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Ikea set to makeover restaurants, add menu items

Ikea in Hicksville is in the process of

Ikea in Hicksville is in the process of redesigning the restaurant. The makeover is part of an overhaul in every U.S. Ikea store. Photo Credit: urban_lisa via Flickr

Ikea in Hicksville is in the process of redesigning the restaurant, transforming it from an afterthought to a draw.

The makeover is part of an overhaul in every U.S. Ikea store, a process scheduled to be finished by spring. (The Hicksville restaurant will remain open during renovations.)

What had been a cafeteria-style dining room is now sectioned into three areas. The first features high-top tables, bar stools and midcentury fabric panels. The family-friendly middle offers communal tables and activities for kids. A coffeehouse occupies the third section, where sleek love seats and rocking chairs are paired with cowhide-covered footrests. The biggest plus for telecommuters is Wi-Fi and mobile chargers.

“Ikea food is becoming a core business,” said Lars Petersson, president of Ikea U.S. As reported in The Washington Post, the chain’s food division — which includes packaged foods and its restaurants — went up 8 percent last year.

In addition to the redesign, the Sweden-based company is in the process of updating the menu. No worries for Swedish meatball fans, since they will remain an option all day. But now there’s a vegetarian meatball, and all fish dishes are prepared with sustainable seafood.

Prices will remain in the fast-casual range. A plate of 10 meatballs with mashed potatoes, cream sauce and lingonberries costs $4.99. Meals can tally as little as $3.

In addition to the restaurant, Ikea offers a convenience store of Swedish-inspired packaged foods just past the checkout stands. At the far end of the store-within-the-store, customers can sit at high-top tables for a quick bite of a ready-made sandwich or salad.

Ikea’s overhaul is part of a national trend of retail stores becoming more lifestyle-focused, pairing dining with shopping under one roof in an effort to compete with online stores.

Ikea is at 1100 Broadway Mall in Hicksville. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily; restaurant hours are 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily.

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