With a stiff breeze making things a bit more complicated, contractors on Friday used a crane and their own muscles to ease a giant blue shipping container off a truck and into place at the future Ferg’s restaurant across from Amalie Arena.
After some extensive modifications, a total of seven containers will form a bar, the restrooms and the band shell for a large, outdoor patio adjacent to the indoor space that once was the Luxury Box bar/restaurant.
“Once these containers fall into place, it’s a big milestone for the project,” said Jay Mize, co-owner and developer of the Tampa location of the long-famous Ferg’s in St. Petersburg.
Designing a whole restaurant out of containers, and winning city approval has been an extensive project, Mize said. “It’s a lot of work to be the guinea pig, but you reap the rewards, too. If you just do what everyone else has done you just end up last.”
Contractors with Tampa-based A Aamerican Container & Trailer Leasing will ease seven containers into place on site, said owner Angela Payne. The first was a “one-time” container that’s only taken a single one-way trip, from China to the United States. Each container weighs 9,000 pounds empty, and costs between $5,000 and $6,000, before any modifications.
This is the first restaurant her company has delivered containers for, but it likely won’t be the last. Payne said she’s already heard from several builders and designers, and she’s helped design and build a private residence for a customer in Parrish, Fla. Containers are becoming a hot motif for retail, restaurants and shops.
The Getaway beach bar/restaurant on the Courtney Campbell Causeway will soon install a few shipping containers where Holy Hog BBQ cooks will serve up barbecue to the open-air bar-patio-restaurant space.
Mize picked containers for this project partly as a design ethos (near Port Tampa Bay) but also because the whole neighborhood will soon be under development and they may need to pick up and move.
Permitting in Tampa has taken some time, Mize said, but he doesn’t begrudge the City of Tampa. It’s a new concept, he said, that takes some flexibility. If all goes according to plan now, the new Ferg’s could open to the public in January.