Verbena’s drive towards uncompromising excellence in customer service and accommodation springs from a history that had become pivotal to this customer-focused business.

Verbena had its humble beginning on May 3, 1976 as a small makeshift eatery. "Cozy Nook" was located in the garage of Engr. Pedro Urgello's duplex residence along "Verbena Street", hence its name today. It served mainly taxi drivers trying to get hearty comfort food to get them through their daily grind. The dishes fish head tinola and caldereta were among the top sellers that drew attention to its customers.

Eventually, the reputation of good and affordable food reached office workers of establishments within its vicinity who later made the place their regular eating place. Its popularity grew to gain the moniker "Back Han Palace" since it was located behind the former Great Han Palace restaurant.

The proprietor, Justina T. Urgello, an insightful businesswoman and wife of Engr. Pedro Urgello, shelled out a meager amount about P 1,170 as capital for her small eatery which paid off when business boomed even more. Ten years later, in 1986, Mrs. Justina Urgello loaned P 150,000 from the bank for the construction of a 3-storey lodging house. This came about after her desire to open a safe, clean and affordable boarding/lodging house for medical students of the neighboring medical school.