Henrico County VA

LaDiff opening a Short Pump store

LaDifférence, a popular downtown Richmond furniture store, is expanding into Henrico County.

The store announced today that it will open a 7,000-square-foot location at West Broad Village in Short Pump Feb. 2. The store will host a grand opening celebration there Feb. 19-21.

The new location is smaller than LaDiff's 50,000-square-foot showroom on South 14th Street but will offer a variety of modern furniture and accessories and what co-owner Sarah Paxton calls "showstoppers" from throughout the world.

"For years we’ve had customers driving from the West End and Charlottesville to our flagship store, and what we’ve heard is that they wanted us to be more convenient to where they live," Paxton said. "By opening a second store at West Broad Village, we’re making LaDiff more accessible than ever. We’re excited to expand our footprint in Central Virginia and bring LaDiff’s unique shopping experience to even more customers.”

Chris Pine, president of Eagle Commercial Realty, said LaDiff is a perfect tenant for West Broad Village, a pedestrian-friendly urban living, office and shopping community. “We are still very much in a growth phase at West Broad Village, and we expect that LaDiff will be a major draw for many people from around the area,” he said.

LaDifférence co-owner Andy Thornton said the architecture of the West Broad Village store – about the size of two-and-a-half tennis courts – will maintain the open look and feel of the three-story downtown store “and bring that experience out to Short Pump.”

LaDiff, which employs 25 people, expects to hire three or four more full-time commissioned sales positions to staff the new store. Jobs will be shifted from the downtown location until the positions are filled. The store manager is Matthew King, a Virginia Commonwealth University graduate who has several years of experience in the retail and international shipping industries. Initially, the store hours will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

“We’re forecasting this location to contribute to a substantial portion of our company’s overall sales,” said Thornton, without giving a specific figure. “And while we want our customers to have a shopping option closer to their homes, we also hope this location will encourage folks to come downtown and visit our flagship. This location in the West End is really about convenience and access. We want everybody to be happy, because we’re happy guys.”
Community

Lions Club donates backpacks to elementary school

The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.

Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.

Glen Allen student to perform at Carnegie Hall

Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.

At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.

Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.

Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Brews and bites done right

Urban Tavern’s big, bold themes impress

The Urban Tavern opened in August, replacing the former Shackelford’s space at 10498 Ridgefield Parkway in Short Pump. Because of local and longtime devotion to Shackleford’s, Urban Tavern has some big shoes to fill.

Without any background information, I headed to the restaurant for dinner on a Wednesday night, two months after its opening.

On a perfect fall evening, four out of eight outdoor tables were taken, giving the impression that the restaurant was busier than it was. On the inside, a couple tables were taken, and a few folks were seated at the bar. > Read more.

A terrible, horrible movie. . . that’s actually pretty good

‘Alexander’ provides uncomplicated family fun
It’s not surprising in the least that Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day doesn’t much resemble the book it’s based upon.

Judith Viorst’s 1972 picture book isn’t exactly overflowing with movie-worthy material. Boy has bad day. Boy is informed that everyone has bad days sometimes. Then, the back cover.

In the film, the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad-ness is blown up to more extreme size. Alexander Cooper (Ed Oxenbould) has a bum day every day, while the rest of his family (Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Dylan Minnette, Kerris Dorsey) exist in a constant bubble of perfection and cheery optimism – to the point that the family is so wrapped up in their own success that Alexander’s being ignored.

So on the eve of his 12th birthday, Alexander makes a wish: just once, he’d like his family to see things from his perspective; to experience the crushing disappointment of one of those no good, very bad days. Once he has blown out the candle on his pre-birthday ice cream sundae, his family’s fate is sealed: one full day of crippling disasters for all of them. > Read more.

Deep Run HS plans fall musical

Tickets for Deep Run High School’s fall musical production – Aida – will go on sale Nov. 3. The Elton John-Tim Rice pop opera, inspired by Verdi’s classic opera, tells the story of enslaved Nubian princess Aida, who falls for captain of the guard Radames, who is betrothed to the Egyptian princess.

Performances will be held Nov. 13-15 at 7 p.m. each day. > Read more.

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