Casa Tua first opened as an Italian restaurant on Miami Beach’s James Avenue but has since grown into a fabulous boutique hotel and private members club – such was the demand for its cozy upstairs lounge at the turn of the millennium.
Its co-owners are husband and wife Micky and Leticia Grendene, who moved to Miami in the late 1980s. Renowned for hosting guests at their home, the restaurant and private club formed organically from there.
“The private club is really our baby, and our 1500 members are like family to us,” says Caroline Nunez, Casa Tua’s global head of membership and brand development. The owners really wanted to create a space that felt different to everything else, when you see our Trackside Club at the F1 track, you see that we like to do things our own way. Just like they wanted a restaurant that felt like home, hence the name Casa Tua.”
When Formula 1 came to Miami, it was a logical step for Casa Tua to step into the trackside hospitality space, following on from an association in the world of tennis.
“Our relationship here with the Dolphins organization came from the Miami Open where we created a smaller popup, which remains active [at the Grand Prix] as a smaller VIP space, and that was our toe in the water, and based on the success of that they asked us to do this. This really doesn’t feel like your traditional hospitality suite in F1. We’re all about soul, that’s the essence of Casa Tua.”
Not only does the Trackside Club’s internal space have a cozy vibe to its meticulously-curated lounge, but it’s also perfectly positioned with an unrivaled view of turn one from the inside of the track, giving a great panorama for the start of the race.
A major highlight of its venue is an amazing art wall of black and white photographs from Motorsport Images – chosen from its unrivaled archive of 26 million photographs over 100 years.
“Last year, to bring that racing soul, we incorporated the history of the sport with images for our highlight wall,” adds Nunez. “We started with 50 photos, we have a bigger space so a bigger art wall, with about 100 images. It really is the showstopper – people gravitate to it and get reminders of F1’s great past. Micky and Leticia combed through tens of thousands of photos, focused on the black and whites, selected them themselves, image by image.”
The space accommodates 400 ticketed guests per day, although with star clients including F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, Liberty Media’s Greg Maffei, and the Miami Dolphins’ Tom Garfinkel, they tend to bring some added guests along too.