Food Festivals

Cleve Mash of Dirty Martini Brings a Taste of Country to Palm Beach County

Before Cleve Mash became one of Palm Beach County's nightclub and restaurant owners, he was just an 18-year-old boy manning the door at his favorite South Florida nightclub. Sure, he wasn't old enough to be a bouncer -- but no one else knew it. Back then, he imagined opening his own club in that very spot. And, after a lot of hard work and dedication, those dreams came true.

Mash began his career in the biz at the age of 26, opening the downtown West Palm Beach nightclub, the Monkeyclub, with investment money from his father.

It was a start that would help to grow a family of establishments that today includes the likes of Feelgood's Rock Bar, Dirty Martini, Bobbie Sue Bar-B-Que and the newest addition, JR's Buckwild Country Bar, set to open in the Palm Beach Gardens Marriott in the coming months.

The most influential person in my career has been... The most influential person in my life so far has been my father. He has been a role model for me not just in business but in life. He is not my biological father, but has raised me since I was three-years-old, and adopted me in the 7th grade, which is why my name changed from Cleve Tierney to Cleve Mash. He has taught me that any man can be a father, but a real man is a dad. He was my partner in my first nightclub called Monkeyclub, investing in my dream when I was just 26. He was hard on me in those early years to do things the right way at all times. He believed honesty, integrity and handwork were the foundation to long term success.

When I'm alone and in need of comfort (and no one is there to watch or judge), the one food or drink I turn to is... My guilty pleasure is pizza. There's something about pizza and a movie that just feels like a great night.

What does the Broward/Palm Beach food scene need more of? The Broward and Palm Beach County food scene needs more consumers -- hahaha! I think we have some amazing owner, managers and chefs in this area, and given the circumstances, if you can make it [here], I think it says a lot due to the fact that this is not a concentrated big city market. Hopefully we can continue to promote our area to big fortune 500 companies with our wonderful weather and low taxes.

You get to vote one food or beverage trend off the island forever -- what is it? I would have to say Patron. It would of saved me from a bunch of bad decisions

You have unlimited funds to open a restaurant or bar -- what's the name, and what do you serve? That's my secret.

Where do you see yourself in five years? In five years, I see myself married to my beautiful fiancée, coaching my kids in sports, expanding Mash Management Group from ownership and management of the restaurant and nightclub industry to include real estate brokerage and construction, as well.

Dream dinner party for six: Who (living or dead) are you inviting? No dream for me. I get to eat with those people every night.

New Times' Best Of Broward-Palm Beach 2013 issue arrives June 13. To celebrate, Clean Plate Charlie is serving up 30 of our favorite tastemakers -- restaurateurs, chefs, bartenders, and other foodies who make the South Florida food scene what it is. We'll start with number 30 and lead up to South Florida's number one. All previous 2013 Tastemakers are listed below.

30. Robyn Almodovar of Palate Party Food Truck

29. Chris and Jordan Bellus of Laser Wolf

28. Fulvio Sardelli of Sardelli's Italian Steakhouse

27. Brett Chiavari of BC Tacos

26. Mike Halker of Due South Brewing

25. Chrissy Benoit of the Little House Boynton Beach

24. Dean Max of DJM Restaurants

23. Lauren Bowen of Tap 42

22. Vaughan Lazar of Kapow!

21. Eric Guerro, Mark Fee, and Jeff Evans of Angry Union Brewing

20. Ben Lubin of The Blind Monk

19. Susan Kim of Gabose

18. Julieta Bocos of Casa Frida

17. Marc Falsetto of Rok:Brgr

16. Frank Coniglio of E.R. Bradley's Saloon

15. Iliya Dimitrov of Valentino's Cucina Italiana

14 Tim Lipman of Coolinary Cafe

13. Lauren DeShields of Market 17

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna