The Cactus has a new owner who comes with bowling alley experience

Lucas Johnson takes over Perham business from Blake Minge.

The Cactus' new owner Lucas Johnson standing behind the bar in his first week running the Perham restaurant. (Submitted photo)

The Cactus, a Perham restaurant and bowling alley, changed ownership the first week of September when Lucas Johnson took over from Blake Minge.

According to Johnson, a Perham native and owner of Papacitos Burritos, he started talking to Minge about the sale a couple of months ago as Minge started looking for someone to take over.

Johnson, 41, is not entirely new to The Cactus as he used to work there about 10 years ago. “I owned a pest control company and I worked here in the wintertime as the bowling alley guy,” Johnson said. “So when Blake talked to me (about) the bowling alley -- the kind of puzzle piece to this whole thing -- is a little bit different for most people. I’ve got quite a bit of experience with the bowling alley.” According to Johnson, last August, he took over the operation of the bowling alley in Detroit Lakes.

Johnson said nearly all of the existing staff are being kept on. “They’ve done such a great job,” he said. “They were well taken care of and have a place here.”

One staffing change, in addition to a new owner, is a new executive chef, Anthony Grady, who will come on board at The Cactus as of Sept. 8, Johnson said.


Presently, there are no other major changes coming to The Cactus. Right now, the plan is to keep providing great food and service, Johnson said.

Down the road, Johnson does have plans to make some changes to things that need small upgrades and to the menu. “We plan to put some spin on some of the food that people are used to,” he said. “We want to take classic foods and kind of make them our own.”

Bowling lanes are currently open, but Johnson said he is looking forward to things picking back up as local events that take place at The Cactus in the fall and winter start and bowling leagues resumes.

“I think The Cactus has unique things to offer with the dining room and the bowling alley and all the different things they have done here,” Johnson said. “I feel like I’m a pretty good fit to move that forward.”

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