About Cactus Jacks

Locally owned, independent restaurant.

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.


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 was working 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 now has moved to Ft. Collins. He is taking classes at Front Range Community College for Music Production.  You can also find him working behind the counter in the kitchen at Silver Grille Cafe in Ft. Collins.  Check out their cinnamon rolls AND toast!  Our son Jack attends school in South Carolina pursuing a degree in PGA Management. (Yes, that is a thing).  He works for us during summer break from University.  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. 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, in the summer.  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).  

We want to thank you for an amazing 21 years and look forward to another 21. We turned legal this year!  If you turned legal too let your server know.  We have a gift for you. We plan on continuing our passion for this community and ways to improve it. Gary and Megan are on numerous Boards in the Evergreen area.  Please view our weekly blogs for updates. 

Evergreen is a special place. Enjoy it!

Gary & Megan Mitchell

Community Partners

Frequently Asked Questions

The 3 Rs- reduce * reuse * recycle.  Cactus Jack’s has been actively reducing our waste through composting in some form or another since 2008  Recently we began collaborating with Evergreen Sustainability Alliance to help launch a local compost program.  There is a drop off station a few miles away.  We store our compost until we can deliver it to the Recycle Station behind King Soopers.  We are members of the plasticfreerestaurants.com commitment to eliminate single use plastic containers.  This has become difficult with high demand and supply chain issues.  We do our best!  Finally, we recycle as much as possible.  We made a conscious decision to switch from glass to aluminum for many reasons.  Aluminum is infinitely renewable.  Glass is heavy which translates to costly. Glass is difficult to recycle in single stream.  We still have glass liquor bottles for now.  Everything we do at Cactus Jack’s has been thought about with sustainability in mind.  If you have any questions or suggestions, ask for Megan to discuss ideas.  Email cactusjacksstaffrocks@gmail.com for more information.
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 flour breading. Our gluten free items from scratch are the house made chilis & hemp burgers, hempwayfoods.com, 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.
We are developing a Reusable Food Container Program.  Your membership will include unlimited use of togo containers from Cactus Jack’s and other local restaurants.  For now we will be using compostable products for your convenience.  Togo Alcohol is now allowed in Evergreen.  Whether you are in dire need of one of our Freshly Squeezed Margaritas or the local liquor store is closed there are many reasons to stop by and order our signatures drinks togo.  We also serve canned beer from many amazing Colorado and beyond breweries.  We also have a cork law for wine.  We carry local Creekside Cellars wine, but only sell it by the bottles because there are no preservatives.  Look online for weekly specials on togo alcohol.
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..