Container Bar On Rainey Street

Container Bar On Rainey Street

Our friends at Austin civil engineering firm Big Red Dog just sent us fresh new renderings of the planned Container Bar in Downtown Austin’s Rainey Street neighborhood. The site is currently being used by Cazamance African-fusion patio/restaurant on the corner of Rainey and Davis Streets.  It will be interesting to watch the this project come alive, as I’m not aware of anything else like it in Central Texas.

This is also an interesting case-study of land leases.  The proprietor, Bridget Dunlap, is leasing the dirt.  Putting expensive improvements on the land was likely not a viable option. In addition to creating a unique design, I suspect the utilization of shipping containers is motivated by cheaper construction costs. Are there any contractors out there that can confirm or deny that theory?


Container Bar coming to Rainey StreetContainer Bar coming to Rainey Street

About Jude Galligan

Jude Galligan, REALTOR, Principal of TOWERS Realty and publisher of Downtown Austin Blog (aka. "DAB"), spends his time matching remarkable people with remarkable properties in Austin’s urban core. A resident owner in downtown Austin, Jude has served on the Board of the Downtown Austin Alliance (DAA) and the City of Austin Downtown Commission. Contact Jude.


  1. Good very good we need places like this.
    More and more.
    Let us bring Austin up in the world.
    Forget about what the miserable androids are saying.

  2. I’ve looked in to doing a cargo bar for a while! I think it’s a great idea but in my extensive research I don’t believe it to be any less expensive than typical construction. I’ll be astonished if the costs end up under $80 sqft. But I’ll definitely check it out!!

  3. Oops, nevermind my comment to Mr. Meyer. I see in the article where construction costs are imagined to be cheap. As an architect, I will second Mr. Meyer’s claim that this construction cost is not cheap at all but it’s probably more about image and uniqueness in this case.

  4. Very cool and fun concept that will work well with Austin’s climate and culture. Re: Mr. Meyer’s comments, did anyone say it was going to be cheap? Bars tend to be expensive anyway, so I don’t think the owners have any misconceptions about cost, but this is all conjecture on my part.

  5. I love this idea. If this place comes into being I will dedicate several nights a month just to enjoy drinks at a bar built from shipping containers.

  6. Building with shipping containers definitely does NOT mean construction costs are cheaper. The structural shell of any building is a tiny percentage of overall construction costs. While the raw materials of a shipping container are relatively inexpensive, the labour required to do the required modifications quickly outstrip any savings. And then you still need windows, doors, insulation, electrical, air conditioning, plumbing, interior finishes, etc. However the fact that the building modules are relatively self contained and easily move-able means that the building can be re-located, thus effectively allowing the building owner to pack up and take it with her should the dirt lease expire, or another need to move arise.

  7. Attended an enormous traveling photography gallery in Santa Monica a few years ago, all made of containers, stacked three high, it was really cool. Love the idea, architecturally anyway!

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