We always look forward to projects that provide a design challenge. So, when we got the chance to work on Brian Ingram’s latest project in downtown Minneapolis – Cargo Food Authority – we were really excited! The goal was to create a food hall just outside of the Target Center using old shipping containers. As you might imagine, working within the constraints and limitations of the containers required some creative problem-solving.
The first step was to find and purchase the containers. With the help of Mark Palm at Chameleon Concessions, we sourced five of them and cut in doors, windows, and holes in the ceilings for exhaust ventilation. Getting them inside the main hall proved to be the most difficult aspect of our project. Each container had to be carefully craned on-site and then forklifted into place inside the building. We had just 3/4″ of height to spare between the top of the containers and the ceiling!
The second biggest challenge was designing and sourcing for the unique dimensions and limitations of the shipping containers themselves. For example, there was not enough room inside the containers to install walls, so the plumbing and other mechanicals needed to be exposed. And, we ended up cutting the existing floors out of the containers and having the GC install quarry tile in order to meet accessibility and health code requirements.
In terms of the kitchens themselves, each container was custom-fitted for a specific cuisine or purpose. There were separate containers for wings and chicken, pizza, Asian food, tacos, and even a bar! We found equipment that fit and worked effectively inside the small spaces while still delivering on the menu needs of each container.
We designed, spec’d, sourced, and installed just about everything inside, including:
Ovens, including pizza ovens
Fridges and freezers
Bar equipment and bar tap counters
Stainless counters and sneeze guards
Cargo Food Authority is a neat, creative space that provides a unique culinary experience for people with all types of taste buds. It was a difficult and fun project and we’re happy we had the opportunity to help bring it to life!
Partner with us on your next project - contact us to get started.