Taking Design Inspiration from the UK's Secret Bars

One of the best things about opening a bar is that you can let your imagination run wild. Regardless of whether you are looking to create a swanky upmarket establishment, a themed bar, or a casual and laid-back drinking den, you have many options.

In recent years we have seen a trend in the UK for secret, hidden bars. Bars that look like an old, unused building from the outside, that require inside knowledge, a secret knock, or a password to get in, giving customers a feeling of exclusivity, being in a secret club, and being able to enjoy some of the country’s coolest and most intimate drinking establishments.

Shipping Container Bars

Another trend that we are seeing across the world is the use of shipping containers as a construction material, to create pop-up or semi-permanent bars. These are especially great if you want to be able to move your bar between different locations, and are also an eco-friendly option as they use the concept of upcycling to turn a shipping container that would go to waste into a new building.

Another good thing about using a shipping container to convert into a bar is that they can allow you to develop and adapt it in many different ways, making your bar unique, functional, and unforgettable.

And many people are taking their design inspiration from the UK’s secret bars.

Secret Bars Design Inspiration

One of the most common characteristics that shipping container bars have with secret bars is that they are generally small and intimate. Although shipping container bars can be made to be large by buying several shipping containers and joining them together, or incorporating outside space, they are often small and more intimate. There are also other design features that are in common with the secret bar.

  • Re-purposing and upcycling are very on-trend at the moment. Of course, the shipping container conversion is a re-purposing project in itself, but this also applies to decoration, furniture, and other accessories
  • The industrial style trend is also very popular at the moment, especially amongst the UK’s secret bars. Exposed brickwork, stainless steel, and the steampunk look add interest and give a bar a very modern look. A shipping container bar can easily incorporate some of these themes due to the fact that it is made from a metal construction and was originally designed for mechanical use
  • The fact that a secret bar is unrecognisable as a bar from the outside is another design similarity that the two have in common. For those that wish to, a shipping container bar can also be designed to look just like a…. shipping container from the outside, showing what’s inside only when it is open. Of course, this can also work in reverse if you wish, screaming from the rooftops that you have a bar, not a shipping container!

Creating a Shipping Container Bar

If you are thinking about converting a shipping container into a bar, the world is your oyster. There is a wealth of design options that you have, and you can work with our specialist design team who will help you to bring your ideas to life.

Our expert designers have the creativity, technical knowledge, and computer-aided design technology to help you to design your bar – secret or all guns blazing – exactly how you want it to be. Our fabrication team will then build and create your shipping container bar, with the majority of the work being done at our fabrication facility, before it is delivered to the site, leaving you to add the finishing touches.

Some of the common design features that we can add as standard for a bespoke converted shipping container include:

  • Doors, windows, and serving hatches
  • Ramps for wheelchair access and deliveries
  • Professional painting and vinyl wraps
  • Insulating linings
  • Secure locking systems
  • In-built racking and self-assembly shelving

For anyone who is looking to open a bar with the added benefits of it being mobile, eco-friendly, cost-effective, and on-trend, converting a shipping container is a great option. They offer you an enormous amount of flexibility in terms of design, helping you to construct the bar that you have always dreamt of.

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