It’s been a few months since Ikea opened it’s doors at the Mall at Millenia and I finally had a chance to take a look. I’ve been wanting to check it out for a while but nightmare stories of ridiculous crowds have been enough to keep me away until now. Of course, I picked a lunch hour during the week to avoid the rumored crowds. Thankfully, the crowd was not that bad although there were quite a few people there.
The place is massive and probably part of the reason it didn’t feel so crowded. There’s so many interesting items here that if you can’t find something to buy here then you’ve got some problems. The best part is everything is really affordable. It’s a great place to pick up some accessories on the cheap to stage a home for sale or personalize the home you just bought. Most of the items were on the contemporary side but surprisingly there’s a few country themed pieces here as well.
I got there around lunch time so I had to check out the restaurant. Everyone I’ve spoken with have been raving about the meatballs and they weren’t lying. They were dam good and really cheap. I love a good Swedish meatball.
Everyone was so friendly here. I had brief conversation with a manager named Louis who filled me in on some things about Ikea that not everyone is aware of. He told me that the every Ikea has a restaurant because the founder noticed one day that he lost a bunch of his customers during lunch time and decided to stalk some of them. He then realized that his customers were leaving to go eat so from that day forward every Ikea store had a place to eat.
Louis also pointed out how green Ikea is. Props for helping the planet. The entire store is cooled and heated from solar panels that line the roof area of the store. All of the trash created here is recycled and even the bathrooms have some eco-friendly toilets that do not have running water. I must admit it was kinda weird at first, but then I realized how green it was after reading the strategically placed sign explaining the benefits.
Probably the most surprising section of the store was the Swedish grocery store. I’ve never noticed grocery items in the catalog and certainly didn’t expect to find it here. Louis says he’s run into customers who drove three hours just for the grocery section. I don’t know a whole lot about Swedish food, other than the meatballs, but I guess the grocery has some really great items that can’t be found anywhere else.
They’re supposedly nice at all the Ikea stores. A New York city comedian named Mark Malkoff needed a place to stay while his apartment is being fumigated and Ikea let him stay at the store for the week. The entire experience is being filmed and rather hilarious. Check out the Mark Malkoff Lives in Ikea website to watch the latest videos. Mark’s gonna stay until Saturday, January 19th, 2008 so more videos will be posted throughout his stay.
My experience at the new Ikea store was really fun. Everyone was super friendly, there was lots of eye candy, great food, and everything was cheap. I ended up leaving with a lamp for $29 and I had no intention of buying anything. I just wanted to check the place out. Thumbs up from me. This place is fresh.
related post: IKEA Announces Open Date for Millenia Mall Location
Grand Opening Coverage of Orlando IKEA