Henrico County VA
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Business in brief

Chris Hillabrant recently was appointed first vice president general manager for the Mid-Atlantic region by T-Mobile USA, Inc. The region consists primarily of Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Hillabrant will be responsible for sales across all T-Mobile retail properties, customer growth and loyalty efforts. He joined T-Mobile in 1998 after gaining sales and operations leadership experience with Verizon Wireless (PCS PrimeCo) and Columbia Spectrum Management.

Capital Ale House recently announced the opening of the company’s fifth restaurant, to be located in Harrisonburg, Va. The location will employ 70 staff members and will feature more than 100 fine ales and lager beers from Virginia and around the world on draught, two dining areas, banquet spaces, darts and billiards and a rooftop deck. Capital Ale House also has locations in downtown Richmond, Midlothian, Fredericksburg and Innsbrook. The projected opening is in October 2011.

Richmond business owners and web designers Sharif Ewees and Brian Forrester recently joined forces to give Richmond’s ugliest small business website a free makeover. The winner will receive $10,000 worth of design, development and programming, as well as monthly maintenance for a year. The contest is open to companies with 2-20 employees and runs until Sept. 1. Sites can be submitted through http://www.richmondsugliestwebsite.com .

Salon Debonaire, located at 8514 Patterson Ave. in Henrico, recently was named a salon of distinction in the nationally acclaimed “Salons of the Year” interior design competition sponsored by Salon Today, the leading business publication for the professional salon industry. Competing salons were either newly constructed or remodeled in 2010; Salon Debonaire invested $250,000 in new flooring, lighting and salon equipment. Only 20 salons were awarded nation-wide and this is the first time in six years that a Virginia-based salon has been recognized. Deborah Lee established the salon in 1990 at the age of 17 with just a $25,000 loan.
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

The Boathouse to open at Short Pump Town Center

The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.

“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”

The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.

Getting a ‘mouf’-ful

Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.

Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?

Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.

Lakeside microbrewery beginning to take shape

Original Gravity gets the green light to move forward with relocation, expansion into larger space

A Lakeside home-brewing shop has felt the gravitational pull toward the booming craft beer scene.

Original Gravity, a shop that sells beer and wine kits for homebrewers, has just been given the green light to start work on a microbrewery.

Owner Tony Ammendolia is expanding his 1,000-square-foot shop in Lakeside Town Center to 5,000-square-foot digs a few doors down to add a brewery and expand his supplies.

Ammendolia opened the home-brew supply store in November 2011 and since then he said business has taken off.

“I think I outgrew this place in the first year,” Ammendolia said. “We’ve seen steady growth and I’ve been looking for a place to expand to move the shop to get more square footage.” > Read more.

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