Introducing Chickadee: A Sandwich Shop Hatched by the Pandemic

by Charlottesville29

Just as pandemic babies are now populating the world, so too are restaurants produced by the pandemic. Chickadee opened last week in the former home of Bluegrass Grill and Bakery.

Owners Tricia Zawhorodny and fiancé David Stone turned to a common pastime to cope with the isolation of the pandemic: bread-baking. As they honed their brioche while social distancing, they started using it as a vehicle for breakfast sandwiches, some of them quite elaborate, drawing on Stone’s lengthy experience as a chef.

Another common effect of the pandemic is how the change in work schedules left some restaurant industry workers reconsidering whether to return to the grind that restaurant work can require. Stone has cooked in Charlottesville for years, most recently as sous chef of The Local. Like many industry veterans, when restaurants began to resume typical hours, Stone was unsure about the late nights his career had long demanded. Making restaurant life even less appealing was the pull of the toddler that Stone and Zawhorodny share.

Bread. Sandwiches. A better lifestyle. And a child at home.

Chickadee, a breakfast and lunch sandwich spot was born. “Dave and I wanted to continue in the industry after COVID, but during the daylight and with healthier work schedules,” said Zawhorodny.

This is very good news for Charlottesville sandwich-lovers. After working on their bread throughout the pandemic, they brought in baking expert Chris Martin to help them dial it in. The delicious bread they developed together serves as the foundation for a menu of epic sandwiches that showcase Stone’s work in the kitchen, several of which are already receiving honorable mention on The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches.

Now open, Wednesday through Sunday for breakfast and lunch.