David Grutman is a globally renowned innovator and entrepreneur in the hospitality field. He is known for creating immersive experiential venues with distinct atmospheres, infusing high energy and transportive luxury across a one-of-a-kind portfolio of restaurants, hotels, bars, and nightclubs.
Grutman—himself a native Floridian—founded Groot Hospitality in Miami. Since its launch, Groot has developed a sizable and impressive portfolio, with a focus in the South Florida market and a recent expansion to across the U.S.
In the Miami area, the company owns the restaurants Gekkō (in partnership with Bad Bunny), Casadonna (in partnership with Tao Group Hospitality), Komodo, Swan, The Key Club, Papi Steak and Strawberry Moon. Its prime nightlife venture is the club LIV at Fontainebleau. Grutman also spearheaded the conception and execution of The Goodtime Hotel (Grutman is partners with Pharrell Williams on both Swan and The Goodtime Hotel).
Komodo Dallas, now open in the Texan city’s Epic Development, is Groot’s first property outside of Florida. Editions of Komodo, Papi Steak and LIV will open in Las Vegas (at the city’s new outpost of the Fontainebleau Hotel) from late 2023, with LIV Beach to follow in Spring 2024.
Future openings include multiple new national and international venues, spanning from Miami to the Bahamas to the Middle East. Somewhere Else is the name of Grutman and Groot’s first resort (also in partnership with Williams), arriving in 2025 on Atlantis Paradise Island, The Bahamas.
These venues are individually influential, yet it’s their combined contribution to the region’s overall hospitality roster that places them on the leading edge: Miami and Miami Beach have long been known for their extensive food, beverage, and hotel offerings, but Grutman has helped to usher in a new paradigm. He has reestablished 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 is expanding his vision. First, he ventured to Texas with an extension of the Komodo brand. In the near to mid future, openings will occur in Las Vegas, the Middle East and the Caribbean.
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. Immediately, LIV garnered worldwide buzz and a celebrity clientele, which it has continued to sustain over the past decade. LIV is especially beloved for its Sunday night party, which attracts world-famous athletes celebrating their championship wins, musicians’ release parties, and movie stars whenever they’re in town. The 18,000 square foot venue is one of the highest grossing nightclubs in the United States. LIV will see new outposts, including a day club, in Las Vegas from late 2023.
Following the success of LIV, Grutman opened another Miami Beach nightclub, Story, in 2013. In 2015, he entered the dining space with the launch of Komodo, a 300-seat, ultra-popular 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.
Grutman solidified his leading position within the hospitality business with what came next: the opening of Swan and Bar Bevy, 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 food, along with an inimitable bar scene. Swan draws an A-list international crowd, in large part due to Grutman’s gregarious and hospitable nature. Put simply, he is the ultimate host.
In 2021, he and Pharrell Williams partnered once again on a new endeavor: The Goodtime Hotel, which marked Grutman’s first enterprise in the hotel industry. The 266-room Goodtime, which opened in April 2021, is also home to Strawberry Moon, a restaurant and pool club that promises a tropical trinity of exceptional food, exceptional drink and an exceptional time. Grutman and Williams’ next venture is called Somewhere Else, a resort opening in 2024 on Atlantis Paradise Island in The Bahamas.
In 2022, Grutman launched the Japanese-inspired steakhouse Gekkō in partnership with the recording artist and actor Bad Bunny. The Brickell-based venue serves elevated steak cuts, inventive sushi rolls and bespoke cocktails, and it opened to enormous fanfare (drawing the likes of not only Bad Bunny, but also the Beckham family, Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner, and many more).
Grutman and Groot Hospitality are working on a number of additional new projects slated to open from 2024 onward.
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 David Grutman Experience.” The seminar focuses on what it takes to conceptualize and create a leading hospitality platform. He has also guest lectured at the prestigious School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, the University of Miami, and Harvard Business School.
In 2023, Grutman announced the launch of DGN Studios, a multimedia production venture focusing on original content from the worlds of hospitality, entertainment, entrepreneurship, music, sports, social media and more.
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.