On any given night, you can find me relaxing at home watching old episode of Gilmore Girls on Netflix. Some of my favorite scenes involve Lorelai and Rory Gilmore having coffee at the local diner, Luke’s. They drink coffee, talk about life, work, and more in the small restaurant, making it their home away from home. I love the characters on the show and I adore coffee probably as much as the Gilmore women do on the show. And just like Lorelai and Rory, I happen to live in a small town, not unlike the fictional Stars Hollow setting of the show. But there is one thing Henderson didn’t have—our own Luke’s. We needed a place where anyone of any age could go with friends to hang out, study, relax, create new ideas, and more. Now we do!
While browsing Facebook this summer, I noticed several posts about an espresso cafe’ opening inside a venue called UrbanHouse. That definitely got my attention. After all, espresso is even better than coffee; it is an art form. I knew I had to be there the moment the door opened. And I was. I also wasn’t the only person excited to see a new business open in Henderson. I walked in at around 7:01 am, smiled and thought, “Yes. This is exactly what we needed.”
I was immediately drawn to the industrial-meets-Southern comfort décor thatfelt like I was stepping into a coffee shop in a completely different city. It reminded me of something you might see on 12 South in Nashville, so many places in Los Angeles, or even in the heart of New York City. But it was still so warm and friendly, unlike so many coffee shops where everyone just comes and tunes out the world with a laptop or an iPad. I was greeted by several employees and wasn’t rushed when deciding what to order. I asked for an almond milk latte with white chocolate and an “Eagle Eye,” which is a delectable avocado smash toast seasoned with red pepper flakes and topped with an
egg. I sat at one of the high-top tables and made small talk with a few people sitting around me. Everyone I spoke to expressed how glad they were that we now had something like UrbanHouse the Venue and how much it was needed. As I enjoyed my latte and toast, I watched as people poured in to do the same. It quickly became a microcosm of Henderson. I was so enthralled with the atmosphere and the espresso that I knew I had to come back. I did come back—every day for the rest of the week. I wanted to enjoy the atmosphere and feeling of community that came from being at UrbanHouse
Through those two weeks to now, I was able to talk with owner Robin Bernard and the volunteers and employees that help make UrbanHouse the Venue what it is—a second home, a third place, a place to gather with friends, meet new friends and be with the people that make Henderson the small town that we love.
In talking about the business as a whole, I was able to learn so many things about her, the journey to UrbanHouse, and this dream that has been brewing since purchasing the historic building in 2007. With women-owned businesses being some of the fastest and most successful businesses in the United States, I was interested to know Robin’s perspective and journey.
Robin’s background in music, art and design have always been a huge part of her life as evidenced by the vibe at UrbanHouse. How fitting it is, too, that her business just happens to be located right behind a park named for one of Henderson’s own empowering women—Sue Shelton White. I asked Robin about how she began her vision and journey to owning a business, and she responded, “We recognized a need to provide a third place in this area that could be culturally relevant while sharing our love for music, art and coffee with everyday people in our communities.”
She and her husband have expressed their gratitude for the awesome people that have supported them along the way… wonderful family, great friends and volunteers that have cheered them on even to this very day!
In summing up her journey to build UrbanHouse the Venue, Robin will tell you this all comes back to what is so important to her—faith, family, and community, as well as leaving a legacy for other aspiring female entrepreneurs. When asking what she would say to her daughters and to other women with an unsure dream that they may hesitate to pursue, she didn’t hesitate when she answered, “When a woman understands her worth, she can accomplish just about anything, and embrace how God has uniquely made her with confidence.”
Check out the slideshow below for more yummy espresso and pics. If you’re local to the Henderson/Jackson area, definitely go check out UrbanHouse!
About UrbanHouse the Venue:
UrbanHouse is a hip coffee house that serves artisanal espresso and local seasonal cafe eats & sweets in an open industrial venue that is 100 + years old. It was established in 2011 with the Espresso Café being open to the public in July 2018. This dream has been brewing for many years, and they are so excited to share it with the community! The venue also hosts and caters intimate weddings, concerts, and art classes, as well as having plans to showcase works by local artists and photographers.
UrbanHouse is located in the heart of historic downtown Henderson, Tennessee, at 113 South Washington Avenue, directly behind the Sue Shelton White Wi-Fi park. Their hours are Monday-Wednesday and Friday, 7:00 am to 6:00 pm; Thursday, 7:00 am to 9:00 pm; and Saturday, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. You can also find them on Facebook at UrbanHouse–The Venue and on Instagram at @Urbanhousevenue. There are even more exciting changes coming this fall with the completion of the other renovations to the building. Robin, the UrbanHouse crew and I invite you to stop by, relax, and enjoy their third-wave coffee experience that you won’t get anywhere else.