Cactus Club founder invests in Hawksworth Restaurant Group

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Richard Jaffray, co-founder of the Cactus Club, has invested an undisclosed amount in Hawksworth Restaurant Group, an 11-year-old company founded by famed chef David Hawksworth.

The group’s restaurants include Hawksworth Restaurant, Nightingale and Bel Cafe.

Hawksworth tells BIV that Jaffray’s investment was “massive,” though he declined to disclose the exact amount. He also would not say whether the investment is a majority or minority stake by the company.

“He’s going to be there as an advisor and someone I can talk to and we can work things out,” Hawksworth said of Jaffray. “That will be his role. There is no change in my business or day-to-day operations.”

No new restaurants are planned yet, Hawksworth said.

Jaffray sold its stake in the Cactus Club to the Fuller family, who also own the Earls and Joey restaurant chains, in February.

Hawksworth said he’s known Jaffray for a long time and “when he was done with Cactus Club, we started talking.”

Hawksworth Restaurant has been listed by Forbes as one of the best restaurants in the world.

Jaffray rarely speaks to the media and was not available for an interview, but said in a press release that he had always respected Hawksworth and his restaurant group.

“I look forward to adding value and contributing to the continued success of the team,” he said.

Jaffray and Scott Morison worked at Earls early in their careers. They left to start an ice cream and sandwich shop called Cucamongas Café.

The duo then co-founded the Cactus Club in North Vancouver in 1988. They had a falling out and Morison sold his stake in the company for $4 million in 2005, Morison said BIV in 2009. Morison then founded the Browns Socialhouse chain, which also had its first location in North Vancouver.

Earls owner Stan Fuller provided 50 percent of the funding needed to start the Cactus Club, Morison said BIV in 2009.

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