Boston Commercial Complex Opens First of Several Restaurants Made Entirely from Steel Shipping Containers


Empty blue cargo containerPeople around the world have been finding some innovative new uses for steel shipping containers, and an office complex in Boston recently introduced its first batch of custom container restaurants amidst much anticipation.

According to, Mei Mei by Design, a shipping container kiosk restaurant, is one of several restaurants that the Innovation and Design Building plans on unveiling in the next few weeks. It held its soft opening on Monday after its target date of late September was pushed back due to permit issues.

“It took longer than expected, unfortunately,” said restaurant co-owner Mei Li. Despite the delay, patrons were lined up to finally see what all the hype is about for themselves.

“There’s actually a line of people right now just for a soft opening date, so that’s awesome,” said Li during Monday’s opening.

The shipping container restaurant is part of a $100 million development plan by the Innovation and Design Building, which is a commercial office complex on the waterfront in Boston. Mei Mei by Design joined Triangle Coffee and Jubali, two other existing restaurants in the complex made from custom containers.

From restaurants to pop-up shops and customized swimming pools, it seems as if steel shipping containers are becoming more popular than ever due to the endless ways that businesses and individuals alike can transform them into anything they imagine.

“Shipping containers manufactured from all corten steel are durable, cost efficient and can easily be modified into a mobile office space/workspace, restaurants or pop-up-shops,” says Karen Sweeney, Director of Sales, Integrated Equipment Sales. “The use of containers as building blocks is on the rise because they can be utilized for almost any application. They are easy to stack, provide increased usability of space and most importantly, the cost for them is low.”

According to AZ Central, developers in downtown Phoenix have taken the shipping container craze to a whole new level. The Containers on Grand, an apartment building composed entirely of shipping containers, recently opened for public viewing.

The container apartment complex features eight 740-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment units built out of 16 durable steel shipping containers. Apartments are available for rent up to $1,000 per month, and there’s already waiting list for prospective tenants.

As for the Innovation and Design Building, the commercial complex plans on opening two more shipping container restaurants in the near future. The containers will make up a mini food court for locals, and the complex will also add a hair salon and garden supply store that will be housed in custom containers as well.

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