Logo
matthew-priscilla-kuscher-lokal

MATTHEW AND PRISCILLA KUSCHER

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it     |     This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Matthew Kuscher, also known as "Kush", is the owner of LoKal, Kush, and the Miami Brew Bus. Lokal was his first venture on his own, but he's been in the restaurant business since he was a small boy. Kush is a 3rd generation restaurateur—his father successfully owned several cafeterias and a Dunkin' Donuts shop for decades in Washington D.C. His grandfather owned restaurants and bars from the 50s through the 80s in New York and Broward County. After fifteen years of living the corporate life, he hung up his suit and tie and traded it for a T-shirt, jeans, and a life long dream of doing what he loves most—creating restaurant concepts. He is extremely passionate about buying local, making sure his ingredients and products are top quality. To accomplish this he visits all his purveyors' businesses to ensure they are aligned with his values.

Kush has visited and inspected several farms, such as Coward Ranch in Sumterville, FL (where he buys his beef and chicken) and is a proud supporter of grass-fed and free range farming. Other local partners he gushes about are Cypress Creek Farms (home of fresh Florida alligators for Lokal's famous Alligator Strips), Funky Buddha Brewery and Tequesta Brewing Company—they were some of the first to be part of Matt's vision. From the inception of his brainchild Lokal, sustainability was at the top of his priority list. This is evident in the upcycled decor and art murals which provide seating and visual aesthetics, but the principle is most importantly rooted in the waste management and recycling services provided to his establishments.

Born and raised in Washington D.C. to a Jewish father and Puerto Rican mother, Kush received his Bachelor's in Hospitality from Florida International University in 2000, and earned his chops while working for two industry leaders—Levy Restaurant Group and most recently Hillstone Restaurant Group—but a lifetime of education imparted by his father has truly molded his success. His last eleven years were spent working at a number of east coast Houston's locations until finally landing in the Coral Gables location. Here he successfully orchestrated the day-to-day operations at the company's most nationally acclaimed restaurant. Kush's philosophy is simple: "Give guests the freshest and best quality ingredients in a cool, clean environment; and always make them leave happier than when they arrived."

When Kush is not working, he can be found backpacking through Europe, savoring BBQ throughout the southern portion of the USA, or taking bullet trains in Japan. His multi-cultural heritage spawned a fascination for travel, culture and food early on, leaving him with an infectious passion he aims to pass on to the guests of his establishments. His love affair with food and his adventurous spirit make him a roving nomad in search of learning and appreciating cultures one bite at a time.

Kush recently married his long time darling Priscilla—a well-versed foodie and adventure junkie. Together, they take on the Miami food scene with a unique sense of family and grassroots conviction. Priscilla keeps him grounded in many ways and is an integral part of LoKal's day-to-day activities. She studied nutrition and dietetics at FIU and is a big believer in the old adage, "You are what you eat." Eager to show Miami that eating well and living well can happen symbiotically— she looks forward to welcoming every guest into LoKal just as she would if it were her home.

They are driven to spread the message of nutritious dining, active lifestyle and balanced living along with their "children" Yeyo and Chichi—two of the most adorable French bulldogs the world has ever seen—whose impressive resumes include: rigorously testing the doggy menu, approving of doggy parking stations, and wearing many important titles such as head of security and official Lokal mascots.

 

line large
IMG 2879-1

Zenobia Bhaijee


LoKal’s General Manager and Beer Director. She was born in Port Shepstone, South Africa, grew up in Florida, and took yearly trips back to her motherland—she also travels yearly to Dubai for a visit with her Father. Zenobia considers herself to be a citizen of the world, and is happiest when she is in an airport on the cusp of a new adventure. Before she found her true passion in hospitality, she studied architecture, but quickly realized the lack of creativity(and repetitive nature of the industry) would ultimately make her lose interest. Zenobia got her start in the restaurant industry in England, but it wasn’t until she helped to open Kush in Wynwood that she found all her creative passions and talents could be put to good use. She quickly moved up the ranks to become our fearless leader and beer guru—with an unparalleled palate for flavor profiles she curates LoKal’s beer list to be balanced and intriguing for beer geeks and newbies alike. When she’s not working to make Lokal the best restaurant in Coconut Grove, you can find her restaurant/brewery hopping, getting creative in her own kitchen, dabbling in mixology, voraciously reading a book, or spending time with friends and family. This woman is genuine in every sense of the word, and there's no end to her charm and charisma. As talented as she is beautiful, Zenobia makes running the day-to-day look like it’s a stroll at Kennedy Park, but we all know how hard she works to keep our mission intact.
 
line large
FullSizeRender

DARRIN HELMS

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

LoKal’s Executive Kitchen Manager. He was Born in Hampton, Virginia, but has been a South Floridian for the past 20 years. Darrin got his start in the kitchen when he was 7 years old with his mother and father teaching him the ropes, he credits these experiences at home as the catalyst to his passion for food. A young and enthusiastic Darrin(15) scored his first hospitality gig working for the Masnutten Resort in Virginia. The seed was planted which inspired him to eventually acquire a formal education from Johnson & Wales in Rhode Island, New York; taking his passion and craft to the highest level. Darrin’s first professional position landed him in a small “mom & pop” shop where he felt his creative talents could thrive; which serves him well for his current role at LoKal. With a warm familial approach in the kitchen, he sets a wonderful tone which serves to  galvanize teamwork, and insight meaningful collaboration. Professionally, his motivation is to make people happy through the life altering experience of great food. He is a truly humble individual, with a heart of gold. Outside the kitchen, Darrin is a husband and father of two beautiful girls—his most important calling in life. He is a devoted family man, boasting about his loving family at every opportunity. On his off days you can find Darrin unwinding with a cold craft beer (usually a Coppertail Unholy Trippel), making a mean lasagna, playing some poker, deep sea fishing, or reading contemporary horror novels—BUT his favorite moment are date nights with the wife, and tucking his girls into bed. For all of these reasons, Darrin is a vital part of the Lokal family.

line large
image1

Fredy Jared Barrientos

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

LoKal’s Assistant Kitchen Manager. He was born in San Pedro Sula, Honduras and raised in Miami, Florida where his family owned a small business making custom cabinets. Fredy was lured into working with the family business for sometime, but despite the design element of cabinetry he knew his creative inclination would be better served in a different field. He tried his hand at the art of coffee as a barista at a local Starbucks, but to no avail. The longing for something new, fresh and different each day wasn’t realized until he began to work for Matt Kuscher at Hillstone in Coral Gables. There he was given the opportunity to explore his culinary talents, and for the first time; he felt the search had ended. Under the rigorous training of this institution, Fredy was able to harness a talent of which he never explored in the past, yet seemed so obvious once he was able to work his magic in the kitchen. At LoKal, Fredy is known as a jubilant spirit with a permanent grin who knows how to whip up resolutions in the kitchen with poise and kindness. For some, the restaurant can be a high stress environment, but Fredy is a seasoned veteran who knows how to execute under pressure. It’s clear that he’s found his true calling. At home, his wife and daughter are the center of his universe. His off days are spent making them delicious meals (chicken marsala being his favorite to prepare), participating in community service with their church, and when there’s time indulging his other creative love of—drawing and sketching.

line large
image2

Laurie Grasty

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Laurie has been part of the Lokal family since 2013, but worked with Matt Kuscher a few years prior at Hillstone in Coral Gables. She was head-hunted by Matt to become Lokal's general manager, and now has since moved up to Director of Operations for the Lokal Brand—a.k.a. Boss Lady. She's a native of Philadelphia, but now resides in Ft.Lauderdale, and once you meet her you'll know three things for certain: she's passionate about craft beer, Eagles football, and travel.

line large
alexis1

Alexis Osorio

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Alexis is Lokal's assistant manager, but she's certainly not new to our team as she has recently come on board from Kush. Alexis was born and raised in the MIA, got her start in “the biz” when she was 18 years old, and fell in love with the hospitality industry. She previouly worked with Matt Kuscher at Hillstone and jumped at the chance to work with him when he left the corporate life to start his beatnik brand of restaurants. Before coming on board, she earned her stripes working at The Loews Hotel, and finally felt ready to take on a more permanent position in Matt’s arsenal of seasoned hospitality veterans. Since getting her start at Kush, Alexis has become a leader and mentor amongst her colleagues which allowed her her to quickly move up the ranks. Her and her husband met in the industry, she’s now a mother of two gorgeous boys and credits her family as her main inspiration in life.