Day in the Life: Thorne Russell of Hillside Farmacy

By Megan Giller  |  October 3, 2013

Thorne Russell isn’t just a host at Hillside Farmacy. He’s also chef Sonya Cote’s son. Cote, who calls her son “rad,” hired him so that she could see him more, but unfortunately duty mainly calls her to Eden East, her new venture. Meanwhile, Russell holds down the fort at the East 11th Street spot, complete with his signature dapper look and formal manners. Here’s what his typical Saturday looks like.

7:30-8 AM: I wake up to my alarm and immediately take a shower. I comb out and completely grease my hair, and then I shave my face.

8-8:55 AM: I feed my rats, Louise and Lulu. I give water to my spider, Spiders, and I give my cats, Duke and Cthulhu, a little snack. I proceed to the kitchen where I eat some eggs, fitness bread, tomatoes, bacon and maybe a little sauerkraut.

8:55-9 AM: I walk the long half block to the Hillside. On my way I try and wave to Raymond [Tatum] of Three Little Pigs, as my walk consists of a short cut through the parking lot of East End Wines.

9-10:30 AM: I clock in at Hillside Farmacy and start the work day. I clean up the host stand, straighten all the menus and go through a checklist that I have composed to make sure I have everything necessary. I check for all the reservations we may have, push in all of the patio furniture and shine all the glass surfaces I can think of. If it’s not too busy I will make the candles for dinner service.

10:30-11:30 AM: My partner host Katelyn shows up, and with her skills of cunning and beauty, speaks of politics and poop jokes.

11:30 AM-3 PM: The brunch rush starts, and we are caught up in an endless dance of seating and bussing tables. Filling up water jugs is also one of the nonstop tasks, but in between all of the fun routines, I lift chairs around the room, clean up the messes of adults and babies alike and sweep my fair share of the floor. Happy hour starts at 3, and our business gets steadily slower. At this time I am normally cut.

3-5 PM: I do the short walk home, stopping at RS Food Mart, where I purchase a six pack of Hamm's and a Ritter Sport dark chocolate with hazelnuts. I return to the Rosewood Co-Op, where I do chores or yardwork, like weeding the garden, leading the chickens and digging some random holes.

5-7 PM: My stomach growls, and I eat corn chips and Jamie's Salsa while I read, draw and shoot arrows at an old Murray's can nailed to a tree. If it's too hot, though, I watch X-Files or listen to the Smiths on my record player and clean my room.

7-10 PM: My roommates and I make dinner. If I have anything to say about it, the meal will be an unrealistic border between Vietnam and China. Then we have dinner outside on the picnic table.

10-10:15 PM: I feed the rotten cats their wet food.

10:15-11 PM: Time for ultimate relaxation: watch a horror movie, read something or sit on the roof.

11 PM: After I rinse, wash and repeat, I try to fall asleep while reading Gravity’s Rainbow.