Ace Cafe Orlando, the first North American outpost of the celebrated London-based motor-diner, is scheduled to open this spring. The 35,000-square-foot dining, entertainment, and retail destination, is forecast to draw over 400,000 people to downtown Orlando annually.
Since 1938, Ace Cafe London has been a mecca for those passionate about cars, bikes and rock ’n roll culture. The original location on London’s North Circular Road began as a simple 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 has a multi-generational appeal from motorsports enthusiasts from all over the world.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Ace Cafe to downtown Orlando,” said Thomas Chatmon, Jr., executive director of Orlando’s Downtown Development Board and Community Redevelopment Agency. “This entirely-new destination’s unique blend of restaurant, bars, retail, live music and event spaces will entice a variety of demographics to downtown. The Ace’s economic impact will be immeasurable.”
Much larger than its London namesake, Ace Cafe Orlando spans two floors and will feature a full-service restaurant, two kitchens, four bars, a coffee bar, a communal counter, a mezzanine that overlooks the main floor dining area and stage, and private and semi-private spaces for groups both large and small. Rounding out the offerings inside the Ace are Rockers Speed Shop (selling official branded Ace gear and apparel); a BMW motorcycle dealer; Dainese D-Store; EagleRider motorcycle rental company; and Stonebridge Motorgallery, featuring original motorsports and rock ’n roll-inspired artwork, photography, sculptures, and memorabilia, as well as collectable vintage and one-off custom motorcycles. World-renowned artists including Michael Lichter, David Uhl, Antonio Merinero and Makoto Endo, as well as local favorites, will be represented.
Following the opening of Ace Cafe, attention then turns to completing two key spaces inside Ace Corner, now under construction and on track for a summer 2017 opening: an 8,000-square-foot music and bar venue called The Blue Cap Shack, offering Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ, the Kansas City-based BBQ restaurant voted “Best BBQ” by Anthony Bourdain, Chef Wolfgang Puck and USA Today; and a Backyard Beer Garden featuring an outdoor stage for live music accommodating up to 1,200 people, ideal for bike and car meets, concerts and private parties.
“As we get closer to opening, it is so rewarding to watch this multi-faceted project come together,” said Mark McKee, CEO and Chief Gearhead of Ace Cafe North America. “We are building something so special, a place that’s focused entirely on the Central Florida community. From petrolheads and aficionados to would-be enthusiasts who want to take a rental spin on the weekend, to concert-goers who want good music and specialty cocktails, to families searching for a fun and affordable dining spot – the Ace is for everybody.”