May 31, 2010
A café racer is a type of bike as well as a type of biker. Both references were established in the 1960s English counterculture. Owner Russell Walters based the concept of his bike-friendly sandwich trailer off of the historically popular Ace Cafe in London. The Ace Cafe was originally opened in 1938 and because it was open 24 hours a day, it attracted the younger motorcycle crowd who was starting to listen to that rebellious new sound of rock and roll. Russ is no poser, he drives a Royal Enfield. He started his trailer during SXSW of 2010 and would like to expand his business to a brick and mortar model in the future.
Before diving into the world of food trailers, Russ was doing interior design. He also had some experience working with his family in the food industry. His wife's family have established several restaurants here in town, and his father and grandfather were chefs on a freight ship to Hawaii. Working for himself was a large motivator in starting Cafe Racer, and his favorite item on the menu is a delicious grilled cheese with bacon and pear that he calls 'the Cooper'. When he's not chowing on one of his own creations, Russ gives props to the #19 bus, an English double decker bus close to his current location on East 6th that serves up cheesesteaks as long as your arm. For all new trailer vendors out there, Russ' advice is to have a good accountant.