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Miami’s Groot Hospitality to open three new restaurants in a single day

David Grutman is bringing elevated diner food, colorful desserts, and Asian-inspired fried chicken to Alton Road

Winker's Diner Milkshakes.
Winker's Diner Milkshakes. (Courtesy of Groot Hospitality)

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Leave it to Miami-based hospitality mogul David Grutman and his team at Groot Hospitality to open not one, or two, but three new restaurants — all in a single day.

The hospitality group is set to unveil three new dining concepts on Miami Beach’s Alton Road on September 3. The trifecta of restaurants will be located at the former Firestone Garage along 16th Street and Alton Road.

Although the restaurants, Sushi Fly Chicken, Toothfairy Bakery, and Winker’s Diner, are conveniently located next door to one another, each one is a totally unique concept from the next.

One of the concepts, Sushi Fly Chicken, is an Asian-inspired, upscale eatery. This establishment is sure to be more reminiscent of his previous projects, as one of the group’s most well-known restaurants is Komodo, the high-end, Southeast Asian restaurant and bar in Brickell.

On the other hand, Winker’s Diner and Toothfairy Bakery are the mogul’s first steps into the spaces of dessert and laidback-American dining.

First, let’s dive into the diner. Named after Grutman’s one-eyed pet cat (no, seriously, it is!), Winker’s Diner is a heartfelt wink-and-nod to a familial atmosphere and dining experience. The menu features classic diner staples such as fish n’ chips, sandwiches, burgers, and milkshakes (like the ones pictured below). However, like Groot Hospitality, don’t expect a typical cobb salad — expect one with lobster, and lots of it.

Winker's Diner Prime Rib. (Courtesy of Groot Hospitality)

Winker’s Diner is designed by New York-based firm ICRAVE, and features teal blue pullman leather booths, nostalgic bronzed-metal accents, and three-dimensional pastel walls. The walls are layered with starburst panels and custom triangular sconces. According to the group, the feel of the space is inspired by the Art Deco aesthetic balanced by modern-day Miami Beach.

Now, let’s hop over next door to Groot Hospitality’s first bakery and ice cream parlor, Toothfairy Bakery (a name which may or may not have been inspired by Grutman’s two daughters). Groot Hospitality has brought on Pastry Chef-Partner Dallas Wynne to helm the kitchen at Toothfairy, the brand-new soft serve ice cream parlor, bakery, and confectionery by the group. And if Wynne sounds familiar, she was the former head pastry chef at the acclaimed Jeremy Ford restaurant, Stubborn Seed.

The cakes and cookies of Toothfairy Bakery. (Courtesy of Groot Hospitality)

The first dedicated desserts-concept from Groot Hospitality, Toothfairy welcomes guests into an “ombré cloud of cotton-candy pink and snow-cone blue,” which can only mean one thing — expect plenty of Instagrams to be taken there.

But the interior decor isn’t the only thing that’s whimsical about the space — the desserts are just as creative and kitschy. Wynne will be producing and baking all of her creations in-house, with items like cosmic brownie cookies (or “brookies), pink -swirled croissants, sprinkle-covered baked goods, and pastel-colored funfetti cakes.

And last but not least, helmed by Executive Sushi Chef Tony Mai, is Sushi Fly Chicken. According to the official website, its menu is influenced by a “range of Asian cuisines,” and features a Chinese-inspired group of dishes ranging from Kimchi Fried Rice and Peking Duck Bao Dumplings to pan-continental plates such as Lobster Prawn Toast and Sesame Soba Noodles. Plus, expect to see a full bar that offers top-flight liquors and bespoke cocktails, as well as a selection of premium Japanese whiskeys.

The fried chicken at Sushi Fly Chicken. (Courtesy of Groot Hospitality)

At first glance, Sushi Fly Chicken appears solely as a takeout restaurant with its tiled, stark-white storefront. However, there’s a secret behind the counter.

When guests enter through the swinging door, they’ll find themselves in a low-lit and ultra-sleek chamber, which, according to the group, is reminiscent of the exclusive, unlisted watering holes tucked around Tokyo’s Roppongi or Ginza neighborhoods.

Grutman is best known for his celebrity-studded restaurants including the recently opened Strawberry Moon at The Goodtime Hotel (a partnership between Grutman and music artist Pharrell), Swan, Papi Steak and Komodo.

For more information about the new dining concepts by Groot Hospitality, click here.


About the Author:

Nicole Lopez-Alvar is a Miami-born and raised journalist and TV personality covering South Florida and beyond for Local10.com.