Nicola is a preeminent authority in growing and evangelizing Miami’s restaurant and nightlife landscape. With more than 25 years’ experience launching and operating restaurants and clubs, the nightlife guru is a recognized trendsetter who continues to inspire creativity. Nicola pursues his business and nightlife activities with a vigor that supports his never-ending passion for the business of developing nighttime hot spots that make Miami a go-to destination. Nicola is known for making all of his guests feel like VIPs, something that leaves an indelible impression on all who come in contact with him.
Earlier successes include his founding of Mynt Ultra Lounge with partners Robert Caan and Rony Seikaly. Mynt embodied the sophistication of the 1920’s and gained a reputation among Miami’s high society. Past projects included Joïa, the acclaimed Bar None, and Ultra Lounge.
Nicola was educated in Europe and graduated with a degree in marketing communications. He later attended New York Fashion Institute of Technology, which led to a variety of high-profile management positions in the fashion industry. After stints in the fashion world, Nicola relocated to Miami Beach where he is paving the way for new culinary and nightlife concepts that will lead KNR Hospitality’s success into the future.
John Guarnieri | Chief Executive Officer & CFO
John Guarnieri has over 20 years of experience in venture capital, banking and entertainment/hospitality. Mr. Guarnieri began his career at a Boston-based venture capital firm. Thereafter, Mr. Guarnieri moved within BankBoston’s corporate lending and merger & acquisition divisions.
At Compass Group, a multi billion-dollar global leader in food service management and support services, Mr. Guarnieri was part of a $600 division. As the youngest appointed Director of Finance & Accounting in the company’s history, he managed all client relationships with full fiduciary responsibility of the F&B function in executing world-class sporting and entertainment events, which ranged from US Open Tennis, PGA, NFL stadiums to various performing art centers throughout the country. Mr. Guarnieri was also part of a team that handled a portfolio of 12 New York City-based multi-concept restaurants that ranged from casual to fine dining.
Prior to joining KNR Hospitality Group, Mr. Guarnieri was at a management-consulting firm based in New York City. During this time, Mr. Guarnieri delivered strategic advisory services to portfolio clients in start-up, turnaround and growth stage companies across diverse industries, including but not limited to hospitality. During his time, Mr. Guarnieri worked extensively with the law offices of Greenberg Traurig LLP in connection with complex contract RFPs and BIDs, as well as lobbying efforts for private industry clients serving city, state and federal government agencies. Mr. Guarnieri received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Miami University Oxford, OH.
Navin Chatani | Managing Partner
With nearly 20 years of experience in the nightlife and hospitality arenas, Navin Chatani has touched nearly every aspect of Miami’s entertainment landscape before he joined KNR Hospitality Group as Director of Nightlife in 2009.
Chatani’s passion for the nightlife scene was ignited in his early years when he started working as a promoter for Miami hotspots Groove Jet, Lucky 13 and Bar-Room. Wanting to hone his skills he took a role with the well-known Opium Group, where he spent seven years serving as Celebrity Liaison for acclaimed clubs Opium and Set, as well as playing an integral role in opening Mansion Night Club. From there, Chatani held positions with several well-known entertainment and hospitality firms including Pure Management Group as Director of Celebrity Relations and then with SBE, as Promotions and Marketing Director.
Joe Weiss | Director of Food & Beverage
With a well-established reputation in the restaurant industry developed over the last 25 years, Joe Weis joined KNR Hospitality as Catering Director in 2011 to oversee all of the food & beverage outlets located at the W South Beach hotel property. In recognition of his contributions to the success of the food & beverage business, in 2013, he was given additional responsibility as Food & Beverage Director for W South Beach. Under his direction, the customer satisfaction index increased for the food & beverage outlets. Joe continues to create new opportunities for KNR to promote the company’s catering business.
Previously Joe collaborated with developer Tony Goldman to open Wynwood Kitchen & Bar in the emerging urban Wynwood neighborhood. Earlier he was appointed Food & Beverage Director of the Goldman Properties where he maintained both the AAA 4-diamond and the ExxonMobil 4-star restaurant rating. Joe also won Wine Spectator’s awards of excellence for the restaurant’s impressive wine list.
Joe completed his degree in business administration in Germany and commenced his career in the restaurant industry with friend and executive chef Andreas Brunnet. Joe relocated to the United States in 1998.
Maria Gutierrez | Director of Human Resources
Maria Gutierrez is KNR Hospitality’s Director of Human Resources where she serves as a critical resource in connection with the hiring and on-boarding process. With her comprehensive administrative services, payroll and tax, and benefits administration knowledge, Maria brings her expertise to KNR, working effectively with staff, managers and corporate leaders. Maria ensures a seamless process, including conducting background checks and coordinating activities related to calculating, recording and ensuring accurate payout to employees. With her strong attention to detail and understanding of operations, Maria is a valued and well-respected resource. Equally noteworthy, Maria is highly skilled at identifying and resolving payroll and administration issues and conducting associated analysis, driving complete precision of payroll records.
Prior to joining KNR in 2011, Maria contributed as Payroll Coordinator and Facilities Manager for Benihana, Inc., where over the course of her tenure she was promoted on multiple occasions owing to her contributions to the human resources, administration and payroll efforts of the world’s largest Asian-themed restaurant chain. Earlier Maria added value as Director of Administrative Services during which time she oversaw efforts of the entire administrative services area to facilitate the effective operation of the corporate office.
Maria completed her Master of Business Administration and her Bachelor of Arts degrees from Nova Southeastern University. She also completed two associate’s degrees in computer science and computer programming.