There has been no shortage of change in the South Florida food scene these past several months. Trying times for all and challenges aplenty; with them, opportunities as well. And with the temporary closure of his sea-centric Spillover restaurant in Coconut Grove and an eventual reopening planned, owner/operator Matthew Kuscher (the “Kush” in Kush Hospitality) saw just that: an opportunity to revamp the restaurant and bring his eponymous, and wildly successful, Kush concept to Coconut Grove. “Spillover had an amazing run and certainly had its fans,” Kuscher noted. “But looking at how the market is changing and what customers want in these crazy, stressful times it was evident to me that the spirit of Kush – fun, casual, not taking itself seriously – was what was needed now. The time off afforded us the chance to work on everything, from menu to bar program and even décor. I’m excited for fans to see it and happy that we have something positive to look forward to. We all need that.”
Kush Coconut Grove, also referred to as Kush by Spillover, will open to the public on Wednesday, June 17. And like its sibling concepts – Stephen’s Delicatessen and Kush Wynwood, among others – it will maintain all occupancy and social distancing protocols. And in addition to safety and service, Kuscher promises an exciting new experience for both Spillover fans and newcomers. “Anyone who knows me knows I don’t do things in half measures,” Kuscher says, inarguably a truism for a man who doubles as the costumed Kaptain Kush, self-proclaimed Miami superhero and protector of all that makes Miami great and special. “This is far more than a new name and some menu items. It truly is a rebirth of the space and the concept.”
First, the menu, which overflows with options and reads like a greatest-hits from both Spillover and Kush with new temptations in the mix. Kush favorites now on offer in Coconut Grove run the gamut, from must-have burgers and sandwiches such as the famous Farm Style Chicken Sandwich and Hobo Frito Pie. New to the mix, Fish & Chips, Spicy Chicken Sandwich, Chili Burger and Juanita’s Tortilla Soup. Spillover favorites making the transition include Snapper Scraps, Fish Tacos and the Grouper Reuben as well as oysters, crab cakes and Prawn Toast, among others. The expanded “Veggie Corner” will include a Black Bean Burger, Vegan Jambalaya and a Vegan Crab Cake Sandwich.
Changes will also be found in the restaurant’s bar program. In keeping with Kush’s well-earned rep as a beer lover’s paradise, the beer menu will be expanded, resplendent with locally-brewed and hard-to-find craft selections. This includes the third in the proprietary Kaptain Kush Series called Dime Piece, a blonde ale made by Unbranded in Hialeah. Anyone who knows about the bar programs Kuscher creates knows that “wow factor” is a founding principle; this will be no different at Kush Coconut Grove. The Peanut Butter Old Fashioned (bourbon, Screwball whiskey, grape jam) will be served in a Smucker’s jar and Purple Drank (Fords gin, Giffard Crème de Violette) in a Capri Sun bag. Most notable, 120K, a drink created “to honor” the now-infamous banana-taped-to-a-wall art installation ffrom Art Basel Miami Beach 2019 (https://www.vogue.com/article/the-120000-art-basel-banana-explained-maurizio-cattelan). The drink, consisting of rum, Giffard Banane du Brésil, Coco Lopez and Pineapple, will be served in a rocks glass along with a miniature replica of the art piece itself.
Happy Hour will resume with the return of Moose Juice, a beloved classic from old school Mr. Moe’s, $5 and served in an oil can. Also $1 oysters, BOGO draft beers, wines and $5 appetizers.
Kush Coconut Grove will be as much a feast for the eyes as the palate. All Kush Hospitality concepts are painstakingly designed and dressed by Kuscher himself, with no detail left unattended. Most offer a cornucopia of pop culture references as well as hidden Easter eggs begging for discovery, many from his personal collection of memorabilia, knickknacks and tchotchkes. The newly-designed Kush Coconut Grove will feature a number of new art pieces, many composed of reclaimed wood, echoing the original Kush’s look in Wynwood. Kaptain Kush will be on-hand in several incarnations, from an official security guard (mannequin) ensuring everyone adheres to safe distance practices to a renovated, vintage Zoltar machine that will disperse custom fortunes, wisdom and scorn in equal amounts. In keeping with its original seafaring concept, the bar at Spillover consisted of hundreds of Old Bay cans. Now, a more pop culture sentiment is at play with a bar made up of more than two hundred VHS cassettes. A new mural – Miami vs. Everyone by Camilo Rojas – has popped up on the dining room wall and the Florida room, the restaurant’s lounge, is staying put but expanding to include a beer-only package store.
Kush Coconut Grove is located at 2911 Grand Avenue, Suite 400D in Coconut Grove (directly behind the Mayfair Hotel). Lunch is served Monday-Friday from Noon-5PM; Dinner Sunday-Thursday 5PM-10PM and Friday and Saturday from 5PM-11PM. Weekend Brunch served Saturday and Sunday from 11AM-3PM. Telephone: (305) 456-5723; https://kushcoconutgrove.com
Founded in 2011, KUSH Hospitality Group (KHG) began with the mission to create and operate cutting edge, one-of-a-kind concepts inspired by South Florida’s rich and diverse community. Every element of each KHG concept is hyper-curated by owner Matt Kuscher, from the menu design and art to merchandise and music. Each restaurant offers menus featuring locally sourced ingredients as well as interiors thoughtfully designed using primarily upcycled and environmentally friendly materials. In fact, KHG has become known as a local leader in eco-friendly practices, having received multiple awards acknowledging their conscious efforts.
Kuscher’s goal is to provide the ultimate guest experience with stellar service, made-from-scratch food, and works by local artists carefully chosen so that each concept reflects its specific location and unique perspective on Miami life. KHG’s first concept, LoKal, pronounced [lo-ka’l], opened its doors December 2011 in Coconut Grove with the intention of featuring ingredients and beers primarily from Florida. LoKal is the first restaurant in Miami-Dade County to use 100% clean, renewable energy sourced from wind and solar power. Other restaurants followed: KUSH, located in Miami’s Wynwood arts district, and its sister store next door, Botanica – both of which have become known for their expansive craft beer selection and Vicky's House Milkshake Bar + Beer Store, located next door to LoKal and named after Kuscher’s mother. In Spring of 2019, after close to two years of development and historically-minded redesign, KHG opened a carefully-refurbished incarnation of the legendary Stephen’s Delicatessen, which first opened in 1954 in Hialeah, Florida. Accessible through Stephen’s as well as through its own entrance – in a space that was Stephen’s former kitchen – is La Cocina Cocteleria, Hialeah’s first cocktail bar. In June 2020, The Spillover in Coconut Grove, which originally opening in May 2016, was reborn as Kush Coconut Grove. For more information, visit kushhospitality.com.