the kitchen at Zynodoa. Lund began fusing Southern accents with local ingredients, producing legendary dishes such
as pan-roasted free-range chicken and
wasabi grits with local root vegetables.
Chef Lee Gregory arrived from Six
Burner Restaurant in Richmond, Va.,
to assist local businessman Wade
Luhn’s launch of Mockingbird. Their
microbrewery and comfort-food restaurant serves meals such as local bacon-wrapped bison meatloaf and homemade
fries. The handsome restaurant features
the handicrafts of local artisans, incorporating reclaimed regional woods,
soapstone, copper and handblown glass.
Next door is Mockingbird’s listening
room, where well-known roots musicians from around the United States
perform on weekends.
Throughout downtown are half a
dozen live music clubs featuring home-grown musicians. Staunton’s local music
scene—which spawned the Statler
Brothers—has exploded so rapidly that
the town created the Staunton Music
Guild to coordinate all its events.
In the summer, there are free concerts nearly every night in the city’s
Gypsy Hill Park, which presents jazz,
bluegrass, country, gospel and Staunton’s Stonewall Brigade Band, the oldest continuous community band in
the nation. Musicians and entertainers
perform free on the streets of downtown
on Friday nights throughout the summer
and fall. In August, famed international
classical musicians and their fans flood
into town for the Staunton Music Festival. And every September, country music
bigwigs Jimmy Fortune and Linda Williams host a star-filled weekend festival
of acoustical performances.
Unlike larger cities with lively arts
scenes, Staunton’s downtown is filled
with independent, homespun businesses. Staunton’s business community
is fiercely dedicated to remaining self-sustaining, producing an environment
that is authentically localtarian.
“Folks in Staunton realize what they
have is special and fight to preserve it
rather than expand the tax base with half
a dozen box stores,” says Brian Wiede-mann, co-owner of the historic George
Bowers Grocery, which features local