When brothers Will and Rob Shamlian opened Spitzer’s Corner on Rivington in the Lower East Side in August, then-Governor Eliot Spitzer had been in office 14 months, and few if any could’ve anticipated that a certain service for Very Important People would signal the end of his life in politics.
When the Times reported that Governor Spitzer was a regular customer of the Emperor’s Club VIP on March 11, it didn’t faze Rob Shamlian. He was confident he had “the best beer selection in New York,” and a great menu. And moreover, it’s not like the restaurant had anything to do with Eliot Spitzer. “I wouldn’t name it after that motherfucker,” he told me recently when I called him up.
The Shamlians’ “New American Gastropub” takes its name from the schmatta supplier, “Spitzer’s Dress Shop,” that occupied the space for generations before Spitzer’s Corner moved in. The Shamlians had lobbied the owner, Ziggy Spitzer, for months before he agreed to give them the lease, and as a token of their appreciation, and of how nice this Spitzer was, they named the place after him. They also felt it would help preserve the space’s “downtown flavor” … “It would’ve been named Spitzer’s Dress Shop’ but we threw the sign away,” he explained.
Shamlian was never a fan of Eliot Spitzer, and said he doesn’t know how any business owner could have admired the ex-governor considering his hands-on methods. That said, he wasn’t bothered when the hard-charging moralist got caught with his pants around his ankles. “He’s a politician. I don’t think more poorly of him because he screwed a prostitute. I could care less."