The Forge May Soon Become Part of Groot Hospitality

 

Photo Credit: The ForgeAny Miamian worth his salt can speak ad nauseam about The Forge, its illustrious past, uncertain present, and possible future. Let’s fill you in if you’ve been living under a rock. The restaurant’s current owner Alvin Malnik, a local businessman, attorney, and philanthropist opened the posh eatery in the 1950s in a space that was once a blacksmith’s forge and dinner club/casino.

A “must-do” steakhouse, The Forge was patronized by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, and few notable racketeers, who were known to frequent the establishment often. The restaurant was also known as the second-oldest restaurant in South Florida / Joe’s Stone Crab beat The Forge to the punch/ though there was nothing old-fashioned about it, especially after Alvin’s son, Shareef Malnik, took over in the early 1990s. His tenure at the helm ushered in a spruced-up large and soaring restaurant with an eight-room wine cellar and a secret private dining room designed by Francois Frossard and a culinary program ran by notable chefs. Although the new Forge survived changing trends and stiff competition some would argue it never recaptured its one-time appeal.

Enter David Grutman, a restaurateur, nightclub owner, and newly-minted hotelier, known for Swan, LIV, and recently opened Goodtime Hotel, who has been expanding his mini-empire with a verve. The rumor has it Grutman is taking over The Forge. Feeding the gossip mill are state records showing Grutman’s newly formed companies Forge Management 41st Street and Groot 41st Street.

What this means for the off-the-beaten-path restaurant is fairly obvious. Pretty soon the sleepy Julia Tuttle Causeway will buzz with new energy fueled by pretty young things spilling out onto the sidewalk and low and loud supercars at the valet. It also signals an end of an era that saw Malniks presiding over the institution for decades.