David Grutman knows how to throw a party.
The entrepreneur whose Groot Hospitality portfolio of restaurants and nightclubs includes Miami hot spots such as Komodo, OTL, Swan, Bar Bevy, Papi Steak, LIV, Story, and Planta is living his best life. One look at his Instagram feed — showing him hanging out with celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, DJ Khaled, and Pharrell Williams (who is a partner in Swan) — sparks a severe case of FOMO. The most interesting thing to note about all of those photos, however, is the sheer enjoyment on Grutman’s face. The key to his success in entertaining people seems to be that he, too, enjoys the experiences.
On Sunday, February 23, from noon to 5 p.m., he’ll take his showmanship to the South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s Grand Tasting Village for the David Grutman Experience.
This event-within-an-event turns the southern courtyard of the Grand Tasting Village into what can best be described as a mini music and food festival complete with its own activations, celebrity appearances, and food from Grutman’s restaurants.
Grutman’s use of the word “experience” is intentional. The Miami hospitality guru wants to hit all of the senses. “We incorporate street art, music, food, and drinks with energy. We call it an experience because we don’t want to give you something that you’re going to see at any other festival.”
To deliver those high expectations, Grutman will tap into his food and nightlife portfolio for resources.
Attendees will enjoy food from most of Grutman’s restaurants, ensuring a selection of items that will please every palate. Carnivores will salivate over Papi Steak’s signature Wagyu pastrami and Komodo’s Peking duck; vegans will crave Planta’s plant-based offerings; and everyone will enjoy Swan’s delicious food. Grutman recommends heading straight for the Peking duck, for which chefs will hand-roll succulent meat into pancakes. “That’s my favorite bite, to be honest,” he says.
While guests eat, Cedric Gervais and Busta Rhymes will perform. It shouldn’t be a shock if Grutman takes the stage to get the party going. The hospitality maven also has a few surprises up his sleeve, so attendees should expect the unexpected. Pressed to share some intel, Grutman says he plans to bring some Groot merchandise to throw to the crowd, so guests should look forward to the occasional showering of gifts from the stage, along with a few surprise appearances. “You never know who you’re going to see at the David Grutman Experience,” he teases.
Grutman is a big fan of SOBEWFF, so festival attendees might spot him sampling food and taking selfies in the Grand Tasting Village tents. With more than a half-million followers, the prolific Instagrammer has a few tips to up your social media game: Put on something fun and colorful. “Wear a vintage T-shirt or rock some prints,” he says. “The festival is a great time to show your individual style.”
Don’t get too hung up on social media, though, Grutman says. At some point, put the phone away, grab a drink, and get lost in the music. “I want to share the fun and the energy with everyone,” he says. “I want everyone to have the best experience possible.”
The David Grutman Experience. Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, February 23, in the Grand Tasting Village, 12th Street and Ocean Drive, Miami Beach. Tickets cost $100 to $225 via sobewff.org/grutman.