David Grutman is a globally renowned innovator and entrepreneur in the hospitality field. He is known for creating immersive experiential venues with distinct atmospheres, blending high energy and transportive luxury across a one-of-a-kind portfolio of restaurants, hotels, bars, and nightclubs.
Grutman — himself a native Floridian — has built his name in the Miami area. His firm, Groot Hospitality, owns and operates the restaurants and lounges Komodo, Komodo Lounge, Swan, Swan Upstairs, Papi Steak, Strawberry Moon, Sushi Fly Chicken, Winker’s Diner, and Toothfairy. Groot Hospitality also owns and operates the nightclubs LIV at Fontainebleau and STORY.
This combined portfolio places Groot Hospitality on the leading edge: Miami and Miami Beach have long been known for their extensive food, beverage, and hotel offerings, yet Grutman has helped to usher in a new paradigm. He has re-cemented the Miami area as a contemporary hotspot by imagining dining, hospitality, and nightlife through a lens of lavish design, in-demand talent, a frisson of celebrity, social media moments, and, most importantly, escapist fun. Recognizing the global appeal of this formula, Grutman will soon expand his vision, with anticipated openings from North America to the Middle East.
In 2008, Grutman opened the nightclub LIV at Fontainebleau after garnering wide acclaim for his prior work in founding the Miami Marketing Group (which specialized in seamlessly merging the fields of nightlife and entertainment). The Fontainebleau had just undergone an extensive renovation by the Soffer family, and it needed an anchor after-hours attraction. Quickly, LIV attained worldwide buzz and a celebrity clientele, which it has continued to sustain over the past decade. LIV is especially famous for its Sunday night crowd, which attracts athletes celebrating their championship wins, musicians’ release parties, and movie stars whenever they’re in town. The 18,000 square foot venue remains one of the highest grossing nightclubs in the United States.
Following the success of LIV, Grutman opened another nightclub, Story, in 2013. In 2015, he entered the dining space with the launch of Komodo, a 300-seat restaurant located in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood. With his increasingly proven track record, Grutman then partnered with The Smile (out of New York City) to create OTL, a neighborhood café in Miami’s ascendant Design District (of which Groot Hospitality remains a minority owner).
Grutman solidified his leading position within the hospitality business with what came next: the opening of Swan and Swan Upstairs, also in the Design District, for which he partnered with the multi-hyphenate talent Pharrell Williams. Swan has become a top-tier contender in the region’s restaurant scene, mixing luxuriant decor with contemporary fare, along with an inimitable bar scene. Swan draws an A-list international crowd, in large part due to Grutman’s gregarious and hospitable nature.
In 2021, he and Williams again partnered on a new endeavor: The Goodtime Hotel, which marked Grutman’s first enterprise in the hotel arena. The 266-room Goodtime, which had its formal ribbon-cutting in April, 2021, is also home to Strawberry Moon, a restaurant and pool club that delivers a tropical trinity of exceptional food, exceptional drink and an exceptional time. Summer of 2021 saw the opening of three new food-and-beverage outlets at Miami Beach’s restored Firestone Garage complex. These include Sushi Fly Chicken (a hybrid pan-Asian and fried chicken restaurant and bar with a Tokyo underground vibe), Winker’s Diner (Grutman’s take on a classic American setting), and Toothfairy (Groot Hospitality’s first dedicated bakery).
Both Grutman and Groot Hospitality are working on a number of new projects slated to open at the end of 2021 and into 2022 and 2023. Information will be updated here as it becomes available.
Outside of hospitality, Grutman also pursues additional business and personal interests. He is the creative director and co-owner of Prince, the athletics and lifestyle company. Additionally, Grutman teaches a guest class at Florida International University called “The Dave Grutman Experience.” The seminar focuses on what it takes to conceptualize and create a leading hospitality platform. He is also a guest lecturer at Cornell University’s prestigious School of Hotel Administration. In November, 2021, Cornell granted Grutman an honorary Doctorate degree.
Grutman is an avid tennis player, hitting the courts seven days a week. He is also passionate about fitness, and enjoys vacationing with his wife, Isabela, and two daughters Kaia and Vida, at their residence at the Amanyara in Turks & Caicos or in Isabela’s home country of Brazil. He and his family live in Downtown Miami.