We were given a hard-hat tour of the soon-to-open Ace Cafe situated on what's now known as "Ace Corner" — a three-acre downtown block at the corner of West Livingston Street and Garland Avenue.
Exterior facade from future beer garden/outdoor concert stage.
The site was once home to this very publication and, in fact, the upstairs space inside the Harry P. Leu Building fronting West Livingston Street (where Orlando Weekly's offices once stood) will now be home to one of the larger gallery spaces in the city.
Tiled entrance on W. Livingston St. reading "Harry P. Leu"
The Stonebridge Motorgallery will showcase motorsports and rock & roll-inspired artwork, photography, sculptures, and memorabilia, as well as vintage and custom motorcycles.
The Stonebridge Motorgallery will showcase motorsports and rock 'n' roll-inspired works Additional features of the sprawling 35,000-square-foot motor-centric entertainment complex: an upstairs and downstairs kitchen to feed Ace Cafe's full-service restaurant (headed by former Sugar Factory executive chef Chris Truesdell); four bars (including the signature Harry's Bar upstairs), outdoor patios, a coffee bar (serving smooth Julius Meinl coffee), a mezzanine overlooking the main-floor dining area and concert stage (a familiar sight for anyone who attended a show at the Edge or 8 Seconds, bygone music venues once located in this building), a BMW bike dealership, high-tech Italian riding gear from Dainese, and plenty of private and semi-private spaces (like Harry P. Leu's old office).
Phase 2 will see a smokehouse serving Oklahoma Joe's barbecue, a beer garden, and bocce courts opening by the end of July.
While catering to car and motorcycle enthusiasts, Ace Cafe is making an effort to position itself as family-friendly so, word of warning to all you card-carrying Hells Angels members — be on your best behavior.
BTW: Ace Cafe doesn't consider itself a theme restaurant but "a lifestyle restaurant for cars, bikes, and rock & roll," says Ace Cafe North America's chief financial officer Eric Forward. Forward also mentioned he checked his Gantt Chart this morning and he's confident the cafe will soft-open by the end of April.