Saks Fifth Avenue is finally showing off its new Houston digs — and they were worth the wait. The long-awaited grand reopening of the lavish store in its new Galleria location at the corner of Westheimer and Sage, opens its polished portal to the public Thursday, but select members of the media received a Monday morning sneak peek.

The 200,000-square-foot, two-story space features a dramatic front bar, a wraparound staircase, an expanded shoe department, a redesigned restaurant and private shopping spaces, and that’s just a start. It is designed to be one of the showcase spots of the entire Saks retail empire.

“It’s going to be a very, very special store,” Bobby Dees, vice president and general manager of Saks Houston, told PaperCity’s Francine Ballard when the plans first came out.

Take a look for yourself. Scroll through our first-look photo gallery — with shots taken by PaperCity’s Catherine Anspon and check more exclusive photos of the new store here.