The people behind Pincho Factory have had a pinch-me week.
Chef-owner Nedal Ahmad cooked his signature tostón burger — a beef patty between smashed fried plantains — for a national audience on NBC’s Today with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb. Then Ahmad and his partners signed a lease for a Pincho Factory in Hialeah, their third Miami-Dade location. And they announced they have begun seeking franchise owners.
The Pincho Factory in Hialeah, 4950 W. 12th Ave., will seat 100, more than the combined capacity of the other locations in Westchester and Coral Gables. Build-out will start soon, with the restaurant aiming for a fall opening in the former Koky’s Barbecue Ranch.
Koky’s, a Cuban-style grill, closed last year after more than 35 years in business; it was replaced by the short-lived Tuscan Steakhouse BBQ. Pincho Factory plans to pay homage to Koky’s by incorporating its old sign with a roasted pig into a mural in the new restaurant.
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“Even though I was born in Chicago, I grew up in Hialeah, so this has a special meaning to me,” Ahmad said of opening in the old Koky’s. “I went to high school just two miles away from there and have great memories of that location.”
Since opening the original Pincho Factory in 2010, Ahmad and his partners said they’ve fielded franchise inquiries from as far away as New Jersey. They have begun to look further into that possibility, they said, noting that “the process will be very strict.”
Strict indeed: An information form on Pincho Factory’s website asks potential franchisees if they have “an insatiable love for bacon and cheese.”
Kush comes to Wynwood
Matt “Kush” Kuscher and his partners from Coconut Grove gastropub LoKal and the craft brewery-touring Miami Brew Bus have opened Kush in Wynwood. Burgers from Florida-raised beef include a classic patty on a challah bun and can get tricked out with hash and a fried egg on a waffle with maple syrup. An impressive draft list backed up by a deep reserve list of bottle beers will give the craft-beer geeks a reason to give Kush a spot on their regular rotations.
The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner. 2003 N. Miami Ave., Miami; kushwynwood.com; 305-576-4500.
Grille 401 expands space, menu
A new, 1,200-square-foot patio addition to Grille 401 has room for about 250 more patrons at the modern American restaurant on Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard. Grille 401 also recently unveiled a new sushi and sake bar, open daily from 4 p.m. To celebrate the new features, Grille 401 is offering two-for-one drinks for women and half-priced sushi for all guests every Friday and Saturday from 11 p.m. to close. 401 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; grille401.com; 954-767-0222.
660 at the Angler’s revamps brunch
South Beach’s 660 at the Angler’s has retooled its weekend brunch menu, offered from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Highlights include eggs Benedict with short ribs braised for eight hours, French toast with Nutella cream cheese and walnut maple glaze, and a half-dozen oysters with a bloody Mary shot. Those looking for a liquid brunch can choose from three bloody Marys or mimosas for $14 or all you can drink for 90 minutes for $25. 660 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; theanglersresort.com; 305-534-9600.
Dolce Italian shares Sunday supper
Dolce Italian in the Gale South Beach will offer family-style Sunday dinners beginning this weekend. The deal: Tables of at least four diners can order from a four-course menu for $35 a person or $50 a person with unlimited wine, excluding tax and tip. Chef Paolo Dorigato is going for Italian comfort dishes with options like meatballs with polenta, spaghetti pomodoro, roasted chicken with Brussels sprouts and bacon, and housemade tiramisu. 1690 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; dolceitalianrestaurant.com; 786-975-2550.
Prep for Passover
Sean Brasel of Meat Market on Lincoln Road and the kosher-friendly Touch Catering will lead a Passover cooking demonstration at 7 p.m. at the Chabad House in Miami Beach. Suggested donation: $18. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. 669 Lincoln Ln. N., Miami Beach; mbjewish.com; 305-242-2231.
Chima sommelier slashes wine prices
Chima Brazilian Steakhouse has hired sommelier Larry Baker, a former Johnson & Wales North Miami culinary student, comedy writer for Jay Leno and wine director of Bin 595 in Plantation. Chima is welcoming Baker by discounting bottles of his top wine picks this month, including Northstar Merlot, reduced to $75 from $105, and King Estate Pinot Gris, down to $38 from $48. 2400 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; chimasteakhouse.com; 954-712-0580.
Send news to food editor Evan Benn at ebenn@MiamiHerald.com by noon Monday for consideration in next week’s column.