Our Story

You could say that the idea for Urban Cookhouse started in the early 1920’s…

The entrepreneurial spirit that UC was founded on is illustrated in a photograph that hangs on the wall at both Urban Cookhouse locations. It is a picture of the owner’s great-grandfather, Ralph James Tomaino and his children; Pasquale, Josephine, and Alfonso. Ralph immigrated to the United States from Italy in search of better opportunities. He landed on New York’s Ellis Island in 1920. After arriving in the U.S. and settling in New Jersey, he opened a business that would stay in the family for over 50 years. A large portion of the profit for the R.J. Tomaino Market came from the sale of vegetables that were displayed on two sets of large wooden steps outside the store and much of the inspiration for the use of local produce on the UC’s menu comes from this family photo.

Owners, David and Andrea Snyder in front of Homewood location

Flash forward 90 years

The idea for Urban Cookhouse was developed and in June of 2010, UC opened for business in downtown Homewood, Alabama. One year later, plans were finalized for UC to open its second location. The secret to its success isn’t in the menu or the welcoming interior, but lies within the family of people that work at Urban Cookhouse each day. Today it is a vibrant, bustling restaurant consistently serving excellent tasting food with exceptional customer service.

Why does our food taste so good?

We use the freshest ingredients available with an emphasis on supporting the local farmer. We not only buy local produce for use in our kitchen, but we also sponsor and manage the Homewood and Summit Farmer's Markets.
Most of our meats are cooked on kamado-style cookers (a.k.a “The Big Green Egg or “The Kamado Joe”). This means that our pork, steak, shrimp, and turkey are packed with flavor without the added fat.

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