Big cactus sprouts outside KI's Cactus Cafe

A big green cactus has sprung up outside one of Kangaroo Islands' most up-and-coming eateries, Cactus Cafe in Kingscote.

The lads at Cactus, Yen Aun Leow and Louis Lark, are stoked with the new 2.5-metre-high creation, sculpted by fellow locals Indiana James assisted by Dave "Collingwood" Creagh.

Louis explained how the cactus came to be Kingscote's latest attraction and bit of street art.

"Indy and I started chatting at breakfast one day and its been a work in progress ever since," he said.

The plan was to place the cactus out from the footpath on the street in front of the cafe.

But when excavations commenced, they hit solid limestone and so it was deemed more practical and cost effective to place the sculpture on top of the concrete inside the front dining area.

Indy joked that the irony was the the restaurant was far from being "cactus" and was actually one of the most happening places on KI.

The boys and sculptor Indy thanked Scott Shurven for making available two large gas cylinders for the sculpture.

Indiana when researching the project found out about the Gila woodpecker that live on and in the saguaro cactus and so included one in the work, along with making cactus flowers out of gas cylinder taps.

The very top of the cactus was also made specially to fit a Mexican sombrero hat, so if anyone has one, just leave it on top for the boys.

Yen and Louis meanwhile are going to continue their popular Friday evening, themed dinners, with a great response from the KI locals quickly booking out all the tables.

"We're going to organise a handful more over the next few weeks," Louis said. "The uptake has been great and this time of year it is literally all locals and it's like having dinner with friends."

First up is an Indian themed dinner on Friday, August 23 featuring the southern Indian hometown dishes of their new chef Dinto Thomas.

Then in the first week of November timed for the Day of the Dead in Mexico, orginial Cactus Cafe chef Esther Stephens will be making a come back to cook a bit of a Mexican "co-lab" with Louis.

Louis and Yen started their restaurant on Dauncey Street in 2017 after meeting each other as employees at Southern Ocean Lodge.

The Mexican cafe originally opened and named by chef Esther Stephens had been closed for some years when they took over and reopened.

The big Day of the Dead and cactus murals painted by unknown backpackers were still on the walls outside.

They kept the name Cactus Cafe and the theme even they don't serve Mexican food because it was a "much loved local establishment", the decor was there and they had other priorities.

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