Q

Our Story

For over 23 years we have been serving the best tex-mex this side of the border – from authentic dishes and margaritas to old flavours with a modern twist. Our famous chilli is not to be missed, nor our wickedly divine chocolate nachos.

So how did Cactus Jack's come about? Over 23 years ago, we fell in love with both cultures – the vibrancy, the energy and the music. The Australian dining scene was pretty boring back we had a vision to shake things up and bring some of the rich culture we’d experienced to our hometown of Townsville.

We wanted to create a place where, as soon as you step in, you feel like you are transported to another world and the daily pressures and stresses could be left outside the door for a while…


a few words from the founder – jon van grinsven

Many years ago I had the opportunity to visit America and the border-towns of Texas and Mexico. I fell in love with both cultures and the vibrancy of the areas, and eating out was always a complete experience, filled with sights, sounds, smells and tastes that I’d never seen before.

It was the eighties and things were booming in the American economy. Rock ‘n’ roll was huge and everything was big and bright. Back home in Townsville, restaurants were dull, bland and boring. I had a vision to shake things up and bring some of the rich culture I’d experienced overseas to my hometown.

I wanted to create a place where as soon as you step in, you feel like you are transported to another world and where the daily pressures and stresses could be left outside the door for a while.

Inside, you became engulfed in the sights, sounds and smells of Cactus Jack’s. There is loud rock music from the 70’s through to today’s top hits. The smell of smoky grilled steaks sets your tastebuds to watering. The room is covered in vintage paraphernalia; nostalgic pieces from Aztec throw rugs, bow and arrows, Mexican sombreros and ponchos to posters of Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry and Western cowboy boots, hats and rifles and so much more that every time you come back you spot something you hadn’t noticed last time! Our ‘thing’ is not just Mexican, although many people say it is. We are Tex-Mex, from both sides of the border-towns of Mexico and Texas. We love whisky and tequila, steaks and nachos. We have our amigos and our “pardners” and all are welcome and considered family.

Cactus Jack’s has been in operation for 23 years. Our home is Townsville, North Queensland where our original restaurant on Palmer Street was opened with dust blowing past the door, homeless people across the street, but always a line-up of eaters and drinkers out the front. Our reputation grew from there as ‘the best darned value for money, eatin’ and drinkin’ in town!’ 

We now have restaurants from Brisbane to Cairns, and 24 years on are still keeping the locals happy with great value Tex-Mex. We hope you enjoy Cactus Jack’s too!