Photo Credit: Cleavelander South Beach
Behind some of South Florida’s most eclectic and inspired restaurants and bars, Kush Hospitality Group (KHG) — owned and operated by restaurateur Matthew “Kush” Kuscher — has been wowing diners and imbibers for over a decade, with a varied portfolio of lively, fun and whimsical concepts. The Kush family of restaurants – such as Coconut Grove’s trendsetting LoKal and the current incarnation of Tobacco Road (by Kush), among others – is entering the hotel industry in a big way. Kuscher is proud to announce that he is partnering with Jesta Hotels & Resorts and taking over the food program of the world-famous Clevelander South Beach Hotel & Bar. On July 19, 2022, KHG officially took over all food responsibilities for the hotel. In addition, KHG is assuming what used to be the Games on Sports restaurant space and transforming it to Kush at Clevelander — a sports bar-style eatery located behind the hotel’s famous pool. Details are forthcoming but as with the previous Kush concepts, guests can expect the type of one-of-a-kind dining and drinking experience that has affirmed KHG’s reputation. The sports bar is slated to open by September 1, 2022 just in time for football season.
Built in 1938 and comprehensively renovated in 2009, Clevelander South Beach is an iconic hotel located on Ocean Drive in the heart of the Art Deco District. With more than 80 years of history, the Clevelander has transformed over the years to include something for everyone at each of its unique venues, including the Pool+Patio, C-Level Rooftop Terrace and SPF4 Sun Deck. The hotel offers an ongoing schedule of weekly themed parties, including Rockstar Karaoke on Monday, Noche Caliente on Thursday and its famous weekend Play Pool Party.
“For the last couple of years, we’ve been focused on bringing the locals back to Clevelander and we wanted to offer a local food program to our outside visitors,” says Jessica Francos, Vice President of Operations for Jesta Hotels & Resorts. “In April of 2021 I reached out to Matt and asked him if he would be interested in partnering with Clevelander to bring his one-of-a-kind Kush concepts to our iconic hotel in Miami Beach,” she adds, “and one year later here we are. Clevelander is world-renowned for being a place that everyone must visit when they’re in South Beach; they come to experience our famous frozen cocktails and dance the day and night away. Now they can also enjoy a one-of-a-kind South Florida food concept. We wanted to bring something unique to the space that locals would come back to, and what better partner than Kush.”
“This is a big step for the company and for me as an operator,” says Kush, who helped spark Coconut Grove’s dining renaissance ten years ago with the launch of LoKal. “We are no strangers to the hotel world, per se,” he adds, referring to his concepts at the Selina Gold Dust in MiMo, “but this is our first time partnering with a major hotel. This opportunity signals major growth for our brand and an exciting opportunity to expand to Miami Beach.”
When Kush at Clevelander South Beach opens guests can expect the type of details, pop culture references, delicious food and creative, refreshing cocktails KHG is known for. Housed inside the hotel on the ground floor, Kush at Clevelander South Beach will feature its own entrance off Ocean Drive, ensuring it’s as much an oasis for locals as it is for tourists and hotel guests. In true sports bar fashion, the restaurant will feature a bevy of televisions for game day watching as well as a special private viewing room, perfect for a bespoke, private experience for sports superfans. Don’t expect your generic framed Dan Marino jersey but, in typical Kush fashion, the restaurant’s entirety will highlight the authentic local sports vibe throughout the displayed art and cocktails.
The menu will offer both fan favorites from the other Kush locations as well as innovative showstoppers exclusive to the new restaurant that can only be ordered at this location. The bar program, created by recently promoted KHG Corporate Beverage Director Cristina Suarez, will offer a variety of craft beers, classic cocktails and creative signature items.
Kush at Clevelander South Beach will be located inside of the hotel at 1020 Ocean Drive on Miami Beach adjacent to the pool area. For more information, please visit clevelander.com or kushhospitality.com.
Victoria Palacio – Director of Marketing and Brand Strategy
Brustman Carrino Public Relations
ABOUT CLEVELANDER SOUTH BEACH
The world-renowned Clevelander South Beach, located at 1020 Ocean Drive, is an icon on the Miami Beach scene. Originally built in 1938, the hotel has more than 80 years of history as an Art Deco classic at the center of it all on Ocean Drive. Clevelander South Beach has something for everyone at each of its unique venues: POOL+PATIO, SPF4 Sun Deck, and C-LEVEL Rooftop Terrace. For more information visit www.clevelander.com and follow us on social @clevelandersobe.
ABOUT KUSH HOSPITALITY GROUP:
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 in 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 Wynwood, 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; Kush Coconut Grove, which offers sustainable seafood paired with eclectic cocktails, ciders and meads; and Vicky’s House Milkshake Bar + Beer Store, a replica of Kuscher’s childhood home in 1986 located next door to LoKal and named after Kuscher’s mother. In the Spring of 2019, after close to two years of development and historically-minded redesign, KHG opened Kush Hialeah, a carefully-refurbished incarnation of the legendary Stephen’s Deli, which first opened in 1954. 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. Tobacco by Road by Kush, a tribute to the historic Miami’s bar and live music venue is located in Brickell and launched in 2021. Café Kush is located in the historical MiMo – short for “Miami Modern” – district, at the Selina Gold Dust Motel. Kuscher’s most recent venture, Don’s 5 Star Dive Bar, located right beneath Café Kush, serves up craft cocktails in underground-cool environs.