Studio One Eleven Expands Shipping-Container Food-Halls in Southern California


SteelCraft Garden Grove is the latest design to attract independent retailers, encourage social cohesion, and boost local economies with a new food-hall.

Repurposed containers are cost-effective and site-specific.

Architecture, urbanism and landscape-design firm Studio One Eleven has completed the next in a series of outdoor food halls using its exclusive, repurposed shipping-container designs. SteelCraft Garden Grove is a 20,000-square-foot, al-fresco, neighborhood-dining experience. At 12900 Euclid St in central Garden Grove, this project marks the first SteelCraft in Orange County, and has brought immediate economic benefits to its underused downtown location.

With 24 repurposed cargo containers positioned around communal eating areas on a 1.8-acre lot, SteelCraft Garden Grove also features a children’s play area, co-working SteelCraft Garden Grovespace, upper-level patio, retro video-game arcade, pop-up retail and an organic garden planned for its chefs. The containers house eleven curated vendors: craft food, coffee and beer brewers, dessert, retail and a winery (soon to come). The upstairs creative-office space is 320 square feet with an adjacent second-story dining patio that can also be leased out for private events. As with the recently opened SteelCraft Bellflower, the developer, operator and builder is Howard CDM.

“With SteelCraft Garden Grove we again partnered with Howard CDM to create a colorful, activated food hall where customized containers are a central attraction,” said Studio One Eleven Senior Principal Michael Bohn, AIA

This approach delivers multiple advantages, says Bohn: The re-purposed containers are cost-effective; they can be assembled quickly; they are well-suited for local, independent vendors; and they efficiently transform underused parcels into a thriving destinations.

“Our approach adapts nicely to the downtowns of many communities, including those in SteelCraft Garden Grove‘food deserts,’ where quality dining choices are limited,” said Bohn. “Each project is crafted to the needs and resources of its neighborhood. And each boosts economic vitality and social cohesion as people from various backgrounds gather to share food and drink.”

Howard CDM President and CEO Martin Howard described the latest design: “Everywhere you look, every detail is beautifully executed. The scope for SteelCraft Garden Grove called for multiple cantilevered containers and a second-story balcony. We introduced an arcade container, built custom businesses for each food and drink purveyor, and added private event and office space.”

The container arcade offers games from the golden era of gaming and includes Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, Centipede, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter 2, Claw Machine and Simpsons.

The co-working space provides a copier, printer, Wi-Fi and desks, and visitors may work anywhere within the SteelCraft grounds. The container closest to the street serves as a pop-up shop in order to gain greater visibility for local aspiring businesses.

In the chef’s garden, passion fruit vines, citrus and herb ground cover are cultivated for restaurant use. For example, the passion fruits are harvested by Honey & Butter restaurant as an ingredient for its macarons. Coming soon is a raised garden with herbs, spices, flowers and seasonal vegetables. In the center of the garden will be a dining table, also available for special events.

Social and Economic Benefits

Local and independent vendors at SteelCraft Garden Grove include: Beachwood Brewing, an extension of Beachwood BBQ with award-winning craft beers; Cauldron Ice Cream, the small but growing chain known for its Puffle Cone and signature rose-shaped ice cream; Chick ‘N Shack, with Hainan chicken and rice inspired by travels throughout Southeast Asia; Honey & Butter, serving authentic, beautifully decorated, fresh macarons; Renegade Taco, originally a catering firm, with fusions of unique ethnic flavors; The Nest, serving all-day breakfast from a classic menu; Barrio, healthy, grilled Filipino BBQ; Dark Horse Coffee Roasters, roasting the freshest quality beans in-house, daily; The Penalty Box, the latest dining concept from NHL Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne and business partner Kevin Pratt, with creative burgers (pucks), hot dogs (sticks), and fries (twigs); Wilson Creek Winery (coming soon), family-owned from the heart of Temecula Valley Wine Country.

As with Studio One Eleven’s previous cargo food halls, SteelCraft Garden Grove reports positive business impacts immediately upon opening.

–          The grand opening weekend attracted approximately 12,000 visitors.

–          SteelCraft is receiving an overwhelming number of requests for the private event spaces.

–          The pop-up shop allows SteelCraft to help curate new entrepreneurs.

–          Located near the Disney Resort, SteelCraft has quickly become an alternative tourist destination. Customers can enjoy Disneyland fireworks from the upper patio.

–          SteelCraft is attracting thousands of new visitors weekly to downtown Garden Grove.

Said Garden Grove Mayor Steve Jones, “Talk about a ‘wow!’ moment, Garden Grove is over-the-top thrilled, excited, and overjoyed to see SteelCraft add its one-of-a-kind vibe to our re-imagined downtown! The tremendous anticipation of their grand opening has been phenomenal.”

Other Studio One Eleven shipping-container designs besides SteelCraft Bellflower are The Roost in Santa Ana and the upcoming Leisuretown in Anaheim. Leisuretown is developed by LAB Holding in Anaheim’s CenterCity and will feature two levels of shipping containers integrated within a 32,000-square-foot culinary campus with gardens, a swimming pool, a vegan Mexican food restaurant and a Modern Times craft brewery. Leisuretown will open in early 2020.

SteelCraft Garden Grove

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