Shaul Dover never considered a career in the music industry – he owned a successful leather goods business. But, as the expression goes, if you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans. In the early 2000s, Dover stumbled into the music industry, opening Sweatshop Studios in Katonah. He’s recorded a variety of famous musicians, from our own Rob Thomas to Mexican sensation Thalia. He’s also the guy Hollywood calls when they need one of our neighbors to record (or re-record) their voice for a film. Dover has worked with Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Bruce Willis and more. For most people, running two successful businesses simultaneously would be enough, but not for Dover. He dreamed of opening a jazz club, and so he is. Last week, Dover invited us to meet him at Jazz on Main in Mt. Kisco as he puts the finishing touches on his nightclub.
Katonah Connect: Why did you decide to open a jazz club in Mt. Kisco?
Shaul Dover: It’s been a dream of mine for the past 20 years, even before I opened my music studio. I used to joke with my brother-in-law about opening a panini sandwich place. We’d talk about it, dream about it, laugh about it, but it was always very real for me. The idea of hosting people was very attractive to me. Then, when I get involved in the music business, it gave me an artistic outlet, but that dream then became a necessity. It was not something that I just wanted to do; it became something I needed to do.
KC: You needed to open a jazz club? In Mt. Kisco?
SD: Yes. I couldn’t sleep at night unless I could find a way to make my vision a reality. Thanks to the music business, I got very involved in lighting and projections. But I really needed to find a way to express my creativity. At Jazz on Main, I designed all the lighting and wall projections. I’m projecting images directly onto the acoustic tiles and even on to the tables. I had this vision in my head, and I had to get it out.
KC: The club is on S. Moger Ave., so why is it called Jazz on Main?
SD: I started looking for a space about five years ago. At first, everything was too expensive, but then I found a place on Main Street that was formerly a fish cellar, right across from the diner. It was down a flight of stairs, and I really wanted that space. About two and a half, three years ago, I signed a contract on the space and registered my business name. Then the landlord decided to sell the building without telling me. When the new owner took over, I wasn’t able to work out a deal with him.
KC: Wow! You got lucky!
SD: Yes. Thank God. COVID hit right after that. Someone was looking out for me. About six months ago, I started looking for a new space and found this place. But I already had the name Jazz on Main, so I kept it.
KC: You’ve managed to transform a buttoned-up Charles Schwab office into a hip night club. What was that like?
SD: I gutted everything, even the floor –it was a cement floor before. I had a good team with me, well, some good and some not so good. But I had a solid construction crew, and in general, it was a very good experience. This place is what I imagined, and now we’re in the final stages. We passed one of our inspections this morning, we’re getting the alcohol in and getting employees on the schedule.
KC: Speaking of alcohol, I count 15 seats at the bar. Your wife told me the two seats at the end are ADA compliant – the countertop can be lowered for people who use a wheelchair. She also said the light fixture over your bar is from Kiev and was shipped just after the war began. Sounds like you have a rare piece of history on your hands.
SD: I had no idea when I bought it. I saw it on Etsy and didn’t know that it was coming from Ukraine. When it got delayed, I started looking into it, and I found out that it was actually being shipped from Kiev. I contacted him and told him I understood if he couldn’t get it to me, but he promised me that it was on its way. It was shipped about two weeks into the war, and I received it four weeks later. The boxes were very damaged – they looked like they went through a warzone. But the shelving was great! Nothing was damaged at all.
KC: Give us three reasons people should visit Jazz on Main.
- If they like music and want to feel good, they should visit us.
- If they want to have an immersive experience of all five senses at the same time, they should come here. We’ve got lights and pictures projected onto the walls, food for taste and smell, music for sound and they’ll also feel the music.
- And if they want to feel good while experiencing something different, they should come to Jazz on Main. They’ll meet new people, hear new music and have a great time.
Jazz on Main is now open. It’s perhaps the coolest place around, so go check it out!
Gia Miller is an award-winning journalist and content writer who lives in Katonah. Her work has appeared in Parents, The Washington Post, Healthline, Well + Good, Psych Central, SheKnows, SELF and more.