Before embarking on a career as a restaurateur, bar owner, and nightclub proprietor, Rob Shamlian worked for a decade as a fashion photographer. He maintained relationships with agents in cities such as Milan, London, Paris and New York and shot photos for features appearing in such publications as Italian Vogue, Nylon, Citizen K, and Latin Harper’s Bazaar. Honored as one of an exclusive group of photographers to show their work at the Louvre in Paris, Rob Shamlian also shot the cover image for the exhibit’s program.
Since putting away his cameras, Mr. Shamlian has successfully used his creativity to design, open, and operate distinctive New York City hospitality establishments. At Los Feliz restaurant, Robert Shamlian created a taqueria and tequileria that features the Mexican food of chef Julietta Ballesteros, stocks over 150 tequilas, and has earned the highest Zagat rating (26/30) for Mexican cuisine.
He also owns the multi-level bar and music venue Fat Baby, and, in 2007, opened the gastropub Spitzer’s Corner, which has been recommended in the Michelin Guide for five consecutive years. At Spritzenhaus in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Mr. Shamlian created a beer hall that serves over 50 craft beers within an open, 6,000-square-foot space accented by exposed brick, subway tiles, and large picture windows.
Aside from his entrepreneurial pursuits, Robert Shamlian contributes to organizations that assist children in foster care, such as New Yorkers for Children and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). He enjoys playing tennis and chess and spending time with his children.