New owners of Chesterfield restaurant King’s Korner carry on family legacy

kings korner

King’s Korner overlooks the runway at the Chesterfield County Airport. (Courtesy King’s Korner)

After a six-month hiatus, the longtime King’s Korner restaurant at the Chesterfield County Airport has reopened under new ownership. 

Logan and Candace Vaden bought the business, which includes a buffet style restaurant and catering service, from founder and Logan’s stepfather, Dickie King. 

King opened the business in August 1982 and operated it at 7511 Airfield Drive for 41 years before closing in November due to his health, trouble finding staff and rising food costs. The Vadens officially purchased the restaurant in March, after discussing taking over the business for roughly a year. 

“We knew that we wanted to pretty much keep everything the same because there’s such a large, loyal following for King’s Korner,” Candace said. 

While mostly staying true to King’s original concept, the couple have introduced new discounts for their tight-knit customer base, as well as a family-friendly patio with yard games like cornhole and jenga. 

Kings Korner owners

Candace and Logan Vaden

The restaurant will offer a 15% discount for seniors age 65 and older for their “Senior Saturday” lunches, in addition to “First Fridays for First Responders,” a 15% discount for lunch on the first Friday of each month for active or retired first responders, and a 20% discount for first responders in uniform. Logan has served as a Chesterfield County firefighter for the past nine years.

“We want to try and provide a way that people can still treat themselves to a quality dinner and not have it really hurt their wallet,” Candace said. 

The Vadens also have navigated the restaurant’s previous staffing and high food price issues that contributed to their November closing.

They’ve been able to retain most of the staff that was on board prior to the closure. They’ve also tapped into a network of high school students to fill positions, thanks to connections made through Logan’s time as a local football coach and Candace’s prior experience as a cheerleading director. 

King’s Korner currently has a staff of about 25. 

To save money on food, Candace said the restaurant staff is cognizant of food waste and tries to cook on demand as much as possible. 

“We try and cook food on demand the best that we can,” she said. “We love reservations because then we can kind of prepare for the night if we have big parties coming in.”

Over the restaurant’s 41-year history, King’s Korner has forged its name into the Chesterfield community. King’s family always stayed close to the restaurant, and Logan, whose presence in the King’s Korner kitchen started when he was 3, worked for his stepfather during and after college.

Logan said the prospect of owning the restaurant had been on his mind prior to its November closure. 

“We’ve thought about it plenty of times before, but the opportunity was never really there until now,” Logan said. “So when the opportunity came, we did as much as we could to make it happen for us.”

Logan said pilots have told him King’s Korner is one of the only restaurants they’ve seen in a smaller airport like Chesterfield’s. The restaurant faces the runway and patrons can watch planes take off while enjoying their meal.

“It’s definitely worth the drive to get here to see the million-dollar view,” Logan said. 

Logan said the period between the closing and the full reopening in April was spent acquiring the necessary permits and licenses. He declined to comment on the cost to buy the business.

While Logan and Candace are now at the helm, King said he has spent the first months of retirement traveling with his wife, Elena. He said he was pleased that the Vadens took over the restaurant since Logan has grown up in the business and Candace has previously worked for a bank and knows how to handle finances. 

Throughout his ownership, King remained active in the Chesterfield community, which he said helped build and maintain a close relationship with his customers. He serves on the board of directors for the Chesterfield Police Foundation and previously served on the Board of Supervisors.

“I’ve just been very blessed to meet a lot of wonderful people that have assisted me and I believe in our business philosophy that you receive what you give, and we should always take care of those that take care of us,” he said.

Among his favorite memories is when he catered for former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush. He also recalled giving elderly customers meals on the house for the rest of their lives.

“At this time most of them have passed, but I have wonderful memories and just to see the joy and happiness in their face by not having to worry about buying a meal,” King said. 

King said he’s kept his distance from King’s Korner since he sold it to the Vadens because he did not want to be a distraction for them, and they should run the business as they would like to. 

“King’s Corner is not about Dickie King anymore,” he said. “It’s about Logan and Candace.”

kings korner

King’s Korner overlooks the runway at the Chesterfield County Airport. (Courtesy King’s Korner)

After a six-month hiatus, the longtime King’s Korner restaurant at the Chesterfield County Airport has reopened under new ownership. 

Logan and Candace Vaden bought the business, which includes a buffet style restaurant and catering service, from founder and Logan’s stepfather, Dickie King. 

King opened the business in August 1982 and operated it at 7511 Airfield Drive for 41 years before closing in November due to his health, trouble finding staff and rising food costs. The Vadens officially purchased the restaurant in March, after discussing taking over the business for roughly a year. 

“We knew that we wanted to pretty much keep everything the same because there’s such a large, loyal following for King’s Korner,” Candace said. 

While mostly staying true to King’s original concept, the couple have introduced new discounts for their tight-knit customer base, as well as a family-friendly patio with yard games like cornhole and jenga. 

Kings Korner owners

Candace and Logan Vaden

The restaurant will offer a 15% discount for seniors age 65 and older for their “Senior Saturday” lunches, in addition to “First Fridays for First Responders,” a 15% discount for lunch on the first Friday of each month for active or retired first responders, and a 20% discount for first responders in uniform. Logan has served as a Chesterfield County firefighter for the past nine years.

“We want to try and provide a way that people can still treat themselves to a quality dinner and not have it really hurt their wallet,” Candace said. 

The Vadens also have navigated the restaurant’s previous staffing and high food price issues that contributed to their November closing.

They’ve been able to retain most of the staff that was on board prior to the closure. They’ve also tapped into a network of high school students to fill positions, thanks to connections made through Logan’s time as a local football coach and Candace’s prior experience as a cheerleading director. 

King’s Korner currently has a staff of about 25. 

To save money on food, Candace said the restaurant staff is cognizant of food waste and tries to cook on demand as much as possible. 

“We try and cook food on demand the best that we can,” she said. “We love reservations because then we can kind of prepare for the night if we have big parties coming in.”

Over the restaurant’s 41-year history, King’s Korner has forged its name into the Chesterfield community. King’s family always stayed close to the restaurant, and Logan, whose presence in the King’s Korner kitchen started when he was 3, worked for his stepfather during and after college.

Logan said the prospect of owning the restaurant had been on his mind prior to its November closure. 

“We’ve thought about it plenty of times before, but the opportunity was never really there until now,” Logan said. “So when the opportunity came, we did as much as we could to make it happen for us.”

Logan said pilots have told him King’s Korner is one of the only restaurants they’ve seen in a smaller airport like Chesterfield’s. The restaurant faces the runway and patrons can watch planes take off while enjoying their meal.

“It’s definitely worth the drive to get here to see the million-dollar view,” Logan said. 

Logan said the period between the closing and the full reopening in April was spent acquiring the necessary permits and licenses. He declined to comment on the cost to buy the business.

While Logan and Candace are now at the helm, King said he has spent the first months of retirement traveling with his wife, Elena. He said he was pleased that the Vadens took over the restaurant since Logan has grown up in the business and Candace has previously worked for a bank and knows how to handle finances. 

Throughout his ownership, King remained active in the Chesterfield community, which he said helped build and maintain a close relationship with his customers. He serves on the board of directors for the Chesterfield Police Foundation and previously served on the Board of Supervisors.

“I’ve just been very blessed to meet a lot of wonderful people that have assisted me and I believe in our business philosophy that you receive what you give, and we should always take care of those that take care of us,” he said.

Among his favorite memories is when he catered for former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush. He also recalled giving elderly customers meals on the house for the rest of their lives.

“At this time most of them have passed, but I have wonderful memories and just to see the joy and happiness in their face by not having to worry about buying a meal,” King said. 

King said he’s kept his distance from King’s Korner since he sold it to the Vadens because he did not want to be a distraction for them, and they should run the business as they would like to. 

“King’s Corner is not about Dickie King anymore,” he said. “It’s about Logan and Candace.”

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Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
22 days ago

15 years ago that was the best lunch deal on the Route 10 corridor. The cafe was a magnet for the development community, particularly real estate brokers who know a good meal deal when they see it. I’m glad to see it re-open and in the King family.

Michael Patterson
Michael Patterson
22 days ago

Sounds like an absolute class act. Best of luck!

James Regal
James Regal
22 days ago

Restaurant Bussiness is not easy Good luck!!!

David Adler
David Adler
21 days ago

Many years ago when I was getting my private pilot’s license there were stories in the magazines touting the Saturday trip for the $150 hamburger.(when you add up all the aviation related expenses – probably more than that now) I’m sure this place would qualify for that outing, and a fun day flying on a perfect weather Saturday. Good luck to them!

Last edited 21 days ago by David Adler