Friday, December 11, 2009

Gift Cards Now Available!


Give the gift of coffee this Christmas! The Urban Studio Cafe now has gift cards for sale in denominations of $25, $15, and $5. Your gift of an Urban Studio Cafe gift card will be appreciated on two levels:

First, you'll be giving the gift of top-notch coffee (the best white chocolate mocha around!), our signature pretzel roll sandwiches, and all the other goodies on our menu;

Second, by supporting The Urban Studio Cafe, you're supporting our non-profit mission of community-building, promoting creative arts, job creation and job training, and revitalization of our community.

Stop by the Cafe to pick up your gift cards today!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Urban Studio Café ARTY PARTY!

The Urban Studio Cafe logo in cross-stitch pattern to honor the winter knitting circle that we'll soon launch. It's a great way to build relationships, talk ideas for improving our community/city, and stay warm on chilly winter nights.

Drum roll please!

The Urban Studio Café presents a night of community celebration and art. THIS Friday, December 11th, we will be open from 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. for our ARTY PARTY, giving you an exclusive opportunity to preview our NEW art exhibit! Come see the talent of young, local artists from the Confluence Academy Elementary School on display. We'll be serving drinks both warm and cold.

If that's not enough, there's even more reason to come to Old North Friday night:

A few doors down, local preservationists will host another Anti-Wrecking Ball to raise funds for ongoing legal efforts. Darren Snow, host of KDHX’s “Rocket 88” program, is the DJ for the party. All who attend will be entered into a raffle for prizes from STL Style, St. Louis Cinemas and other local businesses. The venue will be a new community gallery in Old North St. Louis in the heart of the nearly-completed 14th Street redevelopment project. Friday, December 11 from 8:00 p.m. - Midnight. Old North St. Louis Community Gallery, 2700 N. 14th Street. Cost: $10 (includes beer, and other drinks available at cost). The Anti-Wrecking Ball will raise funds for the ongoing appeal of this year’s ruling by St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Robert Dierker that citizens have no standing under city preservation law.

Old North will be rocking and rolling on Friday night!! Please join us for a latte fun!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Some Esteemed Visitors

The Urban Studio Cafe recently received a surprise visit from two inspirational movers-and-shakers, Rick Lowe and Jess Garz. Rick Lowe is one of the founders of Houston-based Project Row Houses, a large-scale development founded on the principal that art can be the basis for revitalizing depressed inner-city neighborhoods. Rick founded Project Row Houses (PRH) in 1993. Through the vision and successes of PRH, Rick has become a powerful thought-leader, inspiring people throughout the country and world. Rick was in town to receive the Skandalaris Award for Excellence in Art Architecture at the "Economies: Art + Architecture" conference hosted at Washington University.

Jess Garz is the Project Manager of Transforma Projects, a collective of artists and creative professionals working to unite creative thinking with the physical and social needs of New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina. Rick is on the National Resource Team that helped shape Transforma Projects.

It was great to connect with Rick and Jess at the Cafe. Not only are they social change power-houses, but they're also all around great people. Make sure you visit the links above and check out their inspiring work combining community, art, and architecture.

Community Makes the World Go Round

Caption: Neighbor and friend, Teresa, hosting a yard sale to raise funds for The Urban Studio Cafe

Before The Urban Studio Cafe opened, one of our main goals was the creation of a community gathering space--a space that would serve as an informal meeting place for neighbors to get to know one another, share ideas for the community, work together to address concerns, and generally strengthen the social fabric of our community.

Since we opened in September, the Cafe has done just that. On a typical Saturday morning, the Cafe is full of neighbors, young and old, sipping drinks, munching on goodies, and participating in one of the most important and enjoyable acts of humanity: relationship building.

Neighbors who had never met before are now friends, and friends who hadn't connected in months regularly bump into one another. The Cafe has become the neighborhood living room or the neighborhood "third place," for you sociology buffs.

We keep a library of mugs so that friends and neighbors can enjoy their morning coffee out of their favorite mug. One of our new good friends, Magnolia, travels quite a distance to hang out in Old North and sip out of her cute little cup. And the great thing about The Urban Studio Cafe's mug library is that there are no late fees!

One of our newer neighbors, Ms. Teresa Johnson, moved to Old North St. Louis from Lafayette Square a few months ago and has become a regular in the Cafe. She is in her 70's, and she is a pistol! Ms. Teresa has become such a wonderful fan and supporter of the Cafe that she decided to host a yard sale to raise funds to support our work. The picture above shows Ms. Teresa selling her wares in front of the Cafe on a recent Fall day. Thanks Teresa!

The response that we have seen in 3 short months is testament to the great need for community gathering places in communities throughout the US. People are fundamentally social creatures--we just need spaces and places to gather and linger. Oh yeah, and food and drink always helps build relationships. Everybody eats, right? Stop on by The Urban Studio Cafe for one of our killer pretzel roll sandwiches, an off-the-hook white chocolate mocha, or any of the other tasty menu items. While you're at it, check out the incredible historic revitalization of 14th Street, AKA Crown Square, to get a glimpse into both the past and the future of Old North. See you soon.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Urban Studio Halloween Party!

The Urban Studio hosted a neighborhood Halloween Party from 5pm - 8pm Halloween night. Approximately 100 spooky, heroic, and fairy-tale kiddos came through the studio to trick-or-treat, play spooky musical chairs, and carve pumpkins. Thanks to everyone who made the night possible: Louise, Claire, Darnell, Natasha, Phil, and Magnolia! More photos below and more to come soon!

Caption: A devil and a butterfly enjoy some popcorn and marshmallow pretzel spiders!

Caption: Superman and woman!

Caption: Early in the day a princess, two dalmatians, a new-school GI Joe, and a fine-dresser gather round to check out a Handy Manny Talkin' Toolbox

Caption: The Cafe aglow with pumpkins

Caption: A close-up of the pumpkins designed by neighborhood kiddos

Caption: Transformer borrows Where's Waldo's glasses and hat

Caption: Sleepy Pepper!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Coffee Cup Art!

Don't worry, we haven't forgotten our community arts roots! On Sunday, October 17th, The Urban Studio Cafe held an art/planting/recycling afternoon where we made Gary and Glenda Grassheads. Throughout the week, we collected used coffee cups. On Sunday, neighborhood kids designed faces on the cups and then planted grass inside the cups that will grow to be "hair" for the faces. Everyone had a blast! Stop by the cafe and see our Grassheads- all of the faces are wonderfully creative, and the grasshair has begun to sprout! Thanks to Courtney Henson, artist extraordinaire, for coming up with the idea and coordinating the project!

Courtney helps Adrienne plant seeds in her coffee cup:

Drawing faces...

Ahmad focuses on his face design:

Spongebob Squarepants!

Cameron shows off his Gary Grasshead!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Art Opening at the Cafe!

You are cordially invited to the John Wyllie Art Opening at The Urban Studio Café!

Friday, October 23rd 7-9 pm

Join The Urban Studio Café for a spectacular night of art and music! View local artist John Wyllie’s block prints and watercolor paintings and enjoy live music from Last To Show First To Go. The Café will be open for business, serving their scrumptious coffee and espresso drinks, baked goods, desserts, and sandwiches.

We would love to see you. Please bring guests and friends and spread the word!
Follow us on twitter!
Become a fan on facebook!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Discount Days at The Urban Studio Cafe!

Discount Days at The Urban Studio Cafe!

EDUCATOR MONDAY: All teachers, professors, tutors, educators receive 15% off entire purchase!
TOOL BELT TUESDAY: All trades people (construction workers, plumbers, welders, electricians, etc) receive 15% off entire purchase!
WEAR-A-TIE WEDNESDAY: Wear a tie and receive 15% off entire purchase
PARENT THURSDAY: All parents receive 15% off entire purchase. If you bring in your child, receive 1 FREE goldfish cup or animal cracker cup with purchase!
UNIFORM FRIDAY: Police Officers, Firefighters, Military personnel or any other public service professionals with a uniform receive 15% off purchase!
STUDENT SATURDAY: Show your student ID and receive a FREE small coffee with purchase of $5.00 or more!

See you soon!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Opening Grandly!

The Urban Studio Cafe had its Grand Opening on Thursday, September 17, welcoming a variety of old and new friends into the cafe. KSDK Channel 5 news covered our event, Robbyn Wahby from the Mayors office and Grace Hill President/ CEO Roderick Jones cut our ribbon, and many enjoyed the complimentary croissants and coffee. We're now officially open Monday through Saturday from 8am to 2pm. Please stop by!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cafe is OPEN!

The Urban Studio Cafe has finally opened its doors for business! Come by between 8am and 2pm any day of the week to enjoy a hearty turkey pretzel roll sandwich, scrumptious peach smoothie, or a delicious cafe mocha. Spread the word!

Your friendly weekday baristas, Darnell and Louise!

A full house on opening day!

Neighborhood kiddos enjoy the cafe for the awesome hot chocolate and the complimentary coloring books!

Morning sunlight in the cafe.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Architecture for Humanity Joins Forces with The Urban Studio Cafe!

Huge thanks to Architecture for Humanity for spending the weekend building cabinets and shelving for the cafe. Check out the pictures from our workday!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Urban Studio Cafe on Channel 5 news!!!

Caption: Thanks to KSDK Reporter Ashley Yarchin for sharing our story.

The Urban Studio Cafe was featured on KSDK Channel 5 news tonight at 6pm!

Check out the video on KSDK's website:

Thanks to Ashley Yarchin at KSDK for giving the Urban Studio its first TV appearance!

If you would like to support our work and help us reach our fundraising goal, you can donate online through The Urban Studio Cafe Facebook page:

OR write a check to Grace Hill Settlement House and send it to us at:

The Urban Studio Cafe
2815 N. 14th St.
St. Louis, MO 63107

Friday, July 31, 2009

Finally Looking Like a Coffee Shop...

Espresso machine and coffee brewer are INSTALLED! Thanks to Kaldi's Coffee for loaning The Urban Studio Cafe such beautiful machines. We're getting close, folks!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Urban Studio Cafe featured in the St. Louis Post Dispatch!

The St. Louis Post Dispatch highlights The Urban Studio Cafe in Monday's front page article on new non-profits. Check it out HERE.

The STL Today website also features a video covering our sandwich contest. Thanks to Post Dispatch photographer Dawn Majors who hung out with us for the day! Check out some of Dawn's photos here:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Be a Taste-Tester at The Urban Studio Cafe Sandwich Contest!

Do you have exceptionally distinguishing taste buds when it comes to sandwiches? Do you fall asleep dreaming of pastrami and rye? Did you request a giant sandwich instead of birthday cake as a child? Then we need YOU!

The Urban Studio Cafe will be holding a sandwich contest at the North City farmer's market on Saturday, July 25 from 9am to noon. We are looking to sell a "signature sandwich" at the cafe, and we want your help determining what that special sandwich will be. At the farmer's market, you will be able to sample sandwiches created by a variety of chefs around the city and then vote on your favorite. (Yum!) We'll also take suggestions for other food items you'd like to see.

It'll be a great time. Be there or be square!

Monday, July 20, 2009


Our goal of raising $50,000 is in sight! We're SO close! Help us open our doors by investing in The Urban Studio Cafe.

A few options: Donate by credit card via Facebook by going to our Causes page:

OR send a check to:

The Urban Studio Cafe
2815 N. 14th St.
St. Louis, MO

Please make the check out to Grace Hill and put The Urban Studio in the subject line.

Thanks, friends!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Proudly presenting...THE URBAN STUDIO CAFE LOGO!

And voila. Our long-awaited logo! We hope you like it, 'cause we sure do!
Many thanks to Lynda McClure for her brilliant design skills!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Spotlight on... Charlotte Holden!

She began her foray into photography at The Urban Studio's summer photo program in 2007, and now Charlotte Holden is continuing down the creative path to St. Louis Community College to major in Fine Art! As her instructor at the Urban Studio, it was clear to me that Charlotte had an eye for photography and the talent to excel. I am thrilled that Charlotte continued to explore the arts and photography and I can't wait to see what wonderful masterpieces she will create. She's a skilled artist and an all-around stellar gal. Check out Charlotte's art below!  

Charlotte's photograph taken during The Urban Studio summer photography program in 2007. The picture was chosen to be the cover of Picture The Future, the book produced from program participant's works.

The Slide won 3rd place in Digital Art at Lindenwood University's High School exhibit, 2nd place in Photography/Digital at St. Charles County Arts Council's High School show and Honorable Mention at SLCC Florissant Valley's High School art show

The Caterpillar won Honorable Mention in the Photographer's Forum Fall Competition

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Urban Studio Cafe Grows Roots! Check Out Our New Tree!

Welcome, little Redbud! 
Thanks to Bowood Farms for donating lovely new greenery (er, red-ery) to the cafe. This tree moves us towards our goal of creating a street presence that invites, engages, and inspires. Hurrah! 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Urban Studio Cafe Makes Headlines!

The Urban Studio Cafe makes the headlines! Check out this great article written by Kristen Hare at the St. Louis Beacon!

Change-trepreneurs: Three under 30 work on social entrepreneurship, cafe in the city

If you would like to cover the cafe in your publication or news outlet, please contact:
Claire Wolff
Project Manager
(919) 454-4240

The Urban Studio Cafe Happy Hour!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our happy hour on Thursday to celebrate the cafe's SEIC success! A huge thanks to Kevin Brennan of Brennan's Wine Bar for providing our guests with a lovely spread of potential cafe offerings.