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Behind the Deal: Cactus Club Opens at First Canadian Place

Toronto Retail

Ever since Cactus Club Café opened at First Canadian Place last month—the Vancouver-based chain’s first location in an Eastern Canada expansion bid—the phone at Regent Street Commercial Corp hasn’t stopped ringing. “Landlords are quite interested in how they can secure them as a tenant,” says principal Vanessa Oliver, pictured on-site with colleague Cathleen Harnick. The pair co-brokered the deal for the three-level, 13k SF space in collaboration with Cushman & Wakefield’s Burton Van Alstine. (They did a second deal for a 7k SF location at Sherway Gardens, currently under construction and opening in 2017.)


Toronto’s been on Cactus Club’s radar for some time, Vanessa tells us, with West Coast competitors Joeys and Earl’s having already made the move here. “We advised them the financial core would be the best place for their first-to-market location, and that they’d be extremely well-received by the downtown office crowd, for lunches and after-work drinks." (Bisnow visited last week and the place was jumping.) And all the new hotel and condo density downtown makes for a “seven day a week captive audience for them,” Vanessa says. (Cactus Club’s kitchen is helmed by Iron Chef champ Rob Feenie.)


Bringing Cactus Club to First Canadian Place was “one of the most complicated restaurant deals we’ve ever been involved in,” says Vanessa, noting discussions started four years ago, as the re-cladding of FCP—replacing carrara marble with white glass—was underway. “They were using what’s now the patio as a construction staging area. So it caused some delays.” FCP and Sherway are the first of a number of new Cactus Club openings planned for this province. “They’re opportunity-driven,” says Vanessa. “They’ve got over 20 locations in BC, and the Ontario market’s bigger. So they’re not just here to do a few deals.”