A native of Baltimore, Tiffany Gellner was in high school when she moved to Virginia Beach with her mother, Melanie Palma. Melanie was artistically inclined but worked as a waitress and bartender at a place called San Antonio Sam’s to support their small family. Tiffany began her long restaurant career as a hostess there, working alongside her mother, but moved to Richmond at the age of 22 with the intention of attending art school. Instead, she spent the next decade waiting tables and tending bar in several Richmond restaurants including Amici's, Bandito's, and Star-lite. After marrying Owen Lane, who spent close to a decade cooking in Richmond restaurants, the couple took the leap to start a place of their own. Tiffany and Owen opened the Magpie in 2011. Situated in the historic industrial Carver neighborhood, the restaurant seats only 34 people including the bar. While Owen takes care of the food, Tiffany wears multiple hats in the front of the house: manager, server, and bartender.
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Interview & photograph by Sara Wood, 2013
Southern Foodways Alliance || www.southernfoodways.org