Ace Cafe London, Alperton
Originally built in 1938 as a 24-hour transport cafe on the newly built North Circular Road, the Ace Cafe has been a North London landmark for motorcyclists ever since. The current building was a rebuild after WWII, when it was bombed in a raid on the nearby railway yards. The cafe became a magnet for teenagers listening to (and then playing) rock'n'roll in the 50's and 60's and became a logical meeting place for Rockers. It even appeared in the 1964 film Leather Boys before closing in 1969 and becoming a tyre shop. Following the Rocker Reunion movement in the late 90's, the cafe re-opened in 2001, and is now firmly ensconced in motorcycling and classic car circles as the place to go to meet other enthusiasts. The facade is quite striking and definitely evokes a by-gone era. Inside, it looks like a transport cafe, but with beer (including Flowers IPA and Boddingtons), wine and spirits available behind the bar. There's a stage at one end, flanked by classic British bikes, for the live music nights and to the left of the bar is the 'Rockers Shop' for motorcycle gear and Ace Cafe memorabilia. Decent pub grub and regular specials are on the menu and you can entertain you and yer mates with table footy or Sega Rally in this slice of history. Friendly staff do their best to cope, although it can be a struggle at busy times, but they do pretty well. This is definitely a theme bar, but if you like bikes and beer, it's probably one for you. (It does strike us as slightly odd that a place one rides a bike to has such an emphasis on booze - it must be an easy target for the DWI hunters).
29 Jun 2011
As far as the "odd" remark, I've rarely seen bikers slogging down the booze at the Ace...copious quantities of beer and fast motorcycles don't mix. Everytime I'm in London, I make a pilgrimage to the Ace. Since I'm afoot, the beer is of an acceptable range; the food is plentiful, basic, and relatively inexpensive; the atmosphere is a lighter, cleaner, and updated version of the movie "Leather Boys" (the motorcycle and social part of the movie, not the subplot).
Ace Corner, Harlesden, London, NW10 7UD
020 8961 1000
How to get there
Door-to-door journey planner
How to find the Ace Cafe London pub
Turn right out of Stonebridge Park and carry on for about 5 minutes. The cafe is on the right - you shouldn't miss it for the motorcycles outside.