About Cactus Jacks

Locally owned, independent restaurant.

HOW IT ALL STARTED
BACK IN 2001

Picture this: Summer 2001 and Gary is on Panic Tour.  He hit one of the best shows ever in Paolo Soleri Amphitheater in Santa Fe, New Mexico followed quickly by Red Rocks.  This would be the last time that Gary would have the freedom to just go “on tour”, but it was the opportunity of a lifetime.  The owner, Allen Major better known as Cactus Jack was ready to sell the business.  

Cactus is a man of many talents.  In his past, he has been a pilot, public speaker and a stand up comedienne.  In fact, he was runner up on a Showtime Comedy Special Competition to now legend Ellen Degeneres.  Allen was the best man in our wedding and holds a dear place in our hearts.  Allen Major owned Cactus Jack’s 5 years prior to selling the business to us.  

 

2001 was a roller coaster.  Even though Gary had been in “the business” for many years, it was new to be in charge. He was especially worried about losing the amazing clientele that Allen had been able to build.  It was very important for him to not change too much too quickly. Cactus Jack’s was always your locals bar. When he first bought the bar, it was a genuine dive bar. The food sales were 15% of total sales. Each summer we grew with recognition in 2007 Best Bar on the Denver A-List. We were also recognized by Evergreen Rotary and the State of Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment  for our efforts in sustainability. We were getting on the map! Getting noticed!

Business went on as usual. Each summer we were busier than the last. Each winter we were slower than the last. Evergreen didn’t have many restaurants which we believe hurt our business. Evergreen never really had a food scene until recently. Now more people in the community support local business better than ever. We have proof of that.

In 2013, on Friday the 13th, Cactus Jack’s flooded.  It rained for several weeks straight which led the creek to rise and pick up speed. We remember the night we had to shut our doors for the first time in 18 years. It was midnight and we cleared out the bar of patrons. My employee, Stephanie Wright (owner of Cast Iron Tavern in Golden…check them out.  Yumm!) Turns to me and ask if she should start her closing side work. We had carpet at the time and I turned to her and pointed to the water coming in the front door. “I think we are good” as we rushed outside with our personal items to watch the water seep in. That lasted for four days.  Needless to say, the bar was flooded and the deck was destroyed. We were shut down for 4 months where we excavated and rebuilt. In the first 9 days of rebuilding, Gary fell through a floor joist and broke his tibial plateau. 5 surgeries later and he will still someday need a full knee replacement. That didn’t stop us from reopening with the help from this great town, Evergreen.

The Elks Lodge of Evergreen had a fundraiser for the victims of the flood. We were awarded enough money to buy seating for our restaurant. This was a significant and symbolic gift to us. The chairs represented patrons to us and without our patrons we wouldn’t be here. We were also awarded our first of many Disaster SBA Loans (haha). We never thought we would need another one, but 2020 proved us wrong. Allen Major was critical in our rebuild.  He essentially fronted the money for the rebuild and had to fight tooth and nail for reimbursement from his insurance company (don’t use Llyods of Londan). Cactus Jack’s would not have reopened if it weren’t for Allen Major. Thank you!

Since the flood, business had been on the upswing. We had a new purpose. It was to become more of a restaurant than a bar. Coincidentally, we (Gary & I) had stopped drinking a month and a half prior to the flood.  When the flood happened, we relapsed and had a Jameson drinking binge for a week. Along with the building, we rebuilt our lives better. We reopened in December and have never looked back.  

When 2020 COVID 19 Pandemic began we knew it would be a struggle. Immediately, we went into Survival Mode. Evergreen…you stepped up. We had one of our slowest months to date, but having any sales at all was remarkable. We knew we were going to take a loss, but it became apparent to us that our employees, rather our family of employees would need help. We are pleased to announce that we only lost one employee during the first several months of the pandemic and it was her choice to stay home.  

Our employees kicked ass during this time. We are still recovering from the pandemic and appreciate your support by coming in. They were never given off any time to quarantine. From the get go we were considered essential.  I am so proud of our staff during this difficult time. If anyone ever tells you that restaurant workers aren’t hard working professionals. THEY ARE WRONG. We have realized how important our staff is once again.

There are too many stories to share of our friends from Cactus Jack’s who have found love, heart break, had children, gotten divorced, started businesses, beat illnesses and died. This is not just a restaurant its a family. We are proud to be part of so many peoples lives. It has been the ultimate experiment for us to make this the best place for you to enjoy.

HOW IT IS GOING

Did we forget to mention that we have two amazing sons, Gus & Jack. They both graduated from Evergreen High School within the last few years. Our son Gus works in the kitchen here at Cactus Jack’s. He finished with a culinary certificate from Warren Tech while attending high school. He has put those skills to good use. He is by far one of the hardest employees we have ever had. Our son Jack also works at Cactus Jack’s as an expo (food runner) when he is not in school. He plans to attend Coastal Carolina in South Carolina this fall to pursue a degree in PGA Management. (Yes, that is a thing). We are very proud of our kids. They are kind and gentle human beings who have great empathy for others. We need more allies like this in life.

When you walk through the doors of Cactus Jack’s you will see the best of what Evergreen has to offer. We have an eclectic crowd, where all are welcome! We have partnered with Evergreen Coalition for Racial Justice to help make this mission happen. Evergreen is not very diverse in color, but we do love everyone equally. Please if you ever witness hate, please contact a manager or owner. It is NOT acceptable. We believe you should treat others how you want to be treated.  

We have a passion for music at Cactus Jack’s. We have access to some of the best local bands in Colorado. We feature music on Friday nights, Saturday and Sunday afternoons.  We also have a live open mic night twice a month. Don’t forget good ole karaoke every Saturday since the beginning of time.  Please check the event calendar for more information.  

Check out our Youtube Channel for archived shows. If you would like to book a band, please email CactusJacksStaffRocks@gmail.com. The calendar fills up fast so get your requests for summer in early. We never charge a cover (unless it is a fundraiser or really good band).  

Lastly, we would like to acknowledge our managers, Stokie and Charm. They do so much to make this place run.  If you see either of them, please let them know how good they are doing. Cactus Jack’s for the first time in our history is firing on all cylinders. The food and service are consistently good. In large part credit goes to these two. They work hard and play hard.

We want to thank you for an amazing 20 years and look forward to another 20. You can’t get rid of us that easy. We were kids when we bought the bar and have plans to pass it on to our children when the time is right. We plan on continuing our passion for this community and ways to improve it. Evergreen is a special place. Enjoy it!

Gary & Megan Mitchell

Community Partners

Frequently Asked Questions

Cactus Jack’s has been a community leader in practicing safe coronavirus prevention measures.  We have sanitation stations throughout the restaurant.  We have 2 filters in the restaurant designed to catch water droplets and prevent the spread of COVID 19.  We use UV lights and mist sanitizer weekly to help reduce any harmful contamination.  It is important for us to follow Jefferson County Public Health Department Guidelines. Click here for updates. Mask are not required on our patio at this time.  We encourage those who have not been vaccinated to wear masks.  We also encourage if anyone in your party is feeling sick please DO NOT come into Cactus Jack’s. We have long passed the days where we can afford to get other people sick, especially our employees (they are working their butts off).  Help us keep them safe.  
The 3 Rs - reduce * reuse * recycle. We compost 100% food waste. We dramatically reduced our solid waste pollution that we cut down on how many days we got trash pickup. We utilize our single stream recycling system for Evergreen waste collection. Please review our Environmental Management System. (Insert EMS). We are proud to be able to ease your mind while visiting Cactus Jack’s, knowing that all of the waste created is approached with “The 3 Rs”. Come in and ask for a “sit down” with Megan to discuss any ideas.
We are not currently requiring reservations.  If you have a party of 6 or more, please call ahead, 303-674-1564 or email at Cactusjacksstaffrocks@gmail.com. We do have a host. Please check in with the host at the front of the inside area as there might be a waiting list.  This allows us to clean the tables in between guests and we greatly appreciate this.
 
Dietary Restrictions - please let your server know of any restrictions such as nut, diary and gluten allergies. Our fried food is cooked in the same fryer with meat, shellfish, dairy and floured breading. hempwayfoods.com Our gluten free items from scratch are the house made chilis & hemp burgers, as well as Udi's Bun or Lettuce Wrap.
Parking - we have 18 spots in our lot next to the restaurant. There is one handicapped spot available. We pay for additional parking across the street on Plettner Lane. Please use the crosswalk and do NOT follow the road. We ask this for your safety. There is a crosswalk at the intersection of Hwy 74 & 73. Overnight parking is not allowed unless you are intoxicated and responsibly getting a ride home then it is encouraged. If you bring your Uber, Lyft or Cab receipt in the next day we will give you 1/2 off an appetizer on your next visit.
Curbside Pickup - Call ahead, pay in advance or order online. Arrive at your designated time. We have several numbered spots facing the building that you should park in. The phone number (303) 674-1564 is on the sign in each spot with a designated spot number. Call us and we will run your food out to you. Pop your trunk or we will put it in your backseat without contact. Our employees will be wearing masks and gloves for your’s and their protection..
TOGO Reusable Food Container Program - Sign up for $25 annually.  Your membership includes unlimited use of our Pyrex containers and compostable products.  Email for more details cactusjacksstaffrocks@gmail.com  
Dogs - Yes! Don’t leave them in that hot/cold car after that amazing hike at one of Evergreen’s finest trailheads. They must be well behaved and on a leash. We are proud sponsors of Evergreen Animal Protective League..