Welcome to the new Urban Eats, now a Kitchen Incubator and MarketPlace
2020 – present
In March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Urban Eats transitioned from a restaurant to a food incubator, shared kitchen, and neighborhood marketplace for entrepreneurs and independent, place-based food businesses. Shared Kitchen memberships and Merchant memberships at Urban Eats enable local businesses to gain access to opportunities for growth and revenue that may not be available otherwise.
Here at Urban Eats, we continue to live out our mission and use our innovative spirit to ensure that our community stays healthy and safe. Our space may look different, but we maintain the heart of brick-and-mortar restaurants. Times are tough, but as we have always said, food has the power to bring our community together!
Urban Eats Cafe
2008 – 2020
In 2008, after a couple years of failed cafe/coffee house tenants, we reluctantly decided to open a fast-casual restaurant concept ourselves to offer neighbors healthy, but affordable, fare. Urban revitalization using real food, local art and providing community gathering spaces. Food, Place and People, on a Mission. Urban Eats Cafe was born!
We opened the cafe on May 24th of 2008 (without any staff!), at the beginning of the Great Recession! With Urban Eats Parkside in the Carondelet Rec Complex, and Urban Eats Cafe Central in the newly renovated Central Library Downtown, opening in 2010 and 2014 respectively, we were fortunate to have an opportunity to expand our urban renewal concept to other emerging neighborhoods. Supported by our ever-expanding Box Lunch and Catering arms, our Retail cafes did their parts as anchors in very challenging neighborhoods.
The Beginning of Urban Eats
On a happenstance Sunday trip to Iron Barley back in April 2005, a circuitous route (okay, we were lost) took us down Meramec St., and through the heart of the Dutchtown neighborhood of St. Louis. We were stunned by the faded beauty of the streetscape, and immediately fell in love!
So enamored, in fact, that the very next month we bought the historic Liermann building at the corner of Meramec and Virginia. With plans to convert the 2nd floor of the former furniture company to a residential loft, 1st floor office space, neighborhood cafe, and business incubator, we got right to work! Construction started in June, and by October, the first phase of development was complete.
We formulated a vision to rebuild the neighborhood, hoping that this new development would become an anchor for further development along the street. We started the Downtown Dutchtown Business Association (DT2), and became entrenched in the community.