When Will the Angry Cactus Rise?
It’s arguably the most infamous restaurant and accompanying signage the city has seen since the operating days of Ms. Hattie’s and, months after the no-longer-phallic cactus was approved, the building still stands bare.
But despite a lack of observable signs of progress on the Angry Cactus Bar and Grill from the street level, concept dreamer, business owner and executive chef Timothy Condon promises the west Texas hotspot is on track to begin construction soon.
“We’ve made a lot of progress and we’re very close to getting things going,” Condon said on Monday. “We finalized the design and all the architectural details, interior and exterior. We’re just working through [planning] mechanical and plumbing and electrical and we’re hopefully going to get something going.”
Condon has been working on the new locale nonstop and said he has started looking at contractors for the construction, however no papers have been signed as of yet. He also still needs to petition the city council for his permit, but is working to nail down prices in his budget before he gets the permit and signs a lease with owner Lee Pfluger.
Since the signage for the venue was approved six months ago, Condon had made headway in the overall design, cutting back on some of the more lavish decor he'd initially selected and settling into a style that is representive of the west Texas town and menu he will serve.
“We were thinking a little too extravagant the first go-round with some of the architecture…” he admitted. “We were thinking more Las Vegas versus San Angelo, Texas. So we kind of wanted to be a little more practical, but at the same time, we’re here to set the standard on what the interior of a restaurant looks like.”
As was described in the original plans, the restaurant will still include a water feature, two levels of seating, an open kitchen and a center bar, Condon said, but some things, like super pricey lighting fixtures and a horseshoe shaped bar, have been modified in favor of more modest pieces that better suit the space and the city.
“It’s not any real cutbacks,” he said. “If anything, we’re adding stuff. We were just going a little bit over the top as far as the size and stuff the first go-round.”
Condon has already began to purchase some of the materials he plans to incorporate into the design of the restaurant, including 2,000 square feet of 100-year-old reclaimed wood that will work into many of the indoor aesthetic elements.
Also in progress in the famed cactus sculpture, planned to sit atop a canopy in front of the restaurant and serve as the locale’s icon. Originally, the structure was going to be welded together out of bits of steel, but Condon has recently begun looking at other, more lightweight options.
“I’m working with people from Disney and a couple of three-dimensional sculptors down in Houston,” he said. “We need a fiberglass type of material because the metal, it’s going to be too heavy for the size that it is. There’s even someone in Chicago that’s interested in it. They heard about it from San Angelo LIVE!”
As Condon begins to close in on contractors and gets ready to move dirt and lay utility lines, he and his team have also begun experimenting with menu items via their catering company that will soon be featured at the Angry Cactus.
“I’m thinking about making our pasta from scratch and doing some other really cool things, like we’ve added a meatloaf that we wrap in corn husks and smoke,” he said. “We call it a west Texas tamale. We’ve been going over-the-top on the menu. It’s going to be some really cool stuff that San Angelo hasn’t seen before.”
Condon couldn’t provide an estimate for when the doors will open for service, but relayed that construction will begin soon and estimates he’s running about six months behind the Twisted Root burger joint that is moving in next door.
“We’re almost there,” he said with regard to the construction.
Recommended for You
Get more stories like this by signing up for our daily newsletter, The LIVE! Daily.