From Shipping to Sipping: Unleashing the Magic of Container Bars

Introduction: The Rise of Shipping Container Bars

The Brief History of Shipping Container Bars

The concept of using recycled shipping containers to construct bars is a relatively recent trend that’s taken both social media and hipster enclaves by storm.

Over the last ten years, container bars have popped up in cities like Dallas, Austin, and Washington, D.C.

Today, these bars can be seen worldwide, from South Africa to Australia, and are becoming increasingly popular due to their unique design and eco-friendliness.

Let’s go through some shipping container bar ideas and learn more about why these are great options for scrappy entrepreneurs with a keen eye for design.

If you want to open up your own spot, you can also check out our previous article on ideas for shipping container restaurants.

The Benefits of Using Shipping Containers for Bars

There are several advantages to using a shipping container to house an outdoor venue.

First, they’re virtually indestructible. Containers are extremely durable and weather-resistant due to being made from corten steel and designed to withstand long journeys on rough seas.

This makes them the perfect bar top for outdoor locations where they can withstand harsh weather conditions without getting damaged or degraded over time.

Shipping containers also offer an element of portability, meaning that mobile pop-up bars can be created quickly with less money upfront than a traditional restaurant.

The total cost depends on the intricacy of your designs but could be as low as $18,000-$25,000 if you go for something bare bones.

You can always take the financing route as well and only pay a fraction of what you typically would for normal rent.

They can also be transported easily from one location to another, making them ideal for events such as festivals or food markets.

Shipping containers are eco-friendly as they repurpose what would otherwise be discarded materials into functional structures.

By using recycled materials in construction rather than building new structures from scratch, we reduce our environmental impact while creating unique spaces with plenty of character.

Design Ideas

Let’s explore some design ideas for your shipping and storage container bar top!

Shipping containers offer a unique canvas to create various styles ranging from rustic and industrial to modern and sleek.

Additionally, they can be completely customized to fit specific themes or events.

Rustic and Industrial Designs

Rustic and industrial designs are popular choices for shipping container bars.

The raw, rugged look of the metal box exterior blends perfectly with wood accents and industrial lighting fixtures.

These designs often feature exposed brick walls, reclaimed wooden floors, and metal furniture.

The possibilities are endless; there are so many ways to get creative with the interior design of a rustic back room or a more industrial aesthetic as well.

Consider incorporating vintage pieces like old barrels or tables or using Edison bulbs in your lighting fixtures.

Combining wood and metal elements is ideal for creating a warm ambiance with an edgy feel.

Modern and Sleek Designs

If you want something more modern and sleek, consider incorporating clean lines, white walls, chrome accents, geometric shapes, and minimalist decor into your design.

Many shipping container bars are now being used as an extension of traditional restaurants or cafes, allowing people to enjoy drinks outside.

They can also serve as a delivery hub so you can dispatch drivers and invite customers to pick up mobile orders at the service windows.

To really make your modern shipping container restaurant or bar pop with uniqueness, consider using bold colors such as reds or oranges on the exterior combined with large glass doors that open up at night, creating visually impressive surroundings.

Customized Designs to Fit Specific Themes or Events

Perhaps you’re looking for something a little more customized?

Shipping containers offer many opportunities to personalize your space based on specific brand themes or events.

From beach parties featuring tropical drinks served out of tiki-style huts to winter wonderlands featuring hot toddies served from igloos, customization options are unlimited!

Add custom signage that reflects your event theme and elements like string lights, themed decor, and music to create the desired ambiance.

Keep these design ideas in mind as you plan your layout.

The beauty of the original and innovative way of utilizing a shipping container as a bar is that there is no right or wrong way to do it as just about anything else – get creative and have fun!

If you need more inspiration, check our shipping container restaurants page.

Location Options

Permanent Locations: Outdoor Patios or Rooftops

One of the great benefits of a shipping container bar is that it can be used as a permanent or semi-permanent structure.

If you’re interested in creating a permanent shipping container bar idea, outdoor patios and rooftops are two excellent locations to consider.

For example, a shipping container bar on an outdoor patio is perfect for those who want their patrons to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine while sipping their favorite cocktail.

On the other hand, if you have access to a roof, consider placing your shipping container bar there. Rooftop coffee and wine bars are trendy and provide an unobstructed view of the city skyline; it’s sure to be a hit with your customers.

Don’t forget outdoor seating options when designing your shipping container bar.

Depending on the size and cost of your space and the number of guests you plan on accommodating, you may want to include stools or benches made from weather-resistant materials like wrought iron or teak wood.

Add picnic tables or Adirondack chairs around your bar area for a casual vibe. Whatever type of seating you offer, always focus on choosing the best quality options!

Pop-Up Locations: Festivals and Events

If you’re interested in taking your shipping container bar on the road, pop-up locations at festivals and events are another option to explore.

Pop-up bar make-up bars are perfect for events such as music festivals, conventions, or block parties.

You can easily transport your shipping container from one location or site to another while providing unique drinks that cater to specific crowds at each event.

Make sure to check with local authorities about regulations and code around pop-up bars in public areas before setting up shop!

Live music adds an extra layer of entertainment to any other restaurant or bar experience, and a shipping container bar is no exception.

Adding a stage allows you to host live performances that will keep your customers returning for more.

You could choose from different genres of music, like jazz or indie rock, depending on the theme and vibe of the bar.

An outdoor stage provides an added advantage during summer as you could enjoy the warm weather by hosting outdoor concerts.

Pop-up locations are our specialty over at ModBetter. Check out our previous work here.


A shipping container bar offers a unique and innovative way to provide a one-of-a-kind drinking experience.

These bars are eco-friendly, using repurposed containers, and can be completely customized to fit any specific theme or location.

There are several benefits of shipping container bars, the most obvious being their mobility and affordability.

Recap of Benefits

One of the biggest benefits of shipping container bars is their versatility. They can be designed to fit any location or event, from permanent outdoor installations to pop-up locations for festivals and events.

They also offer sustainability efforts that other types of bars do not have, such as using eco-friendly materials in construction and solar panels to power the bar.

Another benefit is the unique design options that separate them from traditional brick-and-mortar structures.

Shipping container bars can include rustic and industrial designs with exposed metal and wood elements or sleek modern designs with smooth lines and glass walls.

Customized designs can also be created to fit specific themes or events. Shipping container bars come with various built-in features like refrigeration systems, tap systems for craft beer, and cocktails, outdoor seating options, fire pits or fireplaces for a cozy ambiance, and live music stages for entertainment.

The Future Looks Bright

Shipping container bars embody a new era where an innovative approach is taken towards creating inviting spaces rather than just perfectly executed aesthetics like traditional brick-and-mortar establishments.

Through clever design choices and smart, cost-effective and efficient business strategies, these creative entrepreneurs have breathed new life into an often stagnant industry by providing people what they want; a place where they feel welcome without sacrificing quality experiences.

If you’re looking for a partner to help bring your project to life, be sure to reach out to the ModBetter team, and we’d be happy to help!

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