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London burger bar made from upcycled shipping containers opens

Magic Roundabout development in the middle of Old Street roundabout, East London

The new Magic Roundabout development in the middle of Old Street roundabout, east London is home to Burger Bear based in an upcycled shipping container. Image: Chris Coulson

Burger Bear is the latest example of entrepreneurs who are turning away from expensive retail rentals, opting for cost effective upcycled shipping containers to get their dream businesses off the ground.

It is the latest pop-up based at the new Magic Roundabout development in the middle of Old Street roundabout, east London, and specialises in gourmet burgers and music. By converting containers, businesses like this are avoiding taking on expensive leaseholds or incurring high building costs. 

The containers were provided by Mobile Mini, a provider of storage containers and portable accommodation, driving the trend in containers being used as premises.

Disco-loving Tom Reaney, owner of Burger Bear, who raised £36,000 through a Kickstarter campaign to get his venture off the ground, said: “I love the look of the containers and they are very robust, cheaper and just a lot more fun for our customers. I’ve always liked to do things differently on the London street food scene, and Burger Bear will mix food and music in quite a unique way – a chance for people to ‘let loose’ in our container diner.”

Tom Reaney in his upcycled shipping container barger bar

Burger Bear based in an upcycled shipping container is run by Tom Reaney. Image: Chris Coulson

Chris Watcham, health and safety director for Mobile Mini UK, added: “Although our containers are typically used in construction, building, retail and education, it’s exciting to see the growing trend in new small businesses, such as Burger Bear, using storage containers. 

“Converted storage containers are an ideal choice for small businesses because of their versatility and affordability. Once planning permission has been obtained, containers can be placed on-site in a matter of weeks, or even days, which gives new businesses the great advantage of getting their premises up and running quickly. 

“With a wide range of sizes and prices, our storage containers can keep overheads to a minimum, so new businesses can focus on growing, while also helping the environment with an eco-friendly solution.”

By Lucy

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