Out and About: A Hard Hat Preview of the Ace Cafe Orlando

Hard Hat Preview of the Ace Cafe Orlando - mock up

The popular Ace Cafe is expanding their brand and has chosen Orlando as the first North American location. We got a hard hat tour of the work-in-progress renovations of the downtown location last week, and it was impressive.

Ace Cafe Orlando is located on a three-acre block at the corner of W. Livingston St. and Garland Ave. (across from the Lynx station). It was originally the Harry P. Leu Building, and in the years since, has been home to The Edge and 8 Seconds night clubs, among others.

The 100-year-old properties are being renovated or torn down and reconfigured. Ace Cafe is using reclaiming items from the buildings to build other things. For instance wood from the barn that was torn down will be used to make tables for the new venue.

Hard Hat Preview of the Ace Cafe Orlando - exterior

The large two-story main buidling will offer a full-service restaurant featuring kitchens on both levels with a menu curated by Executive Chef Christopher Truesdell. Ace’s menu can be defined as American Gastro-Diner fare, featuring made-from-scratch home style comfort food and there is also a nod to Ace Cafe’s London roots with authentic British favorites like Bangers & Mash, Fish & Chips, and Chicken Curry. The menu is rounded out by shareable appetizers, gluten-free options, and a kid’s menu.

There will also be several bars including the upstairs Harry’s Bar, a coffee bar serving Julius Meinl coffee, private dining rooms (one housed in Harry P. Leu’s old office upstairs), and a concert stage that has seen its share of performances from the above mentioned music venues.

Hard Hat Preview of the Ace Cafe Orlando - stage

The large second-floor Stonebridge Motorgallery will showcase motorsports inspired artwork, photography, and memorabilia. Underneath on the first floor will be the Ace are Rockers Speed Shop (selling official branded Ace gear and apparel); a BMW motorcycle dealer; Dainese D-Store (Italy’s most famous high-tech riding gear and accessories brand); and the EagleRider motorcycle rental company (the world’s largest motorcycle tourism company).

The building offers several staircases throughout to move between the levels, but Ace Cafe is also installing an elevator for ability access.

Hard Hat Preview of the Ace Cafe Orlando - Stonebridge Motorgallery

The management of the Orlando venue is hoping to open the majority of these offerings towards the end of this month, with Grand Opening festivities tentatively set for towards the end of May.

Over the summer, a outdoor backyard beer garden (see photo below) with an outdoor stage will open, along with an 8,000-square-foot, one-story live music and bar venue called The Blue Cap Shack, which will be home to the area’s first Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ. This Kansas City-based restaurant was voted “Best BBQ” by Anthony Bourdain, Chef Wolfgang Puck and USA Today.

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When complete, the entire three-acre area can host up to 7,000 guests.

As if all this isn’t reason enough to plan a visit, I was told that Ace Cafe Orlando will be partnering with Florida craft beer and spirits companies to do tap take-overs, and will host themed nights geared towards a specific make of motorcycle or classic car.

Ace Cafe isn’t so much a themed restaurant but a dining and entertainment venue that is geared towards a lifestyle of cars, bikes, and rock & roll, according to Mark McKee, CEO and Chief Gearhead of Ace Cafe North America.

We’ll let you know when we hear word of a soft opening, along with all other notable dates and events. I think you’re going to want to check this place out.

DETAILS

Ace Cafe Orlando
100 W. Livingston St.
Orlando, FL 32801

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