A swelteringly typical Orlando, Florida evening greeted several hundred guests and VIPs as Ace Cafe London opened their first North American outpost just a few blocks up from Church Street Station. Ace Cafe Orlando’s new home is a pair of century-old historic supply warehouses, the perfect environment for the fabled biker mecca that was born of industrial roots at the dawn of rock ‘n roll but couldn’t survive drowning in the soft rock and disco wave that followed.
The original Ace was shuttered in 1969, a victim of changing times and tastes, before being resurrected in 2001 by Believer-In-Chief Mark Wilsmore and friends in the image of the golden era of British Twin dominance. From that rebirth the Ace has spread out internationally, now finally crossed the Atlantic to what some might think an improbable landing in Disney World’s back yard.
Although Orlando is already home to virtually every kind of entertainment concept and half-baked attraction imaginable, including Holy Land a few miles down I-4, Ace Cafe Orlando offers a distinctly different environment to a targeted community, beckoning bikers and hot rodders to get together and swap ideas over traditional British fare served in several restaurants and bars that surround the main stage and flank the museum and retail stores.
Anchoring the north edge of Orlando’s downtown redevelopment district and lightyears away from the homogenized banality of International Drive a few miles to the west, the Ace seems like a comfortable fit for this multi-ethnic Florida town that’s pulsing with energy.