Party in a Box!

Repurposed containers are just the ticket

Andrew Kelly and Gayle Zalduondo, founders of Little River Box Company, began their careers more than 20 years ago by designing and manufacturing furniture for national retailers like Crate and Barrel, Room and Board and Restoration Hardware.

Andrew parlayed his design and manufacturing experience into Cabin Fever, a prefab house kit company. Now he combines his background in furniture manufacturing and building prefabs into repurposing containers at Little River Box Company. He’s a renaissance man – a craftsman, inventor, innovator and visionary.

Gayle’s passion has always been bringing ideas to life. She enjoys connecting the dots by creating products that integrate seamlessly into their environment. Materials, proportion and how things go together are paramount in her design philosophy. Making this world a more beautiful and comfortable place is her mission. After a brief foray in the prefab business at Cab Prefab, it was evident that her heart was still in metal. And the container business was born!

Kelly and Zalduondo created their first showroom from containers during Art Basel 2006, and it’s taken off from there. An early project was building a commercial bar from containers, and that propelled them into creating a product line to show some of the many functions for containers. They have designed retail boxes, cafes and bars, exhibition spaces and coming on line next season will be the Loo Box, a rugged, smart and well designed portable bathroom.

A client’s dream can easily become reality – affordable and portable as well. Containers are transported by truck to their locations and put into place. For those stacked containers, sometimes a crane is required. Costs vary wildly, depending on use and finishes. A simple bar begins at $26,000 and goes up from there depending on the customization. It begins with a shell that’s transformed into that dream – and the sky’s the limit! Last year they even decked out a container in gold sequins for LA Pride!

So when Ken Lyon decided to open Charcoal Garden Bar + Grill, a full service restaurant and bar in Wynwood Art District (82 N.W. 29th Street – 786-646-2998), his first stop was Little River Box Company. A restaurant designed from containers offers location independence (moving’s a snap – just pick up and go), versatility and a short turn around time.

For Ken’s project, six shipping containers created an amazing space and just the configuration that Ken needed for his restaurant. Two 20-foot containers created the full service chef’s kitchen; the dining room utilized two 40-foot containers cut down; the bar is one 20-foot box and the same for the porch.

No matter the project, Little River Box Company can make it happen. They are located at 9200 N.W. 27th Avenue in Miami – 305-302-6260. Visit the site at

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