“Have you seen this post on Orlando Entertainment News? It looks like Ace Cafe is closing soon. Is it true?”– BUNGALOWER READER
The short answer is, we’re not sure.
Local scene blog, Orlando Entertainment News (Website), shared a story on May 4 with the headline “Ace Cafe to be Razed!,” which has obviously managed to catch some attention online.
While nothing official has been announced by Ace Cafe Orlando (Facebook | Website), there are a number of concerning tells that lend some credibility to the website’s claims. As of this post, all official emails between Bungalower and Ace Cafe management have gone unanswered, but when Bungalower staff messaged them via personal social accounts, we were given the following response.
“Hello, thank you for reaching out. Currently, we do not have any information on closing. If and when the difficult decision to close our doors is made by our owners, we will make an official announcement on our social media channels and let our followers know directly.“– ACE CAFE ORLANDO INSTAGRAM
When we questioned Ace Cafe staff, who wished to remain anonymous, we were told that while management had not shared anything with them about the venue closing, no events were currently being scheduled past May 28th, and the majority of them were already looking for jobs elsewhere.
Another anonymous staff member reached out to share that a number of their coworkers had been let go this week and when we asked Ace Cafe if that were true, they simply stated, “No comment.”
Ace Cafe, which is located at 100 W. Livingston Street [GMap], opened back in May 2019. The 35,000 SF complex opened with multiple dining and bar spaces, a gift shop, a motorcycle dealership, a gallery, and more.
The building was first used as a hardware and mill supply shop by Harry P. Leu, the namesake of Leu Botanical Gardens in Audubon Park, and was built in 1922.
History Lesson: Leu was even kidnapped from the lot in 1939 while exiting the shop by three men who made off with his car and his cash and was then forced to walk home from Bithlo. Eventually, they found his stolen car up in Tallahassee.
Through the years, the Harry P. Leu building has served as the home of Orlando Weekly, H20 Church, and the Edge, before being converted into the first American location of the Ace Cafe.
According to Ashley Papagni, Public Information Officer for the Office of the Mayor, the building is considered eligible for the National Register of Historic Places but it is not considered to be protected at this time and is labeled as an “Unprotected Historic Resource.” That means if the building is purchased by a developer, they would be within their rights to knock it down.
This is a developing story and we will share a statement from Ace Cafe when/if they choose to make anything public.
Do you have something you want us to look into for you? Send your question to [email protected] and we’ll check it out!