How big is the nation's largest Ikea that is opening Wednesday, Feb. 8, in Burbank? At 456,000-square-feet, the massive warehouse consumes 22 acres, making the original Burbank location seem like a boutique.
At a press preview on Wednesday, we took a sneak peek of the massive showroom, which will replace the original Burbank location, just up the street. And we can report that other than much improved access and parking, more space and products — Ikea's entire catalog is now available at the new site — not much has changed. And that's a good thing.
Families have always been welcome at Ikea, and that remains. The store features a play area and ball pit for kids that is designed to look like a Swedish forest, activity kiosks throughout the showroom and family bathrooms.
The mix of modern, traditional and Swedish designs will be familiar to Ikea fans along with those mysterious Swedish names like Soderhamn and Ingatorp. Expect small space installations, including a micro apartment, and multiple computer stations for planning kitchens and entertainment areas. The "As Is" section was already stocked with furnishings at the press preview, and the Swedish Food Market was equipped with marinated herring, lingonberry jam and licorice candy. And, yes, there are the popular Swedish meatballs with chicken and vegetable options in the restaurant.
In a nice touch, each room installation will feature a plaque detailing flooring, paint, tile and wallpaper sources — even if it is not an Ikea product. The plaques will also list the dimensions of the room to help shoppers get a sense of scale.
The restaurant, which seats 600, is especially inviting, with loads of natural light, views of Griffith Park and Interstate 5, ample seating and more activity kiosks for children.
Those who frequented the original location will be relieved to know that you can now push your shopping cart to a flat parking lot that accommodates 1,700 cars. This was not permitted in the shared parking lot at Burbank Town Center, which meant you often had to leave your goods unattended while you raced to get your car to the loading area.
Bottom line: The new Ikea is the same ol' Ikea, just bigger and more user friendly.
The original Ikea in Burbank will close its doors for good on Saturday night, and the new store will open on Feb. 8. In honor of its grand opening, Ikea is offering a free Landskrona sofa to the first 26 adults in line and a Poang armchair for the next 100. The first 100 children in line will get a free Famnig heart-shaped soft toy. Customers can begin lining up 6 a.m. three hours before the store's official opening at 9 a.m.
Ikea, 600 Ikea Way, Burbank. Open daily, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Restaurant open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.