Once a bartender, Grutman has become owner and partner in a number of clubs and restaurants, high-profile enough that some have dubbed him the “king of Miami nightlife.” His most recent efforts include the Goodtime Hotel in partnership with singer Pharrell Williams and plans for three restaurants on Alton Road in South Beach. He also teaches a class at FIU’s hospitality school.

Grutman graduated from the University of Florida in 1997 with a degree in finance. On a visit to Miami, he fell in love with South Beach and found a job tending bar at Biz Bistro in Aventura Mall, where he met the mall’s owner, Donald Soffer, and his son, Jeffrey, who owns the Fontainebleau Hotel. In 2008, Soffer invited Grutman to join him in a dance club venture, LIV, that became a magnet for celebrities and ranked No. 5 on Forbes’ list of highest-grossing nightclubs in 2015. It also landed Grutman on a Rolling Stone magazine list of the most important people in electronic dance music at the time.

Since the success of that first nightclub venture, Groot Hospitality has grown to include nightclubs Story, LIV Hard Rock Stadium and Bar Bevy, as well as restaurants Komodo, OTL, Swan and Papi Steak.

George Aguel

Visit Orlando

Michael Brown

Travel + Leisure Co.

Blake Casper

Caspers CO

Allison Casper

Caspers CO



Frank J. Del Rio

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings

Arnold Donald


Carol Dover

Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association

Robert Earl

Planet Hollywood

Richard Fain

Royal Caribbean Cruises

Michelle Fee

Cruise Planners

Maryann Ferenc

Mise en Place Hospitality Group

Don Fox

Firehouse of America

David Grutman

Groot Hospitality

Randy Hassen

McKibbon Hospitality

David Hoffmann

Hoffmann Family of Companies

Gene Lee

Darden Restaurants

Kim Lopdrup

Red Lobster Seafood

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo

Celebrity Cruises

Julian MacQueen


Tom McAlpin

Virgin Voyages

Richard Millard

Trust Hospitality

Alice Norsworthy

Universal Parks & Resorts

Marcellus Osceola Jr.

Seminole Tribe of Florida

Lou Plasencia

Plasencia Group

Mary Rogers

Fontainebleau Miami Beach

Daniel Schwartz

Restaurant Brands International

Jeff Vahle

Disney World Resort

Marcel Verbaas

Xenia Hotels & Resorts

Michael Walsh

Ocean Properties Hotels


Marriott Vacations Worldwide

Tom Williams

Universal Parks & Resorts