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

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

Film industry training program planned for this weekend

The Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA), in partnership with the Virginia Film Office, will offer "Get Your Start in the Film Industry," a two-day seminar designed to prepare workers for film, television and commercial projects in Virginia. The course will be held Oct. 4-5 at the Workforce Development and Conference Center, 1651 Parham Road in Henrico, on the campus of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.

The training will be taught by Gary Romolo Fiorelli, an accomplished assistant director for film and television projects, which include the television series Sons of Anarchy and ABC’s current drama Mistresses. > Read more.

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.

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