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Ace Cafe Rounding Home Stretch in Race to Finish

Written By Scott Joseph On April 6, 2017

Ace Construction exterior

It was April 30, 2015, that Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer led a bevy of motorcyclists in a “ground shaking” motor revving to ceremoniously kick off the renovations for Ace Cafe in downtown Orlando.

One year and 11 months later, the company is claiming the restaurant will finally open before it hits the two-year date of that occasion.

They’d better start revving up the workers because there’s still a lot to be done.

And did they factor in the arcane City of Orlando inspection process? I’m thinking June.

But I’ll tip my helmet to them if they can pull it off.

This Ace Cafe is the first in North American and is based on the original in London. (I had intended to visit the London Ace last summer, but when I plotted getting there by Tube I realized it would have taken the better part of a day — I went to Gordon’s Wine Bar instead.) In a nutshell, it’s a motorcycle and music themed restaurant. We’ll expand on the nutshell after it opens. Perhaps in autumn.

I took a tour last week of the massive space, which includes the former Harry P. Leu building at the corner of Garland Avenue and Livingston Street. The building was previously a couple of nightclubs — the country/western themed :08 and, before that, the Edge — and also at one time the offices of Orlando Weekly, which apparently gets its name from how often it moves.

Here are some of the things I saw.

Ace Construction clock tower

 Ace Construction facade

A clock tower with a second level balcony is being attached to the front of the building, which is also getting a new facade.

Ace Construction outdoor patio

There will be multiple bars and eating spaces, inside and out.

Ace Construction kitchen

And there will be two kitchens, this one downstairs (looks all ready to go!) and another on the second level that will primarily handle large groups.

Ace Construction stage

Ace Construction view from the stage

The focal point of Ace will be the stage, where musical groups will perform nightly. From the stage, the musicians will have a view of the double-decker space.

Ace Construction wood

The original wood on the stage, as well as some on the floors throughout the building, will be sanded and restored.

Ace Construction leu tiles

Ace construction office

Other pieces from the past will also be retained, such as the original tile of the Harry P. Leu entryway facing Livingston Street and Leu’s office. There will also be a Harry’s Bar, but I’m saying right now that if they don’t call at least one of the restrooms the Harry P. Leu Loo they’re missing a great opportunity. Or even the Harry P. Place. Just consider it is all I’m asking.

Ace construction merch

A gallery, a BMW Motorcyle Dealer and, of course, much merch will also be on site.

Perfect for the motorcycle enthusiast on your Christmas list. Provided it’s open by then.

We hope you find our reviews and news articles useful and entertaining. It has always been our goal to assist you in making informed decisions when spending your dining dollars. If we’ve helped you in any way, please consider making a contribution to help us continue our journalism. Thank you.

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