IKEA officially opened its new store at the Rego Center on Monday, Jan. 11.
After a delay to its original opening date due to COVID-19, the highly anticipated retail store at 61-35 Junction Blvd. was open to the public a few days in advance to the official opening — an opportunity some Queens residents took advantage of.
Rocio Zegarra, who lives nearby the Rego Center, said she’s glad to see the store finally opened.
“Since Pier 1 closed, it is a great opportunity to have IKEA supply the area with less expensive items,” Zegarra said. “Some people do not like the furniture but many do.”
Zegarra said they have a selection of smaller appliances that can be carried in their famous blue bags. She visited the store over the weekend without plans to buy anything, but left with wine glasses and their “delicious and healthy” rye crackers.
Roger Gonzalez, who lives in Glendale, took a trip to the Rego Center and was happy to see the store includes the restaurant where many shoppers go for their signature Swedish meatballs. However, the small eatery is currently unavailable due to COVID-19 delays, according to a spokesperson.
“Without the meatballs and the restaurant, IKEA is just not as much fun,” said Gonzalez. “My wife and I were happy to see that eventually the food court will be opened.”
In the meantime, IKEA is offering a section with frozen foods and other snacks for purchase.
Other residents were glad to have a store nearby that they can access with public transit. The store’s location was strategically chosen, as it is near public transportation like the Q59 and Q60 bus stops and 63rd Drive — Rego Park subway station, served by the M and R trains.
The Rego Center location is the first IKEA in the U.S. with a new, smaller format, featuring a full range of products across 115,000 square feet of space. The Queens store is custom made for the unique lifestyle of New Yorkers, with inspiring room sets and digital tools focused on sustainable, small-space living solutions.
Customers will experience a different format from the Planning Studio in Manhattan, which opened in April 2019, and other traditional IKEA stores, including the chance to set up home delivery for an affordable flat fee, self-pay and assisted check out options, and schedule appointments with IKEA co-workers to plan kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms.
The new store, which marks IKEA’s third in New York City, will be equipped with all the safety enhancements put into place in other IKEA locations during the pandemic, such as physical distancing guidance, preventative hygiene practices, temperature checks for co-workers, rigorous cleaning and sanitization and maintaining strict capacity limits.