The partners previously operated a design office in Huntsville. They planned to open a gallery for hand-made furnishings, but decided to serve coffee and lunches as they thought through their business plan. They designed the interiors and created a logo based on the flag of Wrzesien's native Poland, ornamented with the wings of the Hussars who brought coffee to Germany and Austria.
The café served breakfast and lunch accompanied with baked goods and fresh-roasted Primavera coffees. In its early years much of the space functioned as a retail showroom for antiques, gifts, stationery and home decor. In 2010 the restaurant began offering a full menu with table service for Sunday Brunch and on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. As the dining space expanded, the retail offerings contracted.
On January 5, 2017 a small fire broke out in the kitchen. Though extinguished before it affected the structure, it caused extensive smoke and water damage to equipment and the restaurant was forced to close for thorough cleaning and rebuilding. It reopened on April 24. The business closed due to losses from the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic.
- Cuthbert, Matt (December 12, 2007) "Urban Standard a welcome addition to near-desolate street." The Birmingham News
- Pelfrey, David (February 21, 2008) "Not Your Standard Fare." Black & White
- Andrews, Sarah (May 7, 2008) "Urban Standard is anything but standard." Samford Crimson
- Folse, Molly (July 28, 2008) "Setting the Urban Standard: New downtown spot brings European flair to Birmingham." Birmingham Weekly
- Horn, Jason (March 28, 2011) "Ten spots: To get a good cup of joe." B-Metro'
- Harvey, Fletcher (April 6, 2011) "Birmingham's Urban Standard: A fun place with funky charm that's still a work in progress." The Birmingham News
- Urban Standard website