IOWA CITY, IA- Sure, by now we’ve all seen Cactus, and we loved Cactus 2, but Cactus executives aren’t content to just stop there. Next Friday, Iowa City officials plan to unveil something that could change the downtown area forever: the Cactus Cinematic Universe.
Over the course of the next decade or so, Cactus will branch out to over twenty locations, each with their own corner or address, but all linked together in the same Tex-Mex macrocosm. “Servers from one location will be showing up at the ends of meals in an entirely different Cactus,” says producer of the project Carl Suthers. “You could get the check and think your Cactus experience is over, but if you don’t stick around for at least the bussing, you’ll be missing out on the next big Cactus reveal.”
“It’s never been done before and that’s kind of the spirit everybody’s taking it in,” says head chef Chuck Nolte. “Other restaurants aren’t used to getting ingredients from other locations that other chefs have cast. You can be sure that a meal you have at one Cactus will be showing up at, say, Cactus VII somewhere down the road. “
The new locations will be unleashed in what Suthers is calling “Phases,” with Phase One coming this fall, Phase Two starting in 2020, and Phase Three rolling out in 2024. “Who knows how many Phases we’ll be doing,” says Suthers, “we’ll see how the students respond. Ideally, we’d be releasing a new Cactus every year. It may not happen, but that’s the goal.” Ed Kline, owner of Cactus 2, declined to comment, as it was Taco Tuesday.
Be on the lookout for these upcoming Cactus releases:
- 2016: Cactus America: The Winter Sopapilla
- 2016: Cacti
- 2017: Y Tu Cactus También
- 2018: Big Cactus 6
- 2019: Cactus VII: A Fistful of Enchiladas
- 2020: Captain Margs
- 2021: Cactus IX: Tacos Never Sleep
- 2022: Cactus vs. Banditos
- 2023: Cactus XI: Porque de Winn-Dixie
- 2024: Agents of Cactus (A series of food trucks)
- 2025: Cactus XII: The Place Beyond the Vine
- 2026: Cacticide Crew
- 2027: The Good, the Guac, and the Bean Dip
Jeff Lehman is a recent graduate of the University of Iowa English program. He performs stand up and improv around Iowa City, and co-hosts The Secret Attic, a monthly stand-up show case. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dostojeffsky.
Edited by Jocelyn Coffman