By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published May 09, 2018 at 12:51 PM

If you’ve been following the progress at the new IKEA store in Oak Creek via OnMilwaukee, you got to see early photos of its build-out and more recent ones as the huge store began to take shape.

Today we returned to show you the (nearly) finished product as the store prepares to open on Wednesday, May 16 at 9 a.m.

Parking lots at the store, just west of I-94 at Drexel Avenue (on a new road called IKEA Way), will open at 5 a.m. that day and there will be a ceremonial log-cutting -- a Swedish tradition -- at about 8.

"We are excited to be opening our 48th store in the U.S. and our very first store in Wisconsin," said Samantha Gravina, store manager, on the occasion of a media preview this morning.

"We have received such a warm welcome from the Milwaukee-area, and we want to return the favor by welcoming our shoppers with food, fun and iconic IKEA products."

There will be a variety of family-friendly opening day events, plus discounts and thousands of dollars’ worth of gift cards given away next Wednesday, including $10 gift cards in a swag bag for the first 1,000 adult customers. The first 200 kids 12 and under will get a free plush toy.

Throughout the day there will be drawings for gift cards ranging from $250 to $2,000.

Every customer making a purchase will get a free IKEA bag and when folks use their IKEA Family card for a purchase of $125 or more between opening day and May 28 they will get $20 off their next purchase of $100 or more in an email.

Complete opening day info can be found on the IKEA Oak Creek website

Here are some photos taken inside the new IKEA this morning:

The children's play area

Love the subway map signage

Lounge area

Restaurant seating

Of course, meatballs ...

... but also potato pancakes!

Some of the display areas

Self-service furniture pickup area

The food market

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.