IKEA will sell Swedish food along with Swedish furniture

This fall Denver will get its first IKEA, when the massive showroom that hawks value Swedish furniture is slated to finally open its doors in Centennial. And the store seems to be on schedule, because it just started hiring its staff.

And because shopping at IKEA is frequently an all-day marathon, the store's plans include a couple of restaurants where hungry shoppers and peckish children can be placated -- and Swedish food fanatics can get their fix.

One of those is a gargantuan 550-seat restaurant, which will serve such Swedish specialties as meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates. "It'll be a cafeteria-style serving line," says Joseph Roth, spokesman for IKEA. "You'll get your food, pay for it and then sit with your family." In addition to the Scandinavian dishes, he notes that American classics will be available, too.

And more American items will be available at the bistro, a quick-service option near the store exit that will vend hot dogs, frozen yogurt and cinnamon buns.

We're more intrigued by the food market, though, where shoppers will be able to pick up a number of Swedish packaged goods -- think herring, cured salmons, cheeses, cookies, crackers and candies -- to take home with them. "Centennial will have one of our biggest food markets," Roth promises.

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