Pop-up IKEA café to set up shop downtown
The furniture giant IKEA is trying its hand at a pop-up café in downtown Toronto this month to show off its famous meatballs and frozen yogurt — with no assembly required.
The IKEA Play Café is opening Friday at 336 Queen St. W., and will combine shopping, playing and eating in the almost 8,000 square foot space through June 27.
It won’t be a typical café, however. Instead of lattes, croissants and sandwiches, it will offer frozen yogurt and Swedish meatballs, chicken balls and veggie balls, which visitors can top with different sauces and waffles, fried onions, chips, pickles or biscuits.
IKEA, which has stores in Vaughan, Etobicoke and North York, has yet to open a downtown Toronto location.
Last year, IKEA hosted a popup on King St. W., which focused on healthy, fun and affordable food. This year’s pop-up will also carry 50 houseware items that won’t need an Allen key, from pillows and artificial plants to teacups and cutting boards.
There are also games like tictac-toe and a giant pinball machine made from the retailer’s kitchen items.
Eager passersby have been The café will serve up menu favourites. coming up to the pop-up since the big IKEA sign went up, trying to get in, said head of marketing Lauren MacDonald.
But not everyone is thrilled about the pop-up. Douglas Fisher, the president of Toronto food service consultancy FHG International Inc., called it “a marketing gimmick.”
Still, IKEA is confident in its latest Toronto pop-up, and although it doesn’t have plans to open a permanent café, MacDonald said, “We won’t rule anything out.” The store will be open Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.