory droplets and particles. CO2 concentrations at this level are not of direct concern.”

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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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Job Fair: Work with Cactus in Tacoma!

We are hosting open interviews for all positions at the new Cactus Restaurant located in the Proctor neighborhood of Tacoma. Please stop by and say hello and drop off a resume—or stay for an interview if you have time. We look forward to meeting you.

Job Fair Times

Tuesday, March 12th 9AM – 4PM
Friday, March 15th  9AM – 4PM

Monday, March 18th 9AM – 4PM
Tuesday, March 19th 9AM – 4PM

Location

Madison 25 Building
3911 N. 25th Street
Tacoma, WA 98406

Get Directions

Tacoma Photo

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Check For Snow Closures and Delayed Openings

Here’s the current state of open hours for Tuesday, February 12th.

Kirkland: Normal operating hours expected today
Alki: Normal operating hours expected today
Madison: Normal operating hours expected today
SLU: Normal operating hours expected today
Bellevue: Normal operating hours expected today

Going forward (after closing early today), we EXPECT TO RESUME NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS.

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