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15 minutes with: Omar Shaikh
Omar Shaikh’s cool quotient is off the charts. 
This handsome 30-something is a very busy man.

By JUDY STEININGER

September 13, 2008

He’s owner of Carnevor, one of the sleekest restaurants in Milwaukee, a charitable citizen, and a devoted husband and father of three, living in Brookfield.

Once you’ve been an ultimate fighter and competed in the mixed martial arts form which entails no-holds-barred bouts in a confined space, figuring out customers’ needs is, well, a piece of cake. Shaikh describes ultimate fighting as, "A technical sport; it’s like a chess game for two talented fighters. What separates them is conditioning."

After high school, Shaikh left Wisconsin for Los Angeles, where he learned to fight and supported himself in a variety of restaurant business jobs. He returned in 1997, earning a degree in international business from Cardinal Stritch University.

Sitting in the elegant Carnevor restaurant, he reveals that he tried the corporate existence, but, "I could not sit in a cubicle." When it comes to restaurant design, he has cosmopolitan tastes. Shaikh has chosen to create his empire on Milwaukee Street in the block between Wisconsin Avenue and Mason Street. He opened, operated, then sold Sake Tumi prior to opening Carnevor.

You can anticipate Shaikh adding other interesting concepts to Milwaukee’s dining scene. He has plenty of ideas and it’s obvious there are lots of people who want to be in his arena.

 

Q&A

What advice would you give to young, ambitious college students?

Books are important but gain knowledge and experience in the real world. Relationships are important in any field, but especially in the business world

Who makes up your clientele?

Many are business travelers, but we also have great, loyal, local customers.


This story ran in the July 2008 issue of: