MIAMI (CBSMiami) – David Grutman is known as the “King of Miami Nightlife.”
Rolling Stone magazine has listed him as one of the 50 most important people in electronic dance music.
As managing partner of two of Miami’s hottest nightclubs, LIV and Story, Grutman has become as big as the celebrities he runs with.
Right now, he’s focusing on the restaurants he owns, which will all open this week.
“Our mode has been we want to come out of this better,” he said. “So we really are focused on what we can do better with what improvements we can do. We just want to do the right thing for our guests and our team.”
The restaurants under his Groot Hospitality name are some of South Florida’s trendiest. They include Komodo, Papi Steak and Swan, which is the Miami Design District spot he co-owns with singer and producer Pharrell Williams.
CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo sat down with the two men when the restaurant opened back in late 2018.
“You know, we’ve done so many tastings now for Swan now. We want to bring in new dishes and Pharrell has been at every tasting,” Grutman said. “He’s so excited. To have a partner like him has been just unbelievable.”
Today, as Komodo gets set for their opening with 50% occupancy, Grutman says they’re going the extra mile to make his customers safe.
“Besides the masks and the gloves and staying 6 feet apart and the constant cleaning, we have done other stuff as well. Now you don’t have to be given a menu, you just put it in your phone with the barcode. It’s stuff like that to start to lessen how much people are having interaction with this kind stuff,” explained.
Grutman admits this new normal will be a challenge for all in the hospitality business, but he says he’s hopeful for the future.
“I think it’s really exposed a lot of people for how their businesses were before… if they were weak to start, there going to be weaker coming out. If they were strong to start, they’re going to be much stronger coming out of this,” he said. “I think we’re going to be so much better after this. We’re so hyper focused on the guests in our restaurants, so our business coming out of this is going to be great.”
As for Miami’s club scene, no one knows yet when it will happen. However, Grutman says they will be prepared when it does.
“Listen, people just like to party. This is what we know. As people start coming back, we will see how things go. We are not in a rush. We’re not going anywhere and we just want to play it safe,” he said.
Playing it safe is the name of the game as South Florida begins to open its doors to the hospitality industry in a very new climate.
For more information on Groot Hospitality, click here.