Having had two restaurants fail on him, Kirk Lance vowed if he ever opened another he’d have to be able to pick it up and move it if it started to backslide.
As he drove down the interstate in Oregon, where Lance had moved and had his eco-conscience raised, he noticed “giant yards … with hundreds, possibly thousands” of shipping containers stacked up and suddenly saw his next restaurant. He bought one of these cargo holders, for about $3,000.
“It was the culmination of sustainability and recycling and portability all coming together,” Lance says.
Turning the retired cargo vessel into a taqueria wasn’t that hard, says Lance. Cutting out windows, spraying in the foam insulation, “anybody with a little construction background can probably figure those things out,” he says.
But getting the permits, the blueprints, the structural engineering reports through the state of Oregon took four years, and added “a ton” to the cost, Lance says. ”What kept me going was if I could build one of these things and it works well, I could just copy the blueprints and build 100 of them,” or pick up and move.
“This shipping container has traveled all over the world,” says Lance. “It’s shipped tons of who knows what, and for me it’s kind of intriguing that it gets to have a second life.”
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