Ace Cafe Orlando is the first location in North America under the popular Ace Cafe name. The original Ace Cafe was established in London in 1938 and is known as the most-celebrated motor diner on the planet. The Ace Cafe theme is one of motorcycles, cars, and rock ‘n’ roll. The London location alone hosts over 400 motorcycle and car events each year, and the brand represents the culture of speed and thrills. Now Orlando can proudly boast an Ace Cafe of its own across the pond in the USA.
Over the decades, the popularity of Ace Cafe has grown, and today it serves as a gathering place for gearheads and music lovers from all around the world. The Ace name has become synonymous with more than just food and is now a shared cultural phenomenon enjoyed and cherished internationally. With multiple locations around the globe, Ace is bringing its unique and colorful history into modern times to be cherished by young and old alike.
What Is the Ace Cafe Orlando?
Ace Cafe Orlando is a 35,000 square-foot destination featuring a cafe, a full-service restaurant and bar, a live music and event venue, a gallery featuring motor-inspired art, and a retail shopping experience. It sits on a prime, 3-acre site in downtown Orlando. This motor-centric destination also includes a Dainese D-Store, a BMW Motorcycle Dealer and Showroom, EagleRider Motorcycle Rentals, a world-famous Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ, and two acres of parking to host daily motorcycle and car events.
Much larger than its London counterpart, Ace Cafe Orlando spans two floors. Ace Cafe Orlando opened in 2017 under the leadership of Ace Cafe Orlando Chief Marketing Officer Steve Glum. Just four years earlier, George Tsuchnikas, operations director for Ace Cafe London, and Mark Wilsmore, managing director of Ace Cafe London, fell in love with the historic-yet-dilapidated Harry P. Leu site at 100 W. Livingston Street while they were scouting for locations. The remodel of the 91-year-old property included a new roof, air-flow system, and a new kitchen and patio.
At the time of the opening, Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer stated that the City of Orlando was committed to providing residents and their 68 million visitors a diverse array of entertainment and dining options. He also proclaimed that the Ace Cafe was a welcome addition to Downtown Orlando. He said that it added to the existing vibrancy and quality of life in the area. The Ace Cafe Orlando was expected to generate increased visitation and economic benefits to the area with its festivals and events.
The property once housed The Edge concert venue and the H2O Church. Many bands, including The Ramones, once played there. The location was chosen due to its juxtaposition to Daytona Beach and its speedway as well as for the area’s history and association with motorsports. Those familiar with the history of the Ace Cafe brand know that the rich musical and racing history of Daytona make it a perfect location for Ace’s first venture in the USA.
Understanding the history of the Ace Cafe London helps to paint the picture of what visitors can expect from Ace Cafe Orlando. The original location began as a roadside cafe for truckers, then evolved into a popular destination for rock ‘n’ roll-loving teens riding motorbikes during the ’50s and ’60s. Today, the Ace attracts motorsports enthusiasts across every generation from all over the world.
A Brief History of Ace Cafe
Throughout the history of Ace Cafe London, the cafe attracted a lot of young people and fed off the significant influence of the youth culture. In the 50’s and 60’s, “rock n’ roll was their music, their uniform was black leather, and their lives were wild and full of danger,” the Ace Cafe website states. “The driving beat of the music was the rhythm, the drug was speed.”
Many influences to the biker culture of that time came from America, and they were integrated and developed into a unique British phenomena. The best and fastest bikes of the time were English, and British musicians rose to never-before-seen heights of fame. By then, the Ace Cafe had developed into the launchpad for famous racers like Dave Degans and rock ‘n’ roll bands such as Johnny Kidd and The Pirates.
The riders who converged at the Ace had their own code and set of rules. They were neither understood nor recognized by outsiders. Their appearance was wild, and it didn’t fit into what was considered conventionally normal at the time. Their racing, music, and distinctive way of expressing themselves frightened polite society. The press condemned them through sensational articles, and government officials often discussed counter-measures against these youths now known as Rockers.
Today, Ace Cafe serves as a place for people to learn and reminisce about those rebellious times of old. The times have changed, but the Ace Cafe brand allows customers an exciting venue to re-experience the sites, sounds, and feel of that nostalgic time. It is a good venue to share a meal and family time, take in some live music, and inspect some really cool old cars and motorcycles.
Some popular events hosted by Ace Cafe Orlando are Bike Night, Euro and Porche Night, GM and Corvettes, Ford Night, and Misfit Mondays. Those looking for souvenirs can purchase merchandise such as biker helmets and jackets, hats, stickers, patches, books, glassware, and other themed accessories. The venue also frequently hosts live music entertainment. The website features a sign-up page for the Ace Fan Club, a list of Meets and Events, a Speed Thrills Blog, links to other Ace social media sites, “Ace Radio” featuring streaming music, and the capability to make reservations.
Ace Cafe Orlando sells alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine, and single liquor well drinks. Menu items include traditional pub fare like burgers, sandwiches, wings, tacos, and nachos. The Ace also serves salads, fish ‘n’ chips, dinner entrees, kids’ meals, and desserts like cheesecake and key lime pie. Brunch is served on Sundays and includes Bloody Marys, Mimosas, and live acoustic music.
Is There More than One Ace Cafe Orlando Location?
Ace Cafe Orlando has one location at 100 W. Livingston Street, Orlando, FL 32801. It sits on the corner of Livingston & Garland. The parking is free, but it is limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis. Additional parking is available nearby starting at around $5.
Besides the Ace location in Orlando, there are additional locations worldwide. These include the original location in London, England, and additional locations in Finland, Beijing, Luzern, and Barcelona.
How to Contact the Ace Cafe Orlando Headquarters
100 W. Livingston Street
(corner of Livingston and Garland)
Orlando, FL 32801
Group Sales/Private Events
The Ace Cafe Orlando should prove to be a lucrative shopping and entertainment destination. It pays respectful homage to the roots of its namesake while also throwing a modern twist into the mix. Motorcycle and car lovers can stop by to enjoy the food, drink, and atmosphere, as well as attend popular motor-themed events. The Ace cafe evokes a sense of nostalgia for a more rebellious time.
People of all ages can enjoy the cars, live music, and delicious cuisine, all while immersing themselves into some important cultural history. Ace Cafe Orlando is a welcome addition to the already history-rich and motorsports-themed ambiance of the Orlando and Daytona Beach area. If you have never tried traditional British fish ‘n’ chips, be sure not to leave without giving it a shot. See you at the Ace!