Shipping Container Bars are Awesome. Here’s 10 Reasons Why

When inspecting the rugged exterior of your average shipping container, you may never think those steel sides and heavy-duty doors could house a trendy space for drinks and entertainment. But imaginative shipping container bars have been on the rise in recent years as people aim to create more sustainable and eco-friendly businesses with interesting atmospheres. So, yes — shipping container bars exist, and they are just one of the many creative container projects out there.

Ready to learn more about shipping container bars? Here are 10 awesome reasons why bar owners and backyard mixologists alike are in love with container lounges.

Are you thinking about your own shipping container bar? Rent-A-Container offers containers of all sizes with options to lease or buy. Give us a call today at 800-880-7061. 

1. Shipping Container Pop Up Bars Can Go (Almost) Anywhere

A group of shipping containers stacked on top of one another forming a series of homes & business space.

Shipping containers are generally narrow enough to fit in any free space, making them an excellent way to optimize a small space for a business or a bar. Image courtesy of ArchDaily.

Whatever free space you can find, chances are, you can squeeze in a shipping container bar. Some of the hallmarks of shipping container projects are their small footprint and ability to fit neatly into virtually any space. They’re as at home outside for a festival as they are inside a convention hall for a tradeshow. 

The various sizes and types of containers out there mean that it’s easy to develop custom bar designs to match almost any environment.

Additionally, transportation and installation are a breeze compared to more permanent structures, making shipping containers the perfect solution for temporary bar space. A temporary shipping container bar can be set up in a short amount of time. And when the show is over and it’s time to head home, they break down as quickly as they pop up.

2. Your Storage Container Bar Is Environmentally Friendly

A shipping container restaurant/bar with seating on top.

Shipping container bars are more eco-friendly than permanent buildings, making them popular with customers. Image courtesy of Michelin.

Most of us are used to bars and restaurants being permanent structures, even though we all know that major construction projects take their toll on the environment. But according to Forbes, around 87% of consumers develop a more positive image of businesses that support environmental issues than of those that do not. Nurturing a sustainable brand image means more than gesturing; it means taking public action. So why not accomplish that goal and build an innovative and trendy bar space?

With storage container bars, you can get the best of both worlds. Because most countries import more than they export, there’s a massive surplus of unused shipping containers. The environmental cost to recycle these containers is staggering. 

Upcycling them into storage container bars mitigates these costs and others related to traditional construction for homes and buildings, allowing business owners to create enjoyable public spaces that give back to both the community and the environment.

3. You Can Move Your Shipping Container Lounge

Shipping containers being moved via train.

Shipping container bars are relatively easy to move. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Once you’ve got your shipping container lounge up and running, upkeeping it is similar to taking care of a traditional brick and mortar space. You’ll need access to utilities, a cleaning schedule and, most importantly, refreshing beverages. But what happens when you need to pack up shop and move?

Another huge benefit to utilizing shipping containers for bar space is that they are much easier to transport and set up again than other businesses. For businesses that are set up in permanent buildings, moving locations means entirely changing their layout and organization. For shipping container bars, though, picking up and moving doesn’t have to significantly change the appearance and atmosphere of your business. Delivery, installation and operation are all part of the process of owning a shipping container bar, and your atmosphere can stay the same anywhere you go.

Containers can travel virtually anywhere and break down out of sight when they aren’t in use. Manufacturers design containers to be easy to transport. Consequently, container bars are easy to load onto a tilt-bed or flatbed truck for delivery to a new location.


4. Shipping Container Bars Are an Affordable Way to Start a Business

A shipping container restaurant lit up at night.

Shipping container bars are more affordable for new business owners than traditional bars. Image courtesy of StorageArea Blog.

Shipping container bars are popping up all over the world. While their portability and customizable interior are attractive benefits, cost is yet another area where these creative projects outshine their traditional counterparts.

While turnkey bar options can get pricey, costs pale in comparison to traditional bar openings that can run anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000 in startup costs alone.

For the most cost-effective solution, you can buy a container outright and outfit it yourself. In this case, Rent-A-Container has all the solutions you need for affordable containers. Buying a shipping container can be intimidating, but with our help, you can open your container bar without breaking the bank. 


5. You Can Have the Best Backyard Parties on the Block

Shipping container bar with lots of seating and bar stools.

An at-home container bar can be a great way of adding some charm to your own property. Image courtesy of Cleveland Containers.

Sometimes, you have to treat yourself — and what better way to do that than by setting up a lively shipping container bar on your own property? A backyard container bar can be the perfect gift to you, your family, and your neighbors. Let’s face it: we all want a little attention. Be the talk of the block with a creative container bar in your backyard.

You’ll want to check with your HOA and municipal government first, but installing a container bar in your yard is a fairly painless process compared to most home renovation projects. Before you know it, you’ll be slinging margaritas and turning heads with your swanky backyard shipping container lounge.


6. Your Storage Container Bar Is Sturdy

A stack of colorful shipping containers

Shipping containers are designed to go through pretty heavy use, so they’re very sturdy. Image courtesy of Flintham Cabins.

Shipping containers are meant to go through heavy use. Cranes toss them around like Legos, they scrape and knock against each other constantly during transit, they’re frequently found stacked like sardines, and they brave hazardous open-sea environments for most of their lifespans. Is it any surprise that shipping container manufacturers build them to last?

Harsh conditions require rugged construction. Good shipping container manufacturers make a point of sourcing materials that are up for the task for container construction. Corten steel makes up the majority of a container’s components and parts. And this isn’t some ordinary steel. Corten steel, known as weathering steel, can stand up to decades of environmental abuse and corrosion.


7. Define Your Brand with the Shipping Container Bar Aesthetic

A small shipping container bar area with 4 bar stools.

Shipping container bars have a look all their own — and it’s a huge draw for lots of customers. Image courtesy of Luxury Residence.

Shipping container bars are extremely flexible in terms of what kind of feeling they can give customers. Some container bars have a modern and refined look. Others are designed to feel warm, welcoming and more like your local sports pub. With a bit of imagination, you can create eye-catching exteriors and inviting interiors to match any aesthetic.

But, aesthetics aside, container bars certainly have a “look” all their own — a down-to-earth feeling to them — and smart brands capitalize on this distinction to separate themselves from the pack.

Some businesses even include “container” right in their name. At least two bars in the U.S. call themselves “Container Bar” — one in Charleston, South Carolina, and the other in Austin, Texas. While not incredibly imaginative, the name certainly sets expectations.


8. You Can Add AC, Lights, Refrigerators and More

Open concept shipping container bar featuring seating and string lights.

Shipping container bars can be comfortable and convenient, not just eco-friendly. Image courtesy of Forte.

Bars need more than just a few walls to operate. Access to refrigerators, tap systems, lights and TVs make container bars comfortable, inviting, and just as convenient as a traditional bar with a traditional kitchen. You don’t want to sacrifice comfort and utility for a cool aesthetic, so don’t.

As long as you ensure your container bar has access to utilities, you can install whatever you need to spruce up the space. Keep in mind that mapping out your space and making sure you’ll be able to reach critical utility tie-ins is essential to proper site preparation.


9. Shipping Container Bars Are Easy to Expand

The inside of an eating space that was created with a large number of shipping containers.

Since they’re so versatile, shipping containers can be joined together relatively easily in order to create an even bigger bar. Image courtesy of Eater Detroit.

So you’ve got the one shipping container bar. Now what? Maybe it’s time to expand. If so, you already have the perfect modular construction strategy. Shipping containers are like the Legos of the building world — you can join them together or stack them vertically with the proper construction methods.

Whatever your vision is, container construction is the perfect method for adding extra space. 

10. Shipping Container Pop Up Bars Cut Construction Costs and Time

Shipping containers being assembled together to create a new construction.

Using shipping containers as bar space can save a lot of time and labor costs. Image courtesy of

Building new bar space can be challenging. Materials have gotten more expensive, and skilled construction workers are becoming harder to find. All this paints a grim picture for would-be bar owners looking to open up shop on a shoestring budget.

Upfront costs and staffing shortages aside, traditional construction forces you to deal with a lot of downtime. If you are renovating a space, this could mean weeks of no revenue — which can spell disaster for your business as a whole.

Shipping container pop up bars cut out a lot of these downsides. With shipping containers, material requirements are minimal and some installations can take place overnight, so your business can keep running and earning revenue even as you improve it over time.


Interested in a Shipping Container Bar? Contact Rent-A-Container

Whether you want a trendy backyard container bar or plan to build a business hauling container lounges to outdoor festivals, it all starts with the container itself. On that front, Rent-A-Container is here to help.

We’ve got a massive inventory of steel shipping containers in all sizes available for purchase so that you can get started on building the bar of your dreams! Reach out today to talk with a qualified team member.