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Urban Standard opened its doors in November 2007 after a year of planning. The initial idea was to open a workshop/gallery, where the public could see the work of Tomek Wrzesien, the proprietor, as well the work of a rotating cast of local artists. That idea merged into a coffee and lunch spot complete with antiques.
In the beginning, before Urban Standard had a home, Tomek and his friends Nancy, Buck and Jane Brock, spent months developing menu items and testing them out. Polish flavors and family recipes round out the daily menu selections while lovely fresh coffee from Birmingham 's own boutique roaster, Primavera, provides the buzz.
One of the things making Urban so charming is the character riddled space it occupies. Having grown up in Poland , Tomek is quite familiar with the sophisticated café culture of the eastern European capitals. While the setting is purely American, the accent is definitely European. Tomek's dedicated friends stepped in to help renovate this former office building, painstakingly chipping away decades of errant plaster and concrete.
Why downtown? Urban Standard wants to bolster a growing community of loft dwellers, students, creative thinkers and busy professionals. It has quickly become a favorite haunt for anyone in the neighborhood, and more importantly, a destination for those not normally downtown.