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 the 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, 2020. 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 andHobo 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, 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 the “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 andPurple Drank(Fords gin, Giffard Crème de Violette) in a CapriSun bag. Most notable,120K, a drink created “to honor” the now-infamous banana-taped-to-a-wall art installation from Art Basel Miami Beach 2019.
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.