The Cactus Shop (231 Kent Ave.), an original concept opening soon in Williamsburg, will function as a cactus shop by day and a Mexican speakeasy cantina by night. The store and restaurant combination describes itself as “a place where culture and flavors collide.”
Customers can partake in the full Cactus Shop experience soon, once the cantina obtains a liquor license, though delivery and takeout commenced this week.
The combo concept was dreamed up by a group of friends who started the DMS Hospitality Group. The Cactus Shop is the team’s first venture together as they work on another in Miami.
One of The Cactus Shop’s owners, Luis Zhumi, said the friends “were in different stages of life” when they met about eight years ago. Zhumi explained that the group would visit him behind the bar at Manhattan hotspot Oficina Latina.
“We always dreamed of opening something of our own,” expressed Zhumi, and the dream was realized in The Cactus Shop.
The Cactus Shop is an authentic escape in the heart of Williamsburg. The interior of The Cactus Shop showcases furniture, tiles, and decor all sourced directly from Mexico. Even the drinkware, made from hand blown glass and black clay, is all from Mexico.
The space is exactly what you might expect from a Mexican establishment. It is full of bright vibrant colors and patterns, evoking vibes of joy and merriment. Sugar skulls decorated in colorful floral patterns and calacas, or skeletons, are prevalent in both the plant store and cantina. Zhumi said he hopes summer brunch in the outdoor area will be a popular draw for locals.
The chef, Eduardo Dominguez, hails from Sinaloa, Mexico. His current takeout menu includes authentic bar snacks like elote and soup, flautas, tacos, gorditas, quesadillas, and an enticing selection of nonalcoholic beverages, including warm options and more traditional ones from Mexico. The Chocolate Abuelita comes with oat milk, star anise, Mexican cinnamon, and coffee whipped cream. Other options are traditional Mexican Horchata and the Cactus Pear Cooler, Zhumi’s non-alcoholic version of a pear cocktail.
Zhumi explained that when the speakeasy cantina receives the liquor license and fully opens, the dine-in menu will be more concentrated with “a focus on quality.” The menu will highlight a variety of meats like birria, al pastor and carnitas, seasoned for 24 hours.
For now, delivery and pickup orders can be placed via Toast, Uber Eats, GrubHub, or DoorDash Tuesday through Sunday from noon – 10 p.m.