Behind some of South Florida’s most eclectic and inspired restaurants and bars, Kush Hospitality Group (KHG) — owned and operated by restaurateur Matthew “Kush” Kuscher — has been wowing diners and imbibers for over a decade, with a varied portfolio of lively, fun and whimsical concepts. Its flagship is Coconut Grove’s beloved LoKal, a burger and craft beer hotspot since December 2011. In 2018 the ever-whimsical Kuscher added Vicky’s House Milkshake Bar & Beer Store; a replica of Kuscher’s childhood home, named after Kuscher’s mother, that has served epic milkshakes, ice cream, craft beers and nostalgia for the past four years attached to LoKal. On Sunday, October 2, 2022, Vicky’s House will serve its last sundae and close for renovations, opening December 2022 as Victoria’s Vinos & Vermouth, a vermouth and natural wine bar and the official waiting room for LoKal.
“Every few years I like to rebrand my concepts to keep my creative juices flowing and bring a new energy for our employees and guests. It’s bittersweet to see Vicky’s go,” says Kuscher. “I am so grateful to have been able to share this time capsule of mine with everyone but I am looking forward to what is to come. This new project is something I am deeply passionate about and I think it’s the perfect time to bring something new, fresh and equally inviting to the area.”
Vicky’s House catered to the city’s collective sweet tooth with a 12-seat milkshake bar and tasting room. Since Vicky – the matriarch of the Kuscher family – never threw anything away (a habit Kush has happily continued), the restaurateur was able to duplicate it using the same cabinets, chandeliers, yellow flower wallpaper and custom-made floor inspired by the retro pattern of the linoleum. A 1980s-era oven served as storage for the bar’s glassware. An original Galaga arcade cabinet sat in the wood-paneled family room, while an adjacent washing machine stocks frosty cans of PBR. In the bathroom, guests would find Matt’s original bedroom dresser and the toys he played with as a child. Aside from milkshakes, the shop also offered floats, locally-made ice cream from Sweet Melody, two versions of red and white wine— “cheap” and “better” as well as cans of PBR and specialty beers.
“Vicky’s House was a child’s dream and Victoria’s Vinos & Vermouth represents the grown up version of that.” explains Kuscher. My mom and I both share the same compassion for Spanish ciders, vermouths and natural wines and so it only made sense for Vicky’s to evolve into what will now be Victoria’s.”
The rebranding mission of Vicky’s House to Victoria’s Vinos & Vermouth was ignited during a recent trip to Europe. With a strong focus on Spanish wines and ciders, Victoria’s will be a casual, European-styled oasis. Natural wines are a fast-rising trend, derived from Europe, that focus on a low-intervention method of barreling that creates a more raw wine, free of sulfites and additives. Victoria’s plans to satisfy the flurry of interest in natural wine concepts in Miami. Guests can look forward to tasting a large selection of natural wines, Spanish-styled ciders, large format craft beers and a bevy of eclectic vermouths while waiting for their table at LoKal or making Victoria’s their destination. In addition to great pours, it will offer an array of tapas-style small plates, charcuterie and more. Staying true to the KHG brand, the beautiful interior decor thrives on meticulous attention to detail and will include a personalized mechanical long-pour specialist imported from Spain to make sure the ciders have the perfect amount of fizz. House-marinated olives will also be on offer to accompany the homemade vermouth, La Mila.
Victoria’s Vinos & Vermouth will be located at 3190 Commodore Plaza in Coconut Grove. Hours of operation: Thursday through Friday from 5PM to 11PM; Saturday from 1PM to 11PM and Sunday from 1PM to 10PM. For more information visit www.kushhospitality.com or follow Kush Hospitality on Instagram and TikTok at @KushHospitality.