DETROIT (FOX 2) - "Detroit Tigers fans come out in droves no matter what, so with everything going on we're hoping for the best," said Josh Duncan of Tin Roof.
Preparing for what is usually one of the biggest days of the year for bars in downtown Detroit, it's everything but normal for the folks at the Tin Roof bar near Comerica Park this belated Opening Day.
"All of our employees are wearing masks and they sanitized everywhere to keep everybody safe," said Duncan, the beverage manager.
Trying their best to maintain the bar atmosphere even outside, Tin Roof bartenders are serving drinks out of a large shipping container outdoors.
"It just becomes a great extension of the bar," said Matt Egan, VP of specialty contracting, BoxPop.
BoxPop is a new custom shipping container company based in Traverse City. Matt Egan says BoxPop’s parent company - Britten, had been importing a lot of print material that would show up in large shipping containers.
"We had a lot of these shipping containers sitting around our shop and we were in the event industry, we tried to come up with ways to reuse them," Egan said.
During this pandemic, Egan says he and his team realized this would be a good way to help folks in the bar and restaurant industry.
"It's just what everyone needs at this time, to be able to get outside and feel safe at an outdoor environment," Egan said.
The cost of a container is about $25,000 and they come in 10, 20, and 40-foot sizes. They have add-on accessories like rooftop decks and bar equipment. Egan says they can be transported anywhere - and can be wired for electricity and running water.
The company has been busy since January helping to build 25 decontamination containers for N-95 masks, and then, building custom, mobile containers for bars and restaurants that are more spacious than food trucks.
"You can pop it out the back patio of your bar," Egan said. "It'll drive a lot more traffic to the outside; provide a lot of socially distant areas to order a drink or some food from the counter."
"You can drain it down in the winter, so you can almost winterize it," Egan said.
So what do bartenders think about working inside of these?
"It works amazing," said Duncan. "All of the doors flap down so you can get customers on all sides. It is kind of awesome."
Egan says business has been so good, he's even been able to hire people adding that during this time of uncertainty, he hopes his storage containers will not only help folks feel safe but also help bars and restaurants- struggling to bring in customers.