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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

Agencies combine on new entry point to Chickahominy


Canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts soon will have a new access point to the Chickahominy River. VDOT, the James River Association and Henrico County Parks and Recreation are teaming up to establish a new site in Eastern Henrico.

The James River Association negotiated the deal with VDOT to procure official access to the area located just east of I-295 on North Airport Road in Sandston. The site includes a park-and-ride commuter lot bordering the Chickahominy River and has been an unofficial launch site used by paddlers for years. > Read more.

Equestrian clinic planned July 7-8 in Henrico

Henrico equestrians interested in deepening the bond between themselves and their horses have the opportunity to attend a two day clinic, held at Steppin’ High Stables on July 7-8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The clinic, “Become Partners with your Horse,” will be taught by multiple world champion equestrienne Terry Preiser and will focus on how riders and horses can work together to achieve more. > Read more.

Henrico school bus driver honored

The Henrico-based Hephaestus Society recently awarded its first annual community heroes award (the Hephaestus Award) to Hicham Elgharouch (pictured, center) for what it termed his "selfless acts of caring" in his duties as a Henrico County Public Schools bus driver. Henrico County Director of Pupil Transportation Josh Davis, joined Hephaestus Society President Travis Gardner, in presenting the award and an accompanying $1,500 check to Elgharouch last month.

Elgharouch was selected for his clear and demonstrated patience and for his infectious positive attitude, according to the society. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Don’t party too hard on the Fourth because a whole weekend of fun events await! Enjoy a classy date night without the kids at James River Cellars Winery’s second annual Smoke and Vine Festival. Another date night option is at the Richmond Funny Bone, where comedian April Macie will perform all weekend. The kids have their own options this weekend as well. Choose from storytime at Tuckahoe and Twin Hickory libraries or family-oriented karaoke at Aunt Sarah’s Pancake House – I hear they have hits from Disney’s “Frozen.” For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


This weekend has something for everyone in your family – whether it’s improv comedy with ComedySportz or West End Comedy, or an inspirational concert from the Ezibu Muntu African Dance Company! Families will also enjoy music, games and crafts at Hidden Creek Park or reading to a therapy dog at Glen Allen Library. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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