Starting Your Own Shipping Container Bar, Cafe, or Coffee Shop

Perhaps you’ve already heard about how big companies are smartly using shipping containers to grow their business operations. But, did you know that even small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs are finding success with pop-up concepts?

Containers offer comfort, convenience, and customization. This makes them the perfect platform for launching a shipping container restaurant to serve creative cocktails and drinks. People all over the US are actively looking for local pop-up food and beverage establishments. This means now is the ideal time to launch your own.

The Unique Advantages of a Shipping Container Establishments

Should you buy a shipping container bar? Start a coffee shop or cafe? Here’s why these all could be great ideas:

  • shipping container cafe is a new concept for launching a small business, which is bound to attract attention.
  • It can be a permanent structure or can change locations. Opening up in new places creates a sense of urgency for customers. They want to have an opportunity to visit your bar before you pack up and move location. 
  • You can launch your business for a specific season, such as summertime, or around a holiday like Christmas. This means, you can easily change the theme of your bar or cafe with each new opening to help target new audiences.  
  • Along with cocktails and other beverages, you can use a container to offer entertaining experiences. 
  • A storage container bar or cafe offers a unique experience that is buzzworthy to its customers. Some establishments tie into pop-culture trends or popular themes, which helps to attract different generations and boost business.
  • A container coffee house or bar offers a different type of ambiance. It allows you to control all design aspects, which sets a special atmosphere that you can’t get in a brick and mortar space.

Creative Uses For A Shipping Container Bar or Cafe

You can use a pop-up shipping container bar or cafe to promote your business in an original and innovative way. You can create unforgettable experiences for your customers with a completely customized design that accurately represents your brand.

One of the best container bar ideas is to leverage technologies such as touchscreens, indoor and outdoor screens, iPad stands, A/V, and RFID to make the experience tech-savvy. You can also include plumbing, A/C, HVAC, and multimedia with large pre-wired outdoor LED screens to add more oomph. Think about controlling temperature, air quality, lighting, and noise, and enable easy interaction to keep both your customers and staff consistently comfortable.

Here at BMarko Structures, we’re experts in this field. You can do just about anything with our custom shipping containers. All you have to do is let us know what you want, and we’ll design your customized structure with every desired element included. 

We’ll be sure to impress you and your customers with an appealing pop-up design that stands out and offers convenience, comfort, and pleasure — all under one roof.

Cool & Innovative Shipping Container Ideas

Looking for some inspiration to build your own shipping container space? Check out these cool examples of shipping containers turned into coffee shops and bars:

The Wahaca Southbank Experiment

Credit: Joseph Burns from

The Wahaca Southbank Experiment is a Mexican tapas restaurant in the Wahaca chain, built by Softroom architects in the Southbank neighbourhood of London, England. Wahaca is the UK’s first carbon neutral restaurant group, and this location is a prime example of recycled, sustainable building in action.

Made up of eight recycled shipping containers, the two-storey restaurant features a glass atrium at its centre and a top floor tequila shipping container bar. The project will remain at the terrace outside the Queen Elizabeth Hall for 18 months and will then be moved to a new location.


Credit: Brittany Murray from Press-Telegram/SCNG

With locations in Long Beach, Bellflower, and Garden Grove, SteelCraft is a Californian eatery with a focus on community. They’ve repurposed shipping containers to create a communal dining space that unites different local vendors and highlights the best of the neighbourhood.

At each location you can find a coffee bar, craft beer, ice cream, and a handful of various kitchens by local restaurants. They also make a point to engage their neighbors through outreach projects, live music, and community events. This is one unique shipping container cafe that pushes the limit of how containers can be used.


Credit: Sarah Chorey from

Located on the Great Lawn in the heart of Treasure Island, Mersea is a beautiful storage container bar  and restaurant with the best view of San Francisco. Because of the area’s rich naval history, executive chef Parke Ulrich aimed to create a space that honoured the values and integrity of Treasure Island.

The majority of the restaurant is made from recycled materials. Repurposed shipping containers form the dining room, kitchen, and bar. Former military kitchen doors are used as communal tables on the patio, while the indoor dining room’s communal tables are made from the wooden lanes of the naval base’s bowling alley. All these recycled materials are artfully incorporated to the cocktail bar’s relaxed and soulful design, making Mersea a must-see.

How To Make A Shipping Container Box Yours

At BMarko Structures, we can help you create custom-made pop-up bars of various sizes using recycled and reworked shipping container boxes. Every container provides a top-quality pop-up design with unique installations that you can take anywhere, for any type of event — from tradeshows to festivals. 

Our custom shipping container bar modifications can offer the best experience for customers by showcasing your business in an engaging way, attracting the best crowd, and setting a new standard.

Your business can stand out with one of our incredible mobile bar designs and container coffee shop ideas, which you can use wherever and whenever you need it. We also provide you with the ability to reuse your custom shipping container boxes for more than one campaign or theme. Regardless of your individual requirements, our durable and attractive shipping container designs offer plenty of opportunities to build the perfect space.

Regardless of where you set up your container, we’ll ensure you stick out and grab eyeballs. Contact us today to learn more and get a free quote or if you’re still in the brainstorming phase review our new 3D custom shipping container render gallery.

"*" indicates required fields