Mockingbird is William Johnson and Melissa Axelrod of San Francisco, CA. William and Melissa met when they worked side by side. They bonded over food and before long a romance began to develop. During their courtship they found themselves looking for a restaurant that didn’t exist, so they created Mockingbird to become that restaurant: a place with a comfortable, informal atmosphere with great service and stellar food and drinks; a spot to grab a sandwich for lunch, meet with friends for happy hour drinks and snacks, as well as a place to celebrate life's milestones. Their vision for Mockingbird was inspired and influenced by some of their favorite restaurants, such as Zuni, NOPA, and Delfina.
Melissa, Co-Owner, has over 15 years of experience running California Table, a successful boutique catering company. She has cooked at Delfina, Fringale and Ottimista. She has taken cooking classes in Tuscany, spent many hours reading cook books, cooking for friends and family and wandering farmers markets. Melissa is a San Francisco native who comes from a very food-oriented family. All of her childhood memories have a taste associated with them. Naturally, she found herself helping in the kitchen at a young age and never really left.
William, Co-Owner, has worked over the past 10 years at top restaurants in San Francisco. Seeking to make a change from a corporate career in print production / marketing to something he found more personally gratifying, William spent 2 years moonlighting at the Hayes Street Grill, under Chef Patricia Unterman. After the Hayes Street Grill, William made the transition from his corporate job entirely by taking a full-time position at Zuni under Chef Judy Rodgers. It was at these two San Francisco Institutions of California cuisine where he developed his love of, and understanding for, the importance of locally sourced ingredients and classic cooking techniques. During this time William developed an interest in modern cooking techniques, gaining experience and knowledge with stints at RN74 (as part of the opening team), Spruce and Alembic.