Opening Your Coffee Bar or Café? Use Shipping Containers

commercial bar containerMake your cafe one of the hot spots in the neighborhood. You can do so when you consider incorporating the alternative use of shipping containers. This type of alternative building material is becoming increasingly popular across the globe. There are in fact a few benefits of using a shipping container for commercial purposes, including affordability and speed of construction.

Other benefits include:

Cost factor

Housing your bar and cafe inside a shipping container is an attractive option because of the low cost compared to traditional building materials. This also holds true in comparison to traditional building methods and structures as well. Shipping containers are made from steel, which means they are relatively cheap. On average, shipping containers only cost $1,500 to erect. 

There aren’t any material costs other than what is needed for the container’s frame. Think of this almost as a pre-built solution. The bulk of your budget can then be directed towards the outfitting and finishing of the cafe and bar. 


Shipping containers are built to last. They are designed to ensure that the contents inside can withstand the bumps and jolts that come with the freight delivery process. This design is for their original purpose, and as the shipping container is repurposed to create the site for your business, the characteristics are also maintained. Therefore any wear and tear is minimized as the structure can handle it. 

Since the shipping containers are made from steel, they have also been originally designed to be waterproof and are ideal if your cafe or bar is located in an area that experiences extreme weather conditions.


20 foot shipping containerBesides durability, shipping containers are designed to last many decades. They can withstand high winds and earthquakes. The frame will not collapse under the weight of snow, so they are ideal for use in regions with harsh winters.

Ease of Transformation

It is quite easy to transform shipping containers into a bar/café. This also means that you can stack or place several of them adjacent in the location. For example four or five shipping containers next to each other and suitable cut-out done, means that you can have a relatively large building with interior walls and partitions can be added. 

Some compartmentalisation can be done, and a kitchen or prep area added to the cafe as well as an area or deck for customers. With the right finishes and insulation the entire container structure can have the internal temperature remain consistent.

Ideal for Small Businesses and Commercial Use

Shipping containers provide an excellent opportunity for those who want to start a flexible and scalable business. With cafes and bars popping up worldwide, the shipping container offers an attractive storefront for these new establishments. The speed that the business can get going and growing as well, is an added advantage. 


Since containers can be shipped to your destination and erected instantly, they are convenient for people who need to move commercial operations to another location. 

Should you also want to expand into a new location, using the shipping container works well as they are movable.

Environmentally Friendly and Sustainable

Shipping containers have a low carbon footprint and little energy use. They are also environmentally friendly because they can easily be dismantled, recycled, and properly disposed of when they are no longer used.


Shipping containers are equipped with insulation, preventing heat from escaping. Therefore, raising the internal temperature is limited and cooler inside than a house or shop with no insulation.

Easy to Maintain

Unlike regular bars and cafes, shipping containers are relatively easy to maintain. They do not have a lot of wood and concrete, so you do not have to worry about wear and tear or damage after several years of use. You must occasionally paint the outside, replace broken panels, and upgrade the electrical system, like with any other formal structure.

Housing your bar and cafe using a shipping container is an ideal option for many reasons. As you have seen, this form of construction has numerous benefits compared to traditional building designs. Therefore, it is wise to consider them when choosing a location for your new establishment.