CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A new Southern-style restaurant has opened in the Belmont neighborhood in Charlottesville.

Mockingbird is the newest venture by critically-acclaimed chef Melissa Close-Hart. The James Beard Award semifinalist opened the restaurant in the space that formerly held her restaurant Junction, which closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Mockingbird is a nod to Close-Hart's Alabama roots and the name is a reference to the novel "To Kill a Mockingbird." 

The menu includes southern cuisine like a basket of biscuits, chicken and waffles, pot roast, and shrimp and grits.

"It's been a dream for a while, Melissa has been wanting to make the southern-style food that she grew up on and cuisine she's loved for a while," said Alicia Whitestone, Front of House Manager for Mockingbird. "Being a chef, you go to a variety of places making food that the menus have there, and now she can really focus on what she loves."

Mockingbird is now open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday. To learn more or to make a reservation, click here.