David Grutman's 24-Hour Market
by Marc Goodman
The Day-to-Day of Nightlife Marketing
All that focus makes Grutman’s schedule feel like a sort of boot camp. He’s in the office by 10 AM, rifling through the New York Post and The Miami Herald, as well as the tabloids. “I want to make sure LIV and Arkadia are in those magazines every week,” he says. Four o’clock kicks off hours of meetings with nightlife staff. On Tuesday nights there’s the poolside barbecue at Arkadia (“We try to feed models,” he says) followed by the Aloo party inside. Then there are the five nights a week he hosts dinner for 30 to 50 people at Fontainebleau restaurants, featuring worthies such as Brazilian oil magnate Eike Batista (the world’s eighth-richest man), A-Rod, touring DJs such as Erick Morillo and celebs like Kim Kardashian and Leonardo DiCaprio. “Our dinner parties have become pretty, ah, infamous,” laughs Grutman.
“At LIV we focus on tastemakers—the people who turn the needle for society,” he says, giving a nod to that Rolodex. Operators keep tabs on the coveted players who can be counted on to spend huge sums. “There’s, like, 20 to 50 guys you’ve never heard of—a Saudi prince, a Wall Street guy, a Russian steel person. We’re talking $20,000- to $80,000-a-pop guys. We have the sickest list you’ve ever seen.” As for girls, “You don’t want too many girls who are 5-foot-2,” he admits. “Everyone should be 5-foot-8 and above.”
Despite the nightlife glamour, Grutman lives in a 1940s villa in the quiet family neighborhood of Belle Meade along with two King Charles spaniels, Maggie and Sidney. “I have the koi pond. I know all my neighbors. We do dog things together.” He has a personal trainer and frequents Scarpetta when relaxing—but hasn’t put his feet in the actual sand of South Beach in 15 years. “I have no free time. I wish I had a hobby; I just don’t. I have to be on all the time.”
Grutman’s plans may take his business far, but this city clearly has him hooked. “I could live anywhere, but Miami’s international and eclectic. It’s the sexiest place in the world.”
PHOTOGRAPH BY BEN SHAUL