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


Who are you, really?

Owen Lane, Chef/Owner The Magpie,
Tiffany Gellner Manager/Owner The Magpie

What did you do today in RVA?
Our day begins around 8am when our 9 month old Greater Swiss Mountain dog Jax, scratches at the bedroom door to be let out. Owen and I then argue about whose turn it is to take him downstairs to pee. Today it was my turn (yippe!). Potty training has been difficult and this morning is no different. I’m jolted out of my grogginess by a stream of warm urine filling my crocs. Jax then scream-barks in my face until I feed him.



I slosh into the kitchen to prepare his food and play a bit of Candy Crush while he eats. Then its back upstairs to rinse off my pee pedicure and take a shower.
Usually we would debate who has first rights to the shower and the only clean dry towel, but Owen stayed up late last night finishing up the spring menu so he sleeps in while I wash up, uncontested.

Owen is up soon after and while I do my make up, he takes Jax for a walk and a serious “chuck-it” ball fest. Getting out of the house usually takes about 15 min. We kennel Jax, feed and let out the littles, (our 2 chihuahuas, Joji and Pickle) and tend to Fat Pudds, our very large calico.


Fat Pudds!

We leave the house, usually returning about 3 separate times for forgotten items.
We stop by the restaurant for cash and coffee, check the messages and then head to Tan-A.

I stay in the car and make phone calls while Owen runs in for Napa cabbage, red miso, and strainers. On our way home we take a detour so Owen can pick up some tactical pants. Recently, he’s taken to wearing them in the kitchen, he says for “comfort”, but I’m not convinced…he’s seen Red Dawn (the original) one too many times.
Owen starts his prep for the day. The spring menu is almost finished so he will be trying out a couple of his ideas this week for specials: a crispy duck breast with miso honey butter.

The duck breast

The duck breast

Prep tunes consist of Built to Spill, The Bronx, and Shovels and Rope.

I jump back in the truck to run errands for the better part of my day. The bank, Staples, dropping Jax off to get groomed and then lunch at Einstein Bros. bagels. I love bagel sandwiches! I love them so much I consistently got Saturday detention when I was in school for cutting just to pick one up.

Then I’m back to the restaurant for a wine tasting. In the time I’ve been gone Owen has prepped the menu and some great specials including a braised rabbit with fennel, fava beans, ramps and an orange garlic broth.

Rabbit, fava beans, ramps, fennel

Rabbit, fava beans, ramps, fennel

I’m on call this night, so after my tasting I pick up Jax and head home to take care of the house, which is horribly neglected. My high hopes of cleaning the bathrooms and finally getting to the laundry are dashed by a law and order SVU marathon.

While relaxing, I saturate all social media outlets with our food specials and do some other restaurant related research to make myself feel better about being off. I’m suppose to go to a friends cook out, but bail because I’m afraid work might need me. I debate on cooking my self dinner then realize we have no food-just condiments-and the thought of having to shop at the Lombardy Kroger makes me cringe.
Delivery it is, again! I order a caprese and pasta, from Belmont Pizzaria. Then call Beth at work to make sure they don’t need me. They do… So I call Belmont back and have my food re-routed to The Magpie’s back door.

I know what you are thinking, having food delivered at your restaurant sounds silly but honestly the irony of owning a restaurant means you’ll consume nothing but fast food and delivery. I hang out for a little while but they don’t need me, so its back to the house to finally do laundry.

I return later to pick up Owen around 11 and stay for a glass of wine. Owen and I discuss the day, some future business plans, and talk with Beth about cocktail ideas. About an hour and a half later we head home and on to bed. Sleep comes quick, until of course 3 am when Jax needs to pee….and we once again debate whose turn it is to let him out.

What’s in your fridge?
There is literally nothing but condiments and beer in our fridge.

What was the last album/song you listened to?
Owen: Shovles and Ropes, O be joyful
Tiffany: The Smiths and The Drive by Truckers



  1. This is so painfully honest! I love these guys! 🙂

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