Building A Garden Bar From A Shipping Container

The outdoor drinks and dining experience is an ever-growing trend. Following the covid-19 pandemic, people are much happier to wine and dine outside. Enjoying a drink outdoors means you can socialise safely in a well-ventilated area. This in turn gives customers peace of mind as it minimises the risk of exposure to viruses. As people spend more time socialising outdoors, we’re seeing that homeowners are even creating their own mini garden bars!

With outdoor experiences in mind, it makes sense for hospitality businesses to convert an outdoor space into a garden bar. A versatile entertainment space with a custom-built garden bar can be a real stand-out feature to customers.

Why A Container?

Thanks to its versatility and durability, a converted shipping container makes an excellent garden bar.

A container is cost-effective. Building a bricks and mortar bar from scratch can be an expensive investment for a small business. Not only do you pay for costly materials, but you also need to pay for the labour which can span over a long period of time. This isn’t so much of an issue with a container. The materials used for container conversions are relatively cheap, and the conversion work is all done offsite. Once the container bar is completed, it can be delivered to your site and ready to use straight away.

Container bar with 3 beer taps

Many people opt for timber and decking boards as an alternative when building their garden bar. Without proper maintenance, a wooden bar can be at risk of damage from rain and is less resistant to strong wind. It goes without saying that a shipping container is much more robust, as well as being wind and water tight prior to any modifications. The steel frame structure provides a strong structure for your bar, and the sides can readily be modified to include the essential elements of a garden bar, such as serving hatches. 

A container bar can serve a number of guests at one time. Containers come in a range of sizes, from 10ft to 40ft, so you are bound to find a suitable size unit to suit your bar requirements no matter how many people you serve at a time. You can also opt for a side-opening container that offers much more accessibility to the inside of the container, making it easier for guests to walk straight to the bar.

Additionally, a shipping container is portable which makes it perfect for a pop-up garden bar. A container is a temporary structure so can be moved to a different location should you need to place your bar in an alternative location.

Features Of A Container Bar

When you think of a functional garden bar, you would consider features such as food-safe worktops to serve drinks from, under-counter fridges and appliances, and a sheltered area for people to collect their drinks. The benefit of a converted container bar is that it can be modified to include all the features you would need to create a garden bar, plus the scope for additional features to make the bar extra special!

A container bar needs a counter area where drinks can be ordered. This can be achieved by modifying the container with shutters or hatches and food-safe worktops for food and drinks. You can opt for flat panel shutters, which are ideal for displaying menus or offers, or lifting hatches which also offer some shelter to those ordering from the bar.

Another great feature of a container bar is that they’re weatherproof and secure. Containers are water and wind tight, so can hold stock and appliances with less risk of damage as well as sheltering bar staff from wind and rain. Additionally, awnings can be placed over the top of the container where customers place orders whilst sheltered.

Containers can also easily be converted to have an electrical supply running through them. Electrics can then be installed to run fridges, freezers, and dishwashers under the counter to keep the bar functional. You can also have custom lighting installed above service hatches or shutters for visibility and ambience.

Arctic Bar container

The Conversion Process

There are a number of things to consider when initially working on a container bar conversion, but the team at S Jones Containers can guide you through the entire process seamlessly.

First, you will need to consider where your container will be placed and how many people you expect to use the bar at one time. It goes without saying that a small mini bar in a back garden will not require a 40ft container! Think about the desired floorplan of the bar and where your staff will be positioned to serve drinks.

For a larger garden bar, you can also consider installing an upper deck terrace so customers can sit on the container roof-top and enjoy a drink there. A CAD designer can draw 3D plans of the container bar if you’re unsure of what layout would be best for your garden bar project.

How To Get A Garden Bar From S Jones Containers

At S Jones Containers, we can design and manufacture your bespoke container garden bar completely in-house. This ensures we provide a great service, and have complete control over your custom container modifications from understanding the requirements of your project right through to CAD designs, proofing and manufacturing.

Our clients, the Beech House pub in Solihull, contacted us to provide a shipping container for their City Garden. The outdoor space incorporates an alfresco bar and outside dining area, making it ideal for a container garden bar. The container bar was adapted to include an oak laminated food safe worktop with bi-folding doors, and under-counter appliances with power sockets, and beer lines connected directly back to the bar’s cellars. The container was also repainted in a vibrant green to match the City Garden aesthetic. If you’re considering your own garden bar, our container conversions team are happy to discuss any queries you may have about container conversions. To find out more about how S Jones can help you build your dream container garden bar, get in touch with one of our conversion experts today.

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