Urban started because its founder, Andy Salyards, needed a job. An ex-merchant marine who has a mechanical engineering degree and master degree in business, had moved to Florida from California for his wife’s job and was trying to figure out what he was going to do next. After researching recipes and plenty of BBQ R&D he launched Urban Brew and BBQ.
A build out ensued which included sawing Augusta blocks in half for the back bar and gluing pennies on the bathroom floor and the first Urban opened June of 2013. The local neighborhood of Historic Kenwood was incredibly supportive and quickly staff was added and additional seating.
Then a larger project was taken on – the restoration and repurposing of an old gas station into a restaurant and brewery. June of 2015 fried chicken and biscuits began being served at Urban Comfort. By January of 2016 the brewery portion opened and we’ve been making our beer ever since.
If that wasn’t enough, a space became available between Urban Brew and BBQ and Urban Comfort which is now the home for Urban Deli and Drafts. Initially the space was used for storage and over time the present concept was developed from the need for Urban to make its own bread and the ability to create in house cured meats and other deli staples.
Also during that time a space became available downtown and another item that is commonly used in our restaurants, ice cream, was focused on so that we could start making it in house. That led to the opening of Urban Creamery.
To cap the year 2016 off, a goal was made for Urban Restaurants Group to be employee owned by 2020. Currently we’re on pace to beat that goal easily.
Create a new type of organizational structure that revolutionizes the food industry.
The way we are going to do it is by adhering to our values which are:
- Ownership: Be given the opportunity to be an owner, and act like one.
- Family: Family comes first.
- Local: Emphasize relationship with customers, employees, vendors, community.
- Quality: Do things right.
- Integrity: Do what you say you’re going to do.
- Ambition: Pursue opportunity.
- Craft: If we sell it, we make it.
Our mission is to be an employee owned scratch food company that grows people and opportunity.