MATT & PRISCILLA KUSCHER

Owners
Matthew Kuscher, also known as "Kush", is the owner of LoKal, Kush, The SpillOver and Vicky's House. 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 Fort McCoy Ranch in Marion County, FL and is a proud supporter of grass-fed and free range farming. Other local partners he gushes about are Clewiston Farms in Clewiston, Florida (home of fresh Florida alligators for LoKal's famous Alligator Strips), and all the local breweries—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 Hillstone Restaurant Group—but a lifetime of education imparted by his father has truly molded his success. His spent eleven years working at a number of east coast Houston's locations until finally landing in the Miami location.  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.

Kush 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.

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Zuniel Melendez

General Manager
Zuni@kushhospitality.com

Born in San Francisco, CA raised in Miami, FL, this little spitfire started working as a hostess at LoKal when she was 17 years old. She found herself craving more responsibility, and saw herself growing with the company's expanding opportunities. She has since been groomed in every position, both in the kitchen and front of the house. Her ambitious nature, creativity, and tenacity landed her as the General Manager at KUSH in Wynwood, and now as LoKal's General Manager where her journey in hospitality began. She's truly remarkable in her ability to lead, and sets the highest of standards for herself and her staff. Outside the restaurant she's a lover of craft beer, fishing, and a perfect pair of shoes.

LAURIE GRASTY

Director of Operations
Laurie@kushhospitality.com

Director of Operations for Kush Hospitality—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.  She keeps Kush Hospitality running smoothly in the day-to-day operations– basically she's living the dream. 

 

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Jenifer Sarmiento 

Sous-chef
Jen@kushhospitality.com

Born and raised in Miami, Florida and has been in hospitality for seven years on team LoKal. Jen is a veteran with the company and with us since day one working every position at LoKal from greeter, expediter and now in the kitchen. Her tenacious attitude and talent has made her known as a force to be reckoned with. As we lovingly see it, "although she is but little, she is fierce".

Leo Osorio

Assistant Manager
Leo@kushhospitality.com

Born in Colombia and raised in the 305, Leo is an FIU hospitality grad and father of three who lives for the wild ride that is “the biz.” With 20 years in the Miami restaurant scene, there is no position in a restaurant he hasn’t mastered. When Leo’s not hard at work, you can be sure he’ll be sipping some bourbon, playing his Fender acoustic, or hanging out with his wife Alexis at a bar near you!