When I first heard of the concept of Urban Butcher, I wondered if it would prove to be more of a butcher shop with a restaurant or a restaurant with a butcher shop. It was immediately evident upon entering the premises that this was indeed primarily a restaurant, though one that features a fully operational butcher shop. The first thing you see as you enter is a cozy lounge area surrounded by floor to ceiling windows (and a glass garage door) that look out onto the Georgia Avenue streetscape.
To your right, there is a long bar which sits in front of more glass garage doors. They could really open this place up to the street when weather permits.
While their initial menu does feature a variety of meats (and fish), most of the food initially served last night was pig-based, and as I just don't dig on swine, I can't really speak to the taste. The opinions I heard were positive, however. I did eventually try the lamb empanadas that were brought around, and they were quite delicious.
They had copies of their menus floating around, and a quick scan identified quite a number of items I'd be very interested in trying. While vegetarians and vegans might not find a whole lot to eat here, that's not really going to be their core customer base. It seems as pescatarians will fare a bit better, as there are a few seafood items available.
Overall, I think Urban Butcher/UrBu has quite a bit of promise, as they have constructed a nice atmosphere in their space and have developed an intriguing menu. Their take-out butcher service should also be an nice option for those who opt to cook at home.
Unrelated, but on my way home last night I passed by Fire Station 1 at about 8:30 and it was packed. Despite being frequently maligned in the comments section of this blog, it must be doing a good business if that's what it looks like on a Tuesday night.