Meet Robert Simonelli: From stuntman to restauranteur

The following is an interview with Robert Simonelli, partner & general manager at The Landing Restaurant, conducted by Discover Marblehead. Learn more at or stop by at 81 Front St.

Robert Simonelli of The Landing Restaurant gave up stunt work in California for the restaurant world.

Tell us about The Landing Restaurant. The Landing is a landmark restaurant that was first established in 1972. I was fortunate to join the partners back in 2002. Over the last few years, we’ve gone through a few menu changes and several renovations. Once known solely for the great view of the harbor, the new fresh look and current culinary team have made us one of the premiere restaurants on the North Shore.

I’ve always loved hospitality and we pride ourselves on the way we make our guests (locals and tourists) feel when they enter our house. The addition of the function room has given patrons a beautiful option in town to celebrate those family moments or business affairs.

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received? A great piece of restaurant business advice I received was “MBWA” — Manage by Walking Around. You must have the ability to manage the numbers upstairs in the office, but you get more out of your people and understand more of your business by being on the floor and talking to people. Keeping your eye on the moving parts helps you identify problems and find solutions quickly.

What is your favorite spot in Marblehead, and why? My favorite spot in Marblehead would have to be The Landing. I spend a lot of time there. Looking out at the harbor and talking to the fishermen on the dock is one of the most unique experiences that I get to enjoy on a daily basis. I am very fortunate indeed!

What is something that people would be surprised to learn about you? It might surprise people to know that I spent over 14 years in southern California. I first went out there in 1979 to pursue a dream of becoming a stuntman — tough job to break into … literally. After crashing my motorcycle three times I felt the safer bet would be to continue school and make the restaurant business my career.

The business spotlight is a weekly feature published in partnership with Discover Marblehead. Discover Marblehead is “dedicated to the promotion of Marblehead. Our mission is to highlight local businesses, tourism, community events and attractions through social media, email marketing and community outreach. To learn more, visit

Melissa Stacey
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