Brand New Shipping Container Restaurant Design Ready to Set Sail

A group of forward thinking friends in Detroit, USA are currently working on the final details of a project that is set to see a 10,000 square restaurant and beer garden appear in a midtown neighbourhood of Detroit.

What makes this so interesting? A substantial amount of the building is made from shipping containers. We’ve talked a lot on this blog about the amazing things that have started to pop up from basic shipping containers all over the world, and we continue to be in awe of all these fantastic designs.

The Beginnings of a Project

The name of this new restaurant and beer garden venture is Detroit Ship Yard, and is estimated to be costing around $1.2 million. It was already meant to be way on its way, but due to a deal falling through at the last minute, it’s now set to be put into motion in the next few weeks. It’s then expected to take 60 days to redesign the space and around six to eight months to build it completely.

Detroit On Map - iStock_000057139984_Medium

The Men Behind Detroit ShipYard

The men behind the unique restaurant have all been friends since childhood and are excited to see the project get started. Jonathan Hartzell is one of two CEO’s of the venture, and is the owner of a contracting group that handles developments and renovations. James Therkalsen is a writer and creative director who has worked in advertisement for the last decade – he’s the other CEO of the project. The final man behind the design is Timothy Tharp, a professional in the hospitality and restaurant sector.

The Design of Detroit ShipYard

The walls of the restaurant are made from refashioned shipping crates –the first of its kind in Detroit. Hartzell has said that it would probably be cheaper using steel, but they fell in love with the idea of using shipping containers. He said that it makes the space a lot more interesting, and that it speaks to Detroit through “adaptive reuse.”

The original design was set to use around 22 of the crates, but with the guys looking for a bigger space, it looks like they will be using a lot more.

The Plan?

The guys are aiming for 5 distinct food truck style eateries which all sell 5* food. There will also be two bars, that have plenty going on – events in the evening and at weekend. They also want to have big screens to show sporting events, and art and photography installations.


We think the project sounds fantastic and we’re excited to see the finished results! You can keep checking on the progress of the restaurant on their website which is updated regularly.

Whilst we’re a big fan of innovative and creative designs fashioned from steel containers or shipping crates – we’re also big fans of helping our clients find high quality site accommodation.

Here at Flintham Cabins, our portable cabins in London are a brilliant alternative to standard buildings, and still contain all the facilities that you would expect from a working space. They are cost effective and flexible, and can be modified to fit all your individual requirements. For more information please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can give us a call on 020 8459 6972 and a member of our team will be happy to assist.

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