Cal Lu Alum Shares Unique Flavors at Urbane Cafe

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Every sandwich at Urbane Cafe starts with hearth-baked bread. The cafe chain was founded by Cal Lutheran alum Tom Holt in 2003, and there are now 17 locations in California, including one in Thousand Oaks.  Photo by Katie May- Photojournalist.

Every sandwich at Urbane Cafe starts with hearth-baked bread. The cafe chain was founded by Cal Lutheran alum Tom Holt in 2003, and there are now 17 locations in California, including one in Thousand Oaks.
Photo by Katie May- Photojournalist.

Back in 2003, California Lutheran University alum Tom Holt founded Urbane Cafe, a sandwich and salad restaurant with unique flavors.

With the Thousand Oaks location just a few minutes’ drive from campus, the spot has become a favorite among students and other community members.

“One of my favorite things about Urbane is when you walk in and you can see them cooking the bread. Every time I go there I’m like ‘oh hey, there’s my bread!’ It’s a warming feeling,” said Mason Heller, a senior at Cal Lutheran.

Heller experienced Urbane’s food for the first time in high school and currently visits at least once or twice a month.

According to Urbane Cafe’s website, CEO Holt founded Urbane with the belief that every great sandwich starts with fresh bread, so he designed the cafe around a hearth oven. More than 15 years later, every sandwich is still put together with bread cooked in the oven right in front of customers, along with locally grown ingredients and a variety of sauces.

There are currently 17 Urbane locations around California, with the Thousand Oaks location being the 10th to open.

Senior Mac Comeau also discovered Urbane in high school and said she used to visit with friends all the time.

“That southwest chicken is so good.  I’ve gotten it every time I’ve been. It usually comes with a side salad, but the sandwich is so good I usually never get to the salad. Their aioli sauce is to die for, the chicken is always fresh and juicy. When I can manage to eat the salad, too, I always look forward to the mandarin oranges they put on top,” Comeau said. 

Heller also recommends the southwest chicken sandwich. He said it is a very unique Mexican-style sandwich with beans, corn, guacamole and chicken, which he can’t find anywhere else.

Ana Leng, a Moorpark College sophomore, is another frequent customer at the Thousand Oaks Urbane. She said she visits with her family or boyfriend, Moorpark College sophomore Brian Chafin, at least once a week.

Both Leng and Chafin appreciate the service at Urbane. Leng said she’s always greeted by a smiling employee and Chafin said he visits often enough that the staff remember his name and face.

"It’s a warming feeling when you walk in and you see your bread being made, then you order and that’s what they use," said Mason Heller, a senior at Cal Lutheran.  Photo by Katie May- Photojournalist.

“It’s a warming feeling when you walk in and you see your bread being made, then you order and that’s what they use,” said Mason Heller, a senior at Cal Lutheran.
Photo by Katie May- Photojournalist.

“I think their menu is amazing, but it’s really pricey being a college student, so I don’t come here as often as I’d like,” Chafin said. “But the sandwiches have such a unique taste, so it’s worth it.”

Rose Riehl
Reporter

Editor’s note: This article was updated on April 30, 2019 to reflect that Mac Comeau should have been referred to as “she.”