There has been no shortage of change in the South Florida food scene these past several months. However, the brief moment of respite has given business-owners the opportunity to renovate and come back stronger than ever. And with the temporary closure of his sea-centric Spillover restaurant in Coconut Grove and an eventual reopening planned, owner/operator Matthew Kuscher 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.”
Brustman & Carrino PR
Kush Coconut Grove, also referred to as Kush by Spillover, will open to the public on Wednesday, June 17th. 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 the wall art installation from last year’s Art Basel. Happy hour will resume with the return of Moose Juice, a beloved classic from old school Mr. Moe’s for $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.
See you all June 17th!
Cover photo from Spillover.