A cafe built out of a shipping container is coming to Civic Center plaza

The Container Café—a small cafe literally made out of a shipping container—is expected to open outside Port of Long Beach headquarters in the Civic Center plaza next year.

The port will seek proposals from prospective operators for the sale of drinks and snacks at the cafe. In honor of Small Business Week, port officials began informing local businesses of the opportunity this week, urging smaller shops to submit when the request for proposals opens on June 1, Executive Director Mario Cordero said in an email Friday.

“We hope to see local businesses putting in their bids,” Cordero said.

Similar to the SteelCraft food hall in Bixby Knolls, the Container Café will be built out of an actual shipping container, modified to fit the port’s design, according to Cordero.

The $1.379 million project was not an after-thought addition to the Civic Center development, which includes the port headquarters and City Hall, which both opened in 2019, Cordero said. During construction, port staff coordinated with the Civic Center Ad Hoc Committee on a conceptual design for the cafe.

Electrical and water line connections for the cafe were installed during the Civic Center construction process, Cordero said.

“We coordinated with City Hall leadership on this opportunity to provide a place to serve port and city staff, guests, clients and the general public,” Cordero said. “It will be a good way to help bring more people and activity to Civic Center Plaza.”

Construction is slated to begin this summer, according to Cordero.

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Brandon Richardson is a business reporter, covering everything from real estate and healthcare to the airport and port to city hall and the economy. He is a Long Beach native who has been with the Business Journal since graduating from Long Beach City College in spring 2016 with an associate’s degree in journalism. He is an avid record collector and concert goer.