New eatery: The Boneyard

Posted on March 11, 2014 by


If you have a $20 bill in your pocket and a grumbling in your stomach, there is a relatively new eatery in Charlottesville that can hit the spot without breaking the bank.

The Boneyard offers affordable food with a gourmet touch.

The restaurant opened in early January on the corner of East Market Street and Meade Avenue – the same spot that once housed The Lunchbox and The Lunchbox Express food truck.

DSC_0209Casey Donnelly, The Boneyard’s chef and owner, said her focus is on creating “simple, Southern food.”

While the financer for The Boneyard, Daniel Heilberg, once owned The Lunchbox, Donnelly pointed out that she and her business partner, Tyler Zimmerman, built the new restaurant on its own bones.

“Pretty much nothing of The Lunchbox exists anymore,” she said.

Donnelly is a 22-year-old Charlottesville resident who has worked as the pastry chef for Maya Restaurant and the executive chef at The Backyard, a former eatery near the University of Virginia.

With The Boneyard still in its beginning stages, Donnelly said she has plans to constantly update the menu with an emphasis on putting a French flair on Southern delicacies.

“(The menu) is definitely going to change seasonally,” Donnelly said, noting, “It will get a little more finer dining after 5 o’clock.”

She noted that the most popular items on the menu have come from the “Smokehouse” section, which includes a pulled pork sandwich served with North Carolina-style BBQ sauce, a pulled chicken sandwich with House BBQ sauce and a beef brisket with Au jus sauce.


“I’ve had some of the former chefs I worked with at Maya tell me it’s the best pulled pork they’ve ever had,” Donnelly said.

The pulled pork sandwich has a little kick and the vinegar-based sauce helps to emphasize the spices.

Donnelly said all of the sauces are made in house and the bread is fresh from Carter’s Bread Co.

For those who want to venture away from the smoked meats, The Boneyard offers a variety of sandwiches, burgers and starters.

Everything on the menu is under $10.

As far as the décor, there are definitely some well-placed skulls and obscure paintings that are not typical of the everyday eatery. Donnelly said it’s her way of showcasing local talent.

“We have canvas prints that we get from local artists, and they’re all for sale,” she said. “We’re giving back to local people that give to us.”

Donnelly is still waiting for city approval before displaying The Boneyard’s permanent sign and also is awaiting her ABC license.

For now, the restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Donnelly said that will likely change if the ABC license is approved.

Posted in: food, New to Cville