The King of Music, David Grutman, is expanding his empire once more—this time to farm-to-table restaurants and a new hospitality venture. From LIV at the Fontainebleau to the “David Grutman Experience” at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, and now launching Planta and Groot hospitality, Grutman’s influence on Miami’s hospitality and music world is constantly growing. Propelling himself into success and fame, Grutman plans to give Miami locals and international tourists a 360-degree David Grutman experience. We sat down with Miami’s music man to hear about the takeoff of both Planta and Groot hospitality, his plans for the future, and his thoughts on the ever-changing nightlife and music scene in Miami.
You’re known as Miami's Music Man. Can you tell our Ocean Drive readers about your success? David Grutman: Miami is such a unique city and it really is a melting pot of culture. When it comes to music, there is a demand for every genre. That makes working with nightclubs really fun. Our team is always bringing in the top talent or looking for the new chart topper on the scene. LIV and Story offer a big platform to a rising musician, and we love that we can provide the ability to propel someone’s career to the next level. I saw people partying and raging to superstar DJ’s in Ibiza and I said “this is it, we have to bring this to Miami.” The costumes, the dancing—it is pure fun. Simply put, this energy makes the party happen.
When did you decide to work in nightlife and did you always want this career? DG: I grew up in Naples and went to University of Florida—I studied finance and had every intention of going into title insurance when I decided to take a summer bartending job in Miami. Right after college I worked at Jeff Soffer’s restaurant in Aventura Mall. When Jeff Soffer presented the opportunity to partner with him on opening LIV at the Fontainebleau, it was a dream come true. I love anything that is fun and sharing that experience with others.
The highs and lows of working in nightlife. What are they? DG: This industry can be very stressful and at times cut throat, but that is why you have to surround yourself with good people and hard workers who share your vision. Our team has passion, and we all work hard together. When it comes to hospitality, there is no time off, but when you love what you do, it doesn’t always feel like work.
Of all your celebrity clientele, who is your absolute favorite and what is your most cherished memory of them? DG: I would not call them clientele, as most of the celebrities that have become synonymous with our venues are my good friends. Being at the helm of one of the country’s hottest nightclubs has allowed me to meet and become friends with some amazing people—it would be hard to pick just one!
Coined by Rolling Stone Magazine as the 11th most important person in Electronic Dance Music, what made you decide to branch out in the food industry? DG: I love restaurants—I love sharing a meal with someone and seeing the satisfaction they get. I want people to party in my clubs, dine in my restaurants, drink in my coffee shops, and sleep in my hotel rooms. I want to offer people the full 360-degree experience.
Your newest endeavor, Planta. Tell us about it: DG: Planta is my first Miami Beach restaurant and I couldn’t be more excited about it! Planta offers locally sourced, high-quality, and 100% plant-based fare and even has its own rooftop garden—I mean, how cool is that?! Planta is sure to be everyone’s new favorite spot.
Recently involved in SOBE Wine and Food Festival, can you explain to us your participation and “David Grutman Experience:” DG: We love bringing the fun factor to big events like this. For the past two years, we’ve brought LIV and some of my favorite restaurants to SOBEWFF, and it’s been a blast. We look forward to recreating The David Grutman Experience and continuing to grow it for years to come
Recently launching Groot Hospitality, what does your new venture involve? Is it a dream project of yours to bring music and food together? DG: Groot Hospitality combines all of my venues under one umbrella. Years ago, I set out to change traditional marketing with MMG, but now, with Groot Hospitality, we have transitioned from a marketing firm to a lifestyle hospitality collective. Groot Hospitality’s footprint will be ever expanding. This really is my dream, my team and I have worked hard for it.
With renowned brands such as LIV at Fontainebleau, Story, Komodo, OTL, and now Planta, what are your plans for the future? DG: You know, you can never be too sure what I have planned, but let’s just say, this is only the beginning. I now have restaurants and clubs in South Beach, Brickell, The Design District, and there is so much on the horizon. Oh and of course, I plan to continue growing my family! Life is so much better with my daughter Kaia in it.
Do you have plans to go global? DG: Yes, my visions have no limits. I want to give guests a 360-degree David Grutman experience in Miami and beyond.