Two Wheels

Legendary London icon Ace Cafe heads to the States

If you have even a passing interest in the world of two-wheeled transportation, you likely already know all about Ace Cafe. The place started as a roadside diner, but quickly evolved into a haven for young London bike nuts after World War II. As a result, the name is now synonymous with the café racer phenomenon. Mark Wilsmore took the reins at Ace in 1993 and completely restored the structure in 2001. Now, the little diner serves as a hub for thousands of riders from around the world every day.
Today, Ace Cafe is planning to open outlets here in The Land Of The Free. A total of ten locations are set to spring up across the country soon, and to mark the occasion, Dime City Cycles is throwing a grand-opening celebration in Tampa, Florida on Saturday, May 14.

We typically recoil from the commercialization of something as unique and special as the Ace Cafe, but if anyone can do this and do it right, it's Wilsmore. The man knows a thing or two about putting together a custom bikers, which leads us to believe the new Aces may actually be a place real riders want to spend time instead of a glorified t-shirt stand. Hit the jump for the full press release.
Show full PR text


British culture is littered with icons – from King Arthur to the Vincent Black Shadow, Sherwood Forest to the Beatles – places, objects and legends that are embraced by people around the world. Ace Cafe London is among this illustrious list because to the thousands of enthusiasts from every nation, who love motorcycles and the spirit of rock n' roll rebellion, the Ace represents their cultural roots. Indeed, The Ace Cafe is where it all began.

Originally built in 1938 as a roadside stop to cater to traffic using the new and fast North Circular Road, the building was badly damaged in World War II but was subsequently rebuilt as one of the first purpose-built roadside cafes. With its proximity to the new, fast arterial road network, and its round-the-clock hours, the Ace soon attracted young motorcyclists from all parts of London looking for a place to call their own, meet friends and talk bikes. They found it at the Ace, together with rock n' roll.

This new generation, for whom speed and looking cool were all that was important, took it upon themselves to re-engineer their machines to be fast, agile and minimal, anything that did not make the bike go, stop or turn, was rejected. Pure fun.

Like the Ace itself, the cafe racer was destined to become an automotive icon. It came from the same creative period of British history when rock n' roll as played at 78 rpm and leather jackets only came in black. The legacy of the café racer lives on at Ace Cafe London. Mark Wilsmore, who has been the guiding inspiration behind the Ace since 1993, has totally restored the site that was reopened in its current form in September 2001 ( Visitors to the café today are just as likely to have traveled from as far afield at Berlin, Cape Town, Sidney, Tokyo or New York as they are from Lands End. Literally thousands of riders drop by to enjoy a cup of tea or a meal with other enthusiasts. With passion remaining constant, the talk is still about motorbikes.

For 18 years, the Ace Cafe London Reunion has been a key date on the global motorcycle calendar. Some have called it "the world's coolest motorcycle event." This year's Reunion includes the classic "Brighton Burn-up" and "Ride with the Rockers." Check out full details at:

Keeping with tradition and paying homage to the vintage speed machines that ruled the streets of London and those who rode them, Dime City Cycles is helping usher in the next generation cafe racer here in the United States by launching their grand opening event on May 14th in partnership with Ace Cafe. Mark Wilsmore himself, along with other key members Dime City Cycles – Vintage Speed Machines – 2025 Lake Ave. SE – Largo, FL 33771 of the Ace Cafe, will be present at Dime City Cycles grand opening event where a temporary Ace Cafe will be erected for the duration of the celebration and offering classic Ace Cafe beverages, snacks and memorabilia.

In addition, Mark Wilsmore will be judging the "Classic Cafe Racer" class in the vintage ride-in bike show presenting the trophy on behalf of the Ace and everything that the marquee stands for. A commemorative Ace Cafe/Dime City Cycles t-shirt will be presented and made available to mark the beginning of this fantastic relationship and journey into the next generation of "cafe racers" being forged on the streets, in the garages...and soon to be Ace Cafe's of North America. Beginning next year, gearheads and petrolheads on this side of the pond will have an Ace Cafe of their own. Arrangements for the first in a collection of ten authentic Ace Cafes are close to being finalized. These new Ace Cafe restaurant and motorsports gathering venues will bring all the heritage, atmosphere and enthusiasm of the original Ace, and feature the signature looks of the original along with great food, live music and daily events. Stay tuned!

Join Ace Cafe, Dime City Cycles and HD Theater's Cafe Racer TV who will be on site filming the entire event for a memorable and historic day!

Share This Photo X