Matt Kuscher on Kush: "We Are Aiming to Have Florida's Best Craft Beer Selection"
Matt Kuscher wanted to leave the corporate life after working for Houston's for many years. Taking a leap of faith, he ventured off and opened Lokal in Coconut Grove in 2011, offering straightforward food made from sustainable and local ingredients paired with good beer. It helped that he brought David Rodriguez on board as head of the craft program. Lokal was an instant hit.
Courtesy of Kush Matt Kuscher.
Three years and a brew bus later, the duo is opening its third venture this Friday. Kush (short for "Kuscher") aims to become Wynwood's go-to spot for drinking, eating, and art. With a small menu of about 15 items, Kush concentrates on the beer. "We want to be the best craft beer selection in all of South Florida," Kuscher says.
Matt recently chatted with Short Order about local boar, Kush brownies served with a bag of greens, his favorite beer, and his plans for Kush to become Wynwood's beer mecca.
New Times: Kush is to fuse beer, food, and art into one. How do you plan to do this but still maintain a single identity?
Matt Kuscher: Our single identity is integrity. Everything I do is based on the fact that I try doing it with the best that I can find but still keep it a local, neighborhood spot.
You plan on having some menu crossover from Lokal. How?
We will feature some of our key items, like our local alligator strips, straight from Cypress Creek Farms in Starke, Florida; our fried Florida chicken with Belgian waffles served with chopped bacon, powdered sugar, and homemade maple syrup; the Frita by Kush, a burger topped with guava jelly and melted Gruyère, stuffed with potato sticks, crispy bacon, Lokal sauce, then pressed down; and The Lokal Burger, which is Florida grass-fed burger served with homemade honey mustard, using local honey, melted jack cheese, local tomatoes, sliced red onions, arugula, and Florida avocados. Just like Lokal, all our burgers are delivered weekly from Cowart Ranch in Sumterville, Florida, and ground in-house every day by hand.
What are new dishes we can expect?
We found some local boar, so we are doing boar sausages that are delicious served with spicy slaw, sliced pickles, toasted bread, and homemade mustard; Grandpa Joe's pastrami Reuben, hot pastrami served on rye bread, spread with Lokal sauce, coleslaw, and melted Gruyère cheese; and our awesome homemade Kush Brownies with chopped nuts, chopped bacon, and sea salt -- served with a bag of greens and a glass of cold milk.
Why will Kush be the beer mecca for Wynwood?
We aren't kidding when we say we are aiming to have Florida's best craft beer selection, but you will have to follow us to find out about all the rare releases and events. Just know we will be getting beer that South Florida has yet to see and drink. We've also been aging beers in my house for three years, waiting for a moment like this. We have a reserve list at Lokal, but it's only for those who "know," but at Kush it'll be available for everyone. We'll also have casks weekly, a nitro line, and beers that are made just for us as well as rotating beers and 18 taps.