A week ago, Miami's tight-knit beverage community was dealt a blow by the death of John Lermayer.
The 45-year-old Sweet Liberty partner was known for his engaging personality, bon vivant attitude, and incredible bartending skills. Indeed, his life mirrored the pink neon sign that dominates a wall at his bar: "Pursue happiness."
The Sweet Liberty family issued the following statement about Lermayer's life and legacy:
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Sweet Liberty’s founding Father, John Lermayer. John was the force and spirit behind Sweet Liberty and one of the most selfless and charitable people we knew. A dedicated father, award-winning bartender, mentor, friend and die-hard New York Rangers fan, John was best known for his animated personality, enticing cocktails, his love for people, travel and his son, Radek. It was John’s tireless work ethic and spirited personality that helped him create Sweet Liberty, a space that his neighbors and friends from all over the world could call home and a place to pursue happiness.
Lermayer's business partners, David Martinez and Dan Binkiewicz, have organized a GoFundMe campaign as a college fund for Lermayer's son, Radek. So far, nearly $75,000 of the $100,000 goal has been reached.
Now, a public celebration has been planned as a way for Lermayer's friends to pay tribute to his life and legacy.
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Next Thursday, June 21, from 6 to 9 p.m., friends and fans are asked to gather at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden to eat, drink, and share stories. Further details are in the works, but expect a host of the bartender's industry friends and family to present well-made food and drinks.
Admission is free, but RSVPs are appreciated through Sweet Liberty's Facebook page.
People are expected to travel to Miami Beach for the event, and special room rates have been established with the Shore Club South Beach (code JL2018) and the Delano (use this link for a $259 rate for a partial ocean-view king room).
Celebration of Life for John. 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, June 21, at Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach. Admission is free. For information, call 305-763-8217 or visit Sweet Liberty's Facebook page.