One day in RVA is a series on the fabulous folks who enrich our city on the daily.


Hugel pictured here with his girlfriend Molly.

Who are you Really?
Johnny Hugel – Producer at Mobelux, Director at Feast RVA, Man about town.

What’s in your fridge?
Usually the fridge has almond milk, Soda stream seltzer, half eaten pasta sauce, a lack of fresh vegetables, mexican coke, iced coffee, a mix of Trader Joe’s staples like veggie potstickers (for DIY Ramen surprise), veggie chikin’s, and homemade pesto in ice cube trays.

What was the last album/song you listened to?
The last album I bought was Big Boi’s latest.
I find myself listening to comedy podcasts and DJ mix tapes non-stop these days.

What did you do today in RVA?
My girlfriend Molly and I wake at 7:45 most mornings after ignoring two alarms. The sound of our roommate leaving finally rouses us out of bed. After we quickly shower, dress and run out the door, I drop her off in Carytown at Need Supply Co. a local retailer of modern fashion.
I worked my way into my dream job as a producer at a local start-up with great benefits like working from home Fridays, but I tend to thrive in controlled-chaos, and can’t get much of anything done at home.

I head to Lamplighter, a local coffee outpost in the Fan District. A few years ago when Lamplighter opened in a former gas-station turned derelict outpost many doubted the husband & wife, bike-gang denim-jacket sporting duo would have lasted long, but today they’ve opened their second location with a roastery, fulfillment center, pour-over bar and more. Whenever the weather is anywhere close to decent, I order an iced-coffee, a Country-Style donut (24-hour donut dive, out by the airport) and grab a spot at one of the communal picnic tables for the morning. I work for a few hours when my battery dying signals the need for change of scenery.

I’ll head into the Mobelux office for a bit to take care of anything that needs doing around there. Our office, The Corrugated Box Building is a modern renovation of, as far as I know, an actual corrugated box factory. The exposed beams bear the markings of work much more strenuous than mine, and the raw steel of the massive staircase and our matching furniture, hearken to the buildings industrial past. Much of our workspace I helped design and invokes the vintage/industrial/Edison bulb-lit past that is all the rage these days. As a producer in a digital creative agency sometimes I’m facilitating client discussions or I could be searching salvage yards for suitable raw wood boards for shelving. We just helped launch a service and iOS app called Elixr that allows you to socially share the (alcoholic) drinks that you partake in as you travel the town/world. The strong food/drink scene of Richmond was an immediate supporter and has contributed to it’s rise in popularity.

Around 1:30 I head across “the river” (also referred to as The James, but never “The James River” all at once) into Downtown Richmond, to Citizen a literal underground lunch counter, which has amassed a cult following for it’s locally-sourced, vegetarian & vegan friendly, constantly rotating and diverse menu. They welcome me by name as I enter. I order the Roasted butternut squash on a pressed bolillo roll topped with celery root-horseradish slaw and house-made curry cashew butter w/ Lentils & Feta as a side and an Iced Tea. I grab a seat amongst the politicians, state employees, bike couriers, and vegans-in-the-know and scarf down my lunch, typically saving half of my side for a mid-afternoon snack.

I finish out the workday in my house, pausing temporarily to make an iced coffee pick-me-up, before heading back over to Need Supply to pick up Molly. If the weather is nice enough we’ve been known to walk through Carytown for a bit, but it’s gotten cold and we’re hungry so we set our sites on one of our current go-to’s, Stella’s restaurant. Stella’s is the latest in a string of popular restaurants run by the Giavos family. A reprisal of an earlier well loved restaurant of theirs, with a modern design and an affordable sharing-friendly menu of classic and updated Greek dishes. We sit at the community table, and enjoy flakey spanikopita, a zesty kale salad w/ feta, Gigantes and Melitzanosalata, and just as we’ve stuffed ourselves to the brink, we’re sent a plate of Chocolate Baclava by Constantine, the owners son, a friend, and designer of the hip logo and menus.

While going out on the town is always on the agenda, stuffing ourselves, and the toil of the work week forces us to call it a night early and close out Friday on the couch. This night we finish House Of Cards, and go to bed dreaming about politics and getting more coffee in the morning.



  1. Yay Hugel! Love to hear about a day in your life from your own perspective. Also, this is really well-written. You should write more. The end!

  2. Oh no, now Citizen will be even more crowded! 🙂 But for real, everyone should go there so they never, ever close.
    Loved this- Great job, Hugel. I agree with Tess, you should write more.

  3. Yes you should write more! (Except not about my embarrassingly late wake-up time…)

  4. Molly,
    7:45 is embarrassingly late? What has the world become?

  5. J. Hugel failed to mention his eagle-like vision for spotting Mid-Century Modern. Where do his talents end?

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