Container Bars and Pop-up Concepts

Container Bar

Shipping containers are great due to their durability and versatility. They make great pop-up structures and are especially great for events and permanent dwellings. What’s more, they can add an industrial or playful charm to your design, and can be adapted to many ideas as homes, offices, bars and cafes. If you have an idea for a pop-up cafe or bar, or need a sheltering solution for your upcoming outdoor event, then this post will give you the insights into how shipping containers can be effectively modified to comply with your ideas and circumstances. In this post, we’ll be looking at some inspirational examples of how shipping containers have been used effectively as container bars in both a pop-up and permanent dwelling.


Starkx Container, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Coming from an interior and furniture design business background, the Starkx Design firm created their own container bar to respond to a high rental market. Starkx Design sourced a locally available shipping container and created interior bar using local materials with recyclable qualities – a design process the company embodies. The shipping container was converted while still maintaining its mobility.

Container Bars - Starkx Container

Container Bars - Starkx Container

Image Source: Starkx

Embargo Container Bar, Perth

Embargo bar is a seasonal pop-up container bar located on the North and South banks on the Swan River at Elizabeth Quay in Perth. Given the pop-up nature of the bar during the summer months, the need for mobility was apparent, in which a 40-foot cargo container would be the most suitable choice. The cargo container provided the versatility to transform the top deck into a rooftop where patrons could enjoy the views of Perth, and the appropriate fit-out for a licensed bar within the container shell.

Container Bars - Embargo Container Bar

Image Source: JW X Creative

Container Bars - Embargo Container Bar

Image Source: Modulate


The nature of a container as a ‘prefabricated room’ has often been used as a single-standing functional unit as demonstrated by the examples of Embargo and Starkx. Let’s now take a look at how several containers have been used to create large scale structures that complement the primary unit – being the bar in the following examples:

White Hart, Melbourne

White Hart is a two-storey outdoor bar hidden amongst Melbourne’s old brick warehouses in the CBD located in a former under-utilised car park. The husband and wife team, Steven Johnson and Sabrina Santucci, who conjured-up the concept for White Hart were inspired by bars they had visited around the world and had always had the idea of using shipping containers to create a bar venue. Given the contained space of the former car park, the shipping containers allowed Steven and Sabrina to create a bar venue which was not overshadowed by the surrounding buildings, while creating a space that was sheltered and allowed for views of wall murals created by local Melbourne artist, Daisylegs.

Container Bars - White Hart

Image Source: Where to Tonight

Container Bars - White Hart

Source: What’s On Melbourne

Le Port Franc, Switzerland

The architects of Le Port Franc used shipping containers to build the interior of a former warehouse into a contemporary music centre featuring a bar, a stage and rehearsal rooms. Given the portability and edgy appearance of the corrugated shipping containers, the music centre can be reorganised according to the scheduled activities to take place, and to create a desired ambience. What’s more, additional shipping containers can be added to create more rooms depending on the needs of the event.

Container Bars - Le Port Franc

Image Source: savioz fabrizzi architectes

Container Bars - Le Port Franc

Image Source: Architonic

Austin Container Bar, Texas, USA

Austin Container Bar consists of several containers, stacked upon one another to create an 8000 square-foot multi-storey structure. The interior of each container has been designed differently, giving patrons the sensation of merging into different dream-like worlds as they transition from one container to another – perhaps inspired by the movie, Inception. The venue of the Austin Container Bar may be subject to removal due to the local government planning permissions of the venue’s location, which posed another reason to use containers as they can be easily moved to a new location.

Container Bars - Austin Container Bar

Containers Bars - Austin Container Bar

Image Source: Austin Container Bar 

Using a shipping container to establish one of a kind container bars is just one of many applications that shipping containers can be used for. Shipping containers have been adapted to many ideas and concepts ranging from retail and office spaces to homes and accommodation, and still, we’d only be scratching the surface of its many uses.

If you have an idea or concept that could use the solutions that a shipping container can provide, then contact ANL Container Hire & Sales to see how we can help you turn your idea into a reality. We have containers available for pop-up concepts as well as containers available for sale, hire and modification. You can find out more information about our products and services here.