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Ace Café to Close Early

The Ace Café has decided to close early on Fridays for the remainder of this summer – 6pm instead of the traditional late night – in a move to prevent a licence review which could have more serious consequences. The 6pm closing time will be in place until 1st September.

Mark Willsmore, Managing Director of Britain’s most famous biker café, told MCN that the trouble originated when the Metropolitan Police seized four bikes at the Ace on a Friday evening in June. “The police were all over the place,” he said, “(and) seized three motorcycles, which I anticipate, though I don’t know, had no insurance or something because there weren’t arrests. Also there was a guy who was stopped and arrested in possession of a stolen bike, so a good result.”

Soon after, Mark Willsmore called the licencing authority, which reminded him of the terms of the Ace Café’s licence. It seems that not taking action could have led to the police ordering a closure, and a licence review, which in turn could have led to a complete closure of the Ace for three months. “We cannot risk being closed for three months,” added Willsmore. “It was clear to my co-directors and I that we must close on Friday, we cannot risk this at all.”

Jim Freeman, Chair of the BMF, said: “That’s hard on the Ace, let’s hope that the Directors manage to tough it out, the loss of revenue from one of the busiest nights of the week is not a light matter. The Ace’s problem, if it has one, is that such a landmark venue attracts all types, and that includes the ‘bad hats’. Roll on September.”

Written by Peter Henshaw

Top image courtesy of Ace Cafe