|Showman Jazz Cafe
owned and operated by
Al Howard and Mona Lopez
Since 1942, Showmans Jazz Club, one of Harlem’s premier old school jazz clubs and a cultural landmark.
Showmans first opened next to the Apollo Theater. Then they reincarnated on Eighth Avenue, where the Harlem USA development and Theatre now stands. Showman’s signature mark of a top hat and caneis etched into the minds and hearts of many, as well as the frosted glass of its front door and mirror behind the bar, standing as an iconic reminder of a legendary age of jazz. Showmans Jazz Club has showcased top musicians and legendary artists which include Pearl Bailey, Eartha Kitt, Jimmy Rogers, Sarah Vaughan, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, Grady Tate, Jimmy The Preacher Robins, Lou Dobbs, The Copasetics with hoofer Honi Cole, Gloria Lynne, Ruth Brown and many more.
Over the years, proprietors Al Howard and Mona Lopez have maintained an intimate ambiance where jazz, blues, and down home hospitality rules. When you walk through the doors of Showmans, you enter a magical place and experience a sense of invigoration and comfort as the intimacy of the room, embraces your senses.
Allow your eyes to cascade down the long stretch of bar and witness the look of pure enjoyment and relaxationof those sitting alongside you. Then bare witness as the music uplifts you and makes your spirit come alive.
Mr. Howard has had an illustrious career including saving Rev. Martin Luther King’s life when a deranged woman stabbed him in Harlem near the retail store Blumstein’s. As a rookie cop on the beat, Al went to the aid of Dr. King, who had been stabbed by a woman with a letter opener. He has been the recipient of countless awards and honors.
Mona Lopez known to her star-tenders as “Momma Mona” and some of her customers is been called the “heart and soul” of Showmans Jazz Cafe, if you hear Showmans – trust Mona’s name will following behind it. Showmans is the place in Harlem that you love to go to “because it feels just like home and truthfully everybody knows your name.”