Henrico County VA
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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

Celebrating 106 years

Former Sandston resident Mildred Taylor celebrated her 106th birthday Aug. 9. Taylor, who now lives in Powhatan, is still a member of Sandston Baptist Church. She was visited the day after her birthday by several members of the church, who played for her a recording of the entire church membership singing happy birthday to her during worship. > Read more.

YMCA breaks ground for aquatic center

YMCA officials gathered last week to break ground on the new Tommy J. West Aquatic Center at the Shady Grove Family YMCA on Nuckols Road. The center, which will featured 7,600 square feet of competitive and recreational space, including water slides, play areas for children and warmer water for those with physical limitations, is the fourth phase of a $4 million expansion at the facility. West was president and CEO of Capital Interior Contractors and a founding member of the Central Virginia Region of the Virginia Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors. > Read more.

Rotary donates to ‘Bright Beginnings’

The Sandston Rotary Club recently donated $1,000 to the Sandston YMCA for its Bright Beginnings program, which helps provide children in need with school supplies for the new school year. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Journey to mediocrity

‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ fails to capitalize on tasty concept
The Hundred-Foot Journey is a curious little Romeo and Juliet of a film. A family, forced out of their native India, begins a trek across Europe.

The family’s sole mode of transportation sputters and dies in a sleepy little French town, but the town’s food culture is high, and that’s a perfect place for a family of restaurateurs to settle down. There’s only one problem – the family’s rustic “Maison Mumbai” is right across the street (a hundred feet away, if the title didn’t clue you in) from a prestigious French bistro with a Michelin star, run with an iron fist by the dreaded Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren, pictured).

It’s here that a particular Romeo and Juliet story begins to develop, with Hassan (Manish Dayal) on the Indian side and Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) on the French side. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Enjoy the final days of summer with comedian Guy Torry, the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour or mystery writer Mary Miley Theobald at Twin Hickory Library. Another great way to welcome the beginning of fall is to check out the UR Spider Football season opener with man’s best friend. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Bottoms up

Short Pump brewery offers more than just beer
I am still (happily) thinking about my entire experience at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery last week. Knowing nothing about this new brewery out of Denver, I was leery of brew-pub in the heart of Short Pump Town Center – this is not what I’d usually think of as a perfect fit, and yet, it was.

The restaurant and craft brewery opened in early June and features 10 beers made by female brewmaster Becky Hammond (pictured). This is the restaurant’s second location in Virginia; the first is in Arlington. Behind glass walls, customers watched the beer brewing in massive steel barrels. For our up-and-coming beer region, it makes sense that Short Pump would jump on board.

As I walked up to the back of the mall near the comedy club, I was taken aback by what I saw: at the top of the stairs was an overflowing restaurant with outdoor seating, large umbrellas and dangling outdoor lights. > Read more.

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