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

Varina Ruritans honor students

The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.

The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)

The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.

Baseball game to benefit Glen Allen Buddy Ball


For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.

The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.

Highland Springs field to be dedicated in honor of longtime coach Spears

The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will dedicate the Highland Springs Little League Majors Field in memory and honor of Rev. Robert “Bob” L. Spears, Jr., on April 12 with a ceremony at the field at 8 a.m.

Spears served the league as a coach and volunteer for 30 years and was praised as a pioneer for equality. His “Finish strong” motto embodied ethical perseverance on the field and in life. > Read more.

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Entertainment

A fun, fuzzy ride

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise

Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.

They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.

As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.

Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


There’s no excuse for kids and families to not get out of the house this weekend! The Armour House and Gardens has an “Egg-celent Egg-venture” planned and Reynolds Community College will host the Reynolds Family Palooza. If you’re looking to give back to your community, Dorey Park will host Walk Like MADD and coordinators2inc will present the annual Kids Walk for Kids. And a special event for children with special needs will be on Sunday – the Caring Bunny will be at Virginia Center Commons. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

A new meaning for fried chicken

Is it heresy to say – in this bastion-of-tradition capital of the Old South – that it's time for Southern fried chicken to take a step back and make way for a new fried chicken king?

Count me among the new believers bowing to Bonchon Chicken's delectable double-fried bliss. Hand-brushed with signature garlic soy or hot sauce, flash-fried once and then again, the decadent drums and wings take "crisp" to a new level. If you're eating with a crowd and everyone bites in at once, be warned: you might need ear plugs to handle the din. > Read more.

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