Industrial meets Southern comfort in this 120 year old building in historic downtown Henderson TN… just a small, quaint college town. When you sit down for coffee at UrbanHouse, you’re tasting unique, handcrafted quality. Here at UrbanHouse – The Venue, we welcome you to experience third wave coffee and our historic event space.
Robin and Matt Bernard were high school sweethearts who ended up becoming coffee artisans. As parents of 6, the Bernards needed an affordable go-to place for date nights. Coffee shops became their third place, where they could enjoy each other’s company over a steaming cup of caffeine. This is where the dream of UrbanHouse began…
In early 2007, Robin and Matt purchased the industrial building with dreams of rejuvenating a little corner of historic downtown to create a cool place to hang out in the city! With Robin’s creative ingenuity and Matt’s industrious nature, they were both ready to jump in headfirst and begin a new adventure that would build community and create an infectious vibe in their hometown. For these two coffee lovers, as they traveled the pastoral backroads between Memphis and Nashville in search of specialty coffee, they realized there was a great need for that in their small corner of the world. This need, combined with a passionate desire to rediscover the art of connecting with people to go beyond just a great cup of coffee, would fuel them into one of the most rewarding and creative opportunities of a lifetime.
During a casual evening with friends, they found the term “UrbanHouse” from the Urban Dictionary online. The definition? An urbanhouse is a “cool place to hang out in the city.” This is what they wanted for their building: somewhere that people could meet, have fun, make connections, and also enjoy excellent coffee.
Matt and Robin began to build that dream from the ground up—designing, building, re-designing, back up and punt, redo, you name it! The twelve year project was detailed and intentional down to each and every nail placed in the wood. “Without the help of great friends, family, and true community support, this never would have become what it is today. Bringing new life to old things and re-purposing it for a higher purpose requires a well-thought out plan and a lot of patience. Honestly, we had no idea it would take this long but are so humbled and grateful for the outcome,” says Robin.
In 2011, Robin and Matt began using the space part-time as a private venue for intimate weddings, paint parties, private dining, etc… all while holding down full-time jobs to fund the renovations. In April of 2018, Robin left a corporate job, enrolled in barista/business school in Texas and opened the front of the house as an ESPRESSO CAFE to the public. Matt supported Robin with her aspirations and soon developed his own homemade cinnamon rolls to complement his wife’s barista skills. Together, along with their daughters, they have created a unique experience combining specialty coffees & teas with homemade food & dessert recipes using seasonal, local ingredients. They haven’t looked back.
“As a local, family owned business, it’s important for us to be relevant and exceed expectations in quality. We want to leave a lasting legacy and we believe the best of things can happen and should happen in the small towns,” says Robin. Matt & Robin continue to update the space, continue to dream, and continue to move forward with future plans to expand.