Igor Hadzismajlovic is a founding partner of Employees Only Singapore and the property's director of operations. As one of the original partners of Employees Only, Igor moved to the Lion City in May 2016 to open the famed cocktail bar's second global location and first Asian outpost.
Born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor attended the School of Economics at the University of Zagreb on a Soros scholarship before moving to New York on a refugee visa in 1996. What followed was a long stint of odd jobs, including as a dishwasher at a Jewish summer camp for overweight kids, assistant to an air conditioner installer, and a bathroom attendant at a Chelsea nightclub – among others that we won’t mention here.
Tired of dispensing liquid soap and dangling out of windows in Upper West Side high-rises, he found his place as a barback at Keith McNally’s Pravda. Shortly thereafter, Igor was promoted to bartender and spent the next three years manning the bar. In 2000, he moved on to The Park which, at the time, was one of the most taxing high-volume gigs in town. In 2004, he opened the original Employees Only in Manhattan's West Village neighborhood with four industry friends from his Pravda days. The bar went onto become one of the most successful high-volume bars in the world, securing a number of industry awards and accolades including Tales of the Cocktail's World's Best Bar award in 2011.
Igor has been featured in publications including The Wall Street Journal, Drinks International, Imbibe, Bloomberg Businessweek, The New York Times, The Straits Times, The New York Observer, Time Out Singapore, among others.