Iconic authentic ace cafe london brings bikes, cars and rock ‘n’ roll to the world, including america, and to all that love british motor heritage and inspiration. ace cafe revs it up and cranks out motorcycles, muscle cars, music culture, fashion and merchandise throughout its storied legacy.
The Ace Café, known worldwide, has come to America. The Ace, as it is also recognized, is simply the most famous motor-diner on the planet. Since 1938, the Ace Cafe has been the rally place for folks passionate about cuppa tea, chips, eggs, as well as the world-famous gatherings of bikes, cars, & Rock ‘N’ Roll.
In 2017, it landed for the first time on American soil.
Since its early days on the outskirts of the North Circular Road surrounding London, where it still stands today, Ace Cafe London has been the beacon for those passionate about motoring, music, and a little mayhem.
A simple roadside café that catered mostly to truckers and lorry drivers, the Ace soon caught on with the likes of the younger motorcycle generation, with its proximity to Britain’s fast arterial road system and the fact that it was open 24 hours. This became a huge attraction to youth in post-war London, as these kids were out all night, riding motorcycles and carrying-on. A few stops along the way with their mates at roadside cafes, then racing between those cafes to see who had the fastest bikes and who were the most skillful riders – hence the term “café racer” – and the Ace had become infamous - a sort of clubhouse - for kids that loved the smell of petrol, burning tires, and the allure of fast-moving metal.
In 1939, the Ace added a 10-pump service station, a showroom, repair shop and a spacious ‘washmobile’ washing bay, where you could shampoo your car for just five shillings. It was a motor-lovers dream come true. Petrol, repairs, a washup, some chips, eggs, and a cuppa tea…and of course a burnout on your bike…and you were good to go.
Bombed out during an air-raid on the adjacent railway marshalling yards by the Germans in World War II, the Ace was badly damaged and rebuilt in 1949. At that point, it actually became a facility with home-made food prepared onsite, in a top-notch kitchen, serving the surrounding community in what was now a new and emerging London.
And with the arrival of the 1950’s, and the Ton Up Boys, the Ace phenomenon was booming during this post-war time, as more and more youth had motorcycles, and the roads were full of screaming bikes and kids in black leather jackets. The British motorcycle industry was hitting its peak, and then it happened. Rock ‘N’ Roll arrived on the scene. At the time, Rock was not played on the radio in Britain, so the only place these kids could hear the music was on the jukeboxes at transport cafes. The Ace had one of these first jukeboxes, and became the place to meet, hang-out, and arrange a run to the other roadside cafes.
People from all over came to listen to the jukebox, which was fortified with the 45 rpm records British servicemen would pick up in the US and abroad and bring back to the UK. Many of the people that visited the Ace in those days would go on to start dance clubs and their own bands. British kids found that the Ace was one of the only places they could go, to listen to American records by the likes of Buddy Holly, Bill Haley, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Elvis, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochrane, and others, where they could put a coin into a slot and listen over and over, memorizing the words and melodies, and learning the guitar chord changes of their favorite records. Some of these individuals gained success and considerable reputations while doing it. Legend has it that one such group of kids turned out to include John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison - three leather motorcycle jacket-wearing Teddy Boys with slicked-back hair and a penchant for playing guitars in a skiffle band - who would go on to change the entire world. At the time, these lads were known to be in a band called the Quarrymen, which morphed into Johnny & the Moondogs, then the Silver Beetles, and, finally, the Beatles. Beatlemania would soon become an intense fan frenzy in the UK, the USA, and the world, as the lads’ popularity grew, and their music and fashion took over everything. Everywhere.
From this amazingly powerful fusion of youth, Rock ‘N’ Roll, and motorcycles…a curious pastime known as ‘record racing’ emerged. Basically, a ‘music and motorcycles’ dare was born during these late nights at the cafes. A lad would ‘drop a coin into the slot’, jump on his bike, and race to a certain point and get back in time before the record finished. To do this, you had to do 100 mph, aka the term ‘Doing The Ton’, and for that feat, you were deemed a Ton Up Boy. And there was nothing cooler than being one.
The original Ace Cafe was built in 1938 on the outskirts of London. After the bomb during World War II, the Ace was rebuilt from the ground up, where the building still stands today. In the 50’s, the Ace attracted young motorcyclists from all parts of London looking for a place to call their own, meet friends and talk bikes. They also discovered American Rock ‘N’ Roll on the Ace’s jukebox, one of the very first in England. By the 1960’s, this combination produced the movement of Mods & Rockers, a generation of American Muscle Car and Hot Rod lovers, and the Ace Cafe became legendary.
The Ace even had a leading role as the backdrop in the famous “The Leather Boys” film – the 1963 Sidney Furie movie which starred Rita Tushingham, Colin Campbell, and Dudley Sutton, as well as many of the Ace Cafe’s actual patrons as extras. While shooting the scenes for the movie, Director Furie wanted to achieve realism, so he would take advice from the young local riders at the Ace, getting their thoughts on what t-shirts, black leather motorcycle jackets, jeans, and boots to wear.“
The Leather Boys” would go on to become one of the 60’s greatest British films, and would further cement the Ace’s place in British motorcycle history, and enhance its massive consumer and commercial appeal, with a direct connection to a number of industries including motorsports, music, fashion, and pop culture.
While the Ace Cafe in London closed in 1969, it was not forgotten, and twenty-five years later in 1994, the first Ace Cafe Reunion was organized on the very grounds the Ace stood on for so many years. To everyone’s surprise and delight, over eight thousand bikers attended that reunion event, which set into motion an idea that perhaps the Ace might return to live another day. Meetings were held to determine if the former Ace Café location might be available, and when it was determined that it was available, plans to restore it to its former glory were put into play, and the Ace reopened in 2001. It’s grown in popularity ever since.
Accolades abounded, as original Ton Up Boys, casual diners, and celebrities all agreed that the Ace is “absolutely iconic and authentic”. A rare, legacy brand with a bona fide place in British motor history, and there’s simply no other place like it.” Journalists far and wide also had the same opinion – “The Ace Cafe is the single-most important marque in the worldwide Cafe Racer movement today. It's the poster child for the true spirit of racers, builders and DIYers, and continues to be the mecca for everything motors.”
“Picture a hundred cafe racers thundering into the lot, while the aromas from sizzling griddles abound, and an old friend’s handshake and a slap on the back of the leathers welcomes you home for a great meal with family & friends. That’s Ace.”These sentiments can be heard from most everyone who has had the good fortune of visiting the Ace Cafe.
The Ace is a motorcentric lifestyle experience. Steeped in rich tradition, the Ace has become so popular that in September 2014, the annual Ace Cafe Reunion Weekend (now in its 27th year), attracted more than 200,000 people from 42 countries, all ending up on the shores of Brighton Beach. And it had grown ever since.
A rallying point for good times, good people, good motors, good fashion, & good Rock ‘N’ Roll, Ace Cafe is a motor-destination complete with a restaurant, bar, events space, live music, and retail all at once.
Today, the Ace greets everybody with the same warm welcome the Ace is known for, enjoying nothing more than sharing great times with friends & family over a great meal and a cuppa tea & coffee.
Motorhead-inspired fashion and merchandise has also become another compelling means of serving the motoring community. Ace Cafe’s iconic, distinctive style and look offers a range of exciting clothing and apparel that totally engages the motor community with t-shirts, jackets, pins, patches, caps, and now, with the addition of a brand-new collaboration between Ace Café London and the venerable Ton-Up Clothing brand, a new collection of t-shirts that becomes available in Summer 2022. Ton-Up Clothing has also just introduced a new, black café racer motorcycle leather jacket promotion, in association with Lewis Leathers, on the notorious Star Lightning jacket.
When it came time to find the absolute best jacket for the Ton-Up Clothing brand café racer leather jacket release, the choice was clear - the most celebrated café racer leather motorcycle jacket in history was undoubtedly a Lewis Leathers Star Lightning.
More than a meeting place or cafe, the Ace is a community of people — enthusiasts, racers, riders, drivers, free thinkers, DIY builders & music lovers from all over the world. Dads, Moms, Sons, Daughters, Uncles, Aunties...all are welcome at The Ace!
British, simple, honest, speed-inspired, cultural landmark, DIY enthusiast, custom, greasy, speedway, drag-racing, knee down, revolution, pin up, ton-up, Rock ‘N’ Roll, cool, burn-up, burn-out, rev up, Billy Fury, mods, rockers, hard-working, classless, original, authentic, inclusive, organic, evolving, and speed thrills. It doesn’t matter where you’re from. With a deep-seated passion for everything motor-related & rock n’ roll, the Ace stands alone.
Whether at Ace Cafe London, located at North Circular Road, Stonebridge, London, NW10 7UD, phone +44 (0) 20 8961 1000, with café hours open Monday – Sunday 8am – 10:30pm, online @ london.acecafe.com.
Whether at Ace Cafe Orlando, located at 100 West Livingston Street, Orlando Florida 32801, phone 407.996.6686, with café hours open Monday – Friday 11am, Saturday – Sunday 10am, online @ acecafeusa.com.
Bike meets, Car shows, Live music, or just a great meal, remember one thing — There’s no place like Ace