The people behind LoKal, Kush, Kush by Spillover, Vicky’s House, and Kush by Stephens are doing it yet again! As they continue the legacy of reopening Florida’s oldest deli, Matt “Kush” Kuscher of Kush Hospitality Group pays tribute to Hialeah’s roots by connecting the institution to Hialeah’s first cocktail bar, La Cocina Coctelería, paying homage to the city, its deep history, and culture.
Just a hallway away from Stephen’s vintage feel sits La Cocina; a bar made for the people of Hialeah. Its theme is designed to ignite and reflect Hialeah pride, celebrating what makes “The City of Progress” so unique. The space features neon signs by Camilo Rojas of CR-eate Studios and art installations that will force patrons to say, “I need to put this on Instagtam!” Guests will find artistic Hialeah pop-culture references such as Ñooo! Que Barato, Caso Cerrado, The Hialeah Spiderman and more of what makes Hialeah special. Outside, the patio is even decorated to replicate everything you commonly find in an abuela’s front yard and even a NSFW peek into abuela’s house.
“In this process (of reopening Stephen’s Deli), I love that I’ve discovered Hialeah, and I really think Hialeah residents will be proud of the authenticity we represent here,” said Kuscher.
As Hialeah’s first cocktail bar, they’ll be slinging creative cocktails to show the rest of Dade County that Hialeah is a legit place to hang. Matt Kuscher and Beverage Director Joel Garcia collaborated with some of South Florida’s leading cocktail connoisseurs such as Gabe Urrutia, Ben Potts and Gio Gutierrez who each crafted a cocktail for the eclectic menu along with 7 other notable names. Their full liquor bar includes a cocktails featuring an ode to classic Cawy Soda which first came to Hialeah from Cuba such as their Piñaso made with Jupiña, Tito’s Vodka and Lime or the Leeeeterally Lucy Lopez made with Havana Club Rum, St. Germain and CAWY Watermelon Soda. Bar bites include Reuben Croquetas, Pastrami Nachos, Jewban Sandwiches, drawing from Stephen’s Deli’s shared kitchen under Chef Leo Osorio, a long-time Hialeah resident alongside Stephen’s Deli / La Cocina General Manager and wife Alexis Osorio, who has worked with Matt Kuscher since his days as a General Manager at Houston’s before launching LoKal, his first venture. A picture of the hospitality power couple can be found on the back of La Cocina’s menu.
“I love Miami and the diverse ingredients that make it up, and there is nothing that represents Miami more than a city like Hialeah. It’s great to have staff from Hialeah like Chef Leo and Alexis who were a big part of my inspiration in opening here,” says Kuscher.
The new Hialeah hot-spot will play familiar songs that everyone can jam to; everything from rock to latin and 90s hip-hop. It will be the newest addition to the thriving community neighboring Miami’s hub of thrift stop shops in the Flamingo Plaza, Unbranded Brewery (opening this fall in The Leah Arts District), La Fresa Francesa, Tio Colo (who will also be served at La Cocina) and a resurgence of cultural programming by The Leah Arts District, an area that was co-founded by Hialeah-born and raised JennyLee Molina, Kush Hospitality’s long-time marketing consultant and publicist since opening Kush Wynwood in 2014.
“For me, it is a dream come true to see such a fun, community-gathering concept like La Cocina in addition to preserving the legacy of Stephen’s Deli who has been in the area since 1954,” said JennyLee Molina, who co-founded The Leah Arts District alongside Councilman Paul B. Hernandez. “We are so grateful to Kush Hospitality for investing in our community and celebrating our Hialeah pride.”