Night life

Granville Adams, Oz Actor, Miami Hospitality Professional, Dead at 58

Granville Adams, whom many Miamians knew as the dapper and ever-smiling partner at Employees Only and doorman extraordinaire at Florida Room, has died of cancer.

Adams’ wife, Christina Lomeli, and friends posted a loving tribute to Adams on social media.
A New York native, Adams grew up in Harlem and had a fruitful and varied life. His career included a role on HBO’s Oz, playing Zahir Arif for the entire run of the series. Adams also played Officer Jeff Westby on NBC’s Homocide: Life on the Street.

But to Miamians, “Granny” was the gentleman at the door of Living Room in its heyday when John Lermayer was behind the stick. Adams was a partner at Miami Beach’s Employees Only, an outpost of the West Village bar. The Miami branch opened in 2017, and Adams was a fixture at the bar, greeting people with his trademark smile and good words.

Close family friend Amanda Marie Cerreto called Adams a ray of sunshine. “He was one of the most beautiful humans you could ever meet. He was such a gentleman. He loved his garden, he loved playing golf, and he loved Christina, his wife.”

Cerreto was there the night Adams met his wife on New Year’s Eve 2012. “Granville was working the door at Rec Room that evening. We spent the night with him. John Lermayer was there. It was a good night.”

Adams and Lomeli married in September 2020. By then, the actor and hospitality professional had been diagnosed with cancer. Ever optimistic, Adams chronicled his battle on social media — always with a positive outlook. Says Cerreto, “We all really thought he was going to pull through. He fought to the end and he got to spend last Sunday with his wife. Sunday was always their day.”

Cerreto says that even though his physical presence is gone, she feels his spirit. “Energy that good can’t just disappear.” And, she says, the evening that Adams passed away, she and Christina saw a double rainbow in the sky. “It was him. He was just a good soul.”

Cheeseburger Baby’s Stephanie Vitori says Adams was one of the people who made Miami Beach a great community.

“From Florida Room to Employees Only, I would go to see him where he was and he would come to see me. It was mutual support. That’s how South Beach used to be,” Vitori says, adding that Adams had an aura about him that made you feel supported. “Being in his presence was a gift. He was just everyone’s angel.”

Bar Lab’s Gabe Orta recalls working with Adams at Florida Room. “The one thing I always admired about Granville is that he was a gentleman. He drew out the positives in people and could talk to anyone. He treated everyone with respect. I try to treat people the same way and consider that a gift that he gave to me.”

Orta adds that in an industry where people work and play hard, Adams was known for his professionalism and kindness. “He was a beacon of light.”

Adams leaves behind his wife, Christina, brother Gerald, his mother and nieces. A memorial gathering will be planned in the coming weeks and will be posted on Adams’ Instagram @granveezy. An online fundraising effort initiated by Oz showrunner Tom Fontana to help with expenses incurred during Adams’ illness is also still up and running. 

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