bar shipping container July 26, 2023 – Posted in: Uncategorized

Shipping Container Bars: The Ultimate Guide to Design and Build Your Own

bar shipping container

‍Photo by Tama66 on Pixabay

Table of Contents

bar shipping container

  1. Introduction
  2. Advantages of Shipping Container Bars
    • Cost-effectiveness
    • Unique Style and Aesthetic
    • Modularity and Mobility
  3. Cost Considerations for Shipping Container Bars
    • Pricing of Shipping Containers
    • Factors Affecting Total Cost
  4. Designing a Shipping Container Bar
    • Structural Design
    • Hospitality Design
    • Marketing Design
  5. Popular Concepts for Shipping Container Bars
    • Shipping Container Coffee Shop and Café
    • Shipping Container Bar for Events
  6. Why Choose Karpatia for Your Container Bar
    • Professional Experience
    • Affordable Rates
  7. Conclusion

1. Introduction

Are you looking to create a one-of-a-kind bar that stands out from the crowd? Look no further than shipping container bars. These innovative and versatile structures offer a unique blend of functionality, style, and affordability. In this comprehensive guide, we will dive into the world of shipping container bars, exploring their advantages, cost considerations, design possibilities, and popular concepts. Whether you’re dreaming of opening a coffee shop, a bar for events, or any other food and beverage venture, a shipping container bar may be the perfect solution for you. bar shipping container

2. Advantages of Shipping Container Bars


One of the major advantages of shipping container bars is their cost-effectiveness. Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar establishments, building a bar with shipping containers can significantly reduce construction costs. Used containers can be found at affordable prices, starting as low as $2500. Even brand new containers are relatively inexpensive, with prices starting at around $6000. This cost advantage allows you to allocate more resources to other aspects of your business, such as inventory and marketing.

Unique Style and Aesthetic

Shipping containers offer a distinct industrial look that can add character to your bar. Their corrugated iron walls and reinforced frames create a rugged and eye-catching exterior. Additionally, containers can be customized with various coatings, paints, and finishes to match your brand’s aesthetic. Whether you prefer a rustic, weathered appearance or a sleek and modern design, shipping container bars can be tailored to your vision.

Modularity and Mobility

Another key benefit of shipping container bars is their modularity and mobility. Containers are inherently modular, allowing for easy expansion or modification as your business grows. They can be stacked or joined horizontally without running into building codes and zoning issues in most jurisdictions. This flexibility makes shipping container bars ideal for pop-up restaurants, seasonal venues, and event catering. Furthermore, containers are designed for transportation, making it possible to move your bar to different locations as needed.

3. Cost Considerations for Shipping Container Bars

Pricing of Shipping Containers

The price of shipping containers varies depending on factors such as size, condition, and location. Used containers can range from $2500 for a good condition unit to $4000 for a more decent one. Brand new containers typically start at $6000. Interestingly, this price ratio holds true for different container sizes, such as 10-foot, 20-foot, or 40-foot containers. It’s important to note that the cost of the container itself is not the primary driver of the total cost of a shipping container bar.

Factors Affecting Total Cost

The total cost of a shipping container bar is influenced by various factors, including design, materials, inventory, and labor. Pre-fabricated smaller models with modest designs can start at approximately $25,000, excluding permitting costs. However, larger units or those requiring extensive engineering and permitting may cost over $100,000. Material costs, shipping, and installation expenses also depend on the specific design, inventory needs, and location of the bar. To accurately determine the total cost, it’s advisable to consult with experts who can provide 3D renderings and perform detailed calculations based on your requirements.

4. Designing a Shipping Container Bar

Designing a shipping container bar involves three important dimensions: structural design, hospitality design, and marketing design. Each aspect contributes to creating a functional, compliant, and visually appealing bar.

Structural Design

While shipping containers provide a robust base, modifications are often necessary to accommodate service windows, fold-out features, or rooftop bars. It’s crucial to ensure that these structural changes comply with building codes and regulations. Additionally, considerations such as load-bearing capacity, ventilation, and access for keg delivery should be addressed during the design phase. Depending on your requirements, it may be more suitable to build a structure using corrugated steel panels instead of using actual containers.

Hospitality Design

The hospitality design of a shipping container bar focuses on optimizing the layout for efficient operations and meeting health codes. Compliance with health regulations is paramount to ensure the safety and quality of the food and beverages served. The layout should facilitate smooth flow for staff and customers, with easy access to taps, storage, and ordering areas. The option of utilizing a separate container for storage can be explored to maximize space. For multi-container setups, careful planning is required to create a cohesive and functional layout across the different units.

Marketing Design

The marketing design of a shipping container bar involves creating a brand-aligned and visually appealing aesthetic. Containers can be customized with various coatings, paints, and graphics to reflect your brand’s personality and attract customers. Options range from a raw, industrial look to vibrant colors, vinyl wraps, or collaborations with local artists for unique designs. The design should be carefully crafted to resonate with your target audience and create a memorable experience for patrons.

5. Popular Concepts for Shipping Container Bars

Shipping Container Coffee Shop and Café

Entrepreneurs in the food service industry often dream of starting their own coffee boutique. Shipping container cafes offer an affordable and flexible solution for turning these dreams into reality. The modular nature of containers allows for easy mobility if the initial location doesn’t meet expectations. Additionally, the industrial aesthetic of shipping containers appeals to the younger demographic, making them a natural fit for trendy coffee shops. Even major brands like Starbucks have embraced shipping container designs for their locations.

Shipping Container Bar for Events

Shipping container bars are a popular choice for events and festivals around the world. Their durability, quick setup time, and expandability make them ideal for serving beverages in large outdoor spaces. Many breweries sponsor container bars at events, providing funding for the setup. These bars can be outfitted with multiple taps and connected to large tanks or interchangeable kegs. At the end of the day, container bars can be securely locked up and easily transported to the next event.

6. Why Choose Karpatia for Your Container Bar

When it comes to building a shipping container bar, choosing the right partner is essential. Karpatia offers decades of professional experience in creating pop-ups, festivals, and events. Our team is dedicated to providing high-quality units at affordable rates, ensuring you get the best value for your investment. We work closely with you to bring your vision to life, leveraging our expertise in architecture, structural engineering, and food service floor plan design. Whether you’re looking for a custom container bar or a pre-configured unit, Karpatia is here to make it happen.

7. Conclusion

Shipping container bars are a fantastic option for entrepreneurs looking to create unique and cost-effective food and beverage establishments. Their affordability, versatility, and eye-catching designs make them a popular choice worldwide. By considering the advantages, cost considerations, and design possibilities outlined in this guide, you can confidently embark on your journey to bring your dream bar to life. Whether it’s a cozy coffee shop or a bustling event bar, shipping container bars offer endless possibilities. Contact Karpatia today for a free quote and start building your container bar of dreams!

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