New 7th Ward restaurants open in old shipping containers

'The Box Spot' is a new development that takes old shipping containers and turns them into restaurants in the 7th Ward.

NEW ORLEANS -- A pair of shipping containers are among the city’s newest restaurants.

The Box Spot at North Claiborne Avenue and Annette Street in the 7th Ward consists of two remodeled shipping containers, complete with opposite food choice offerings in each steel container.

Owners said the idea of renovating old shipping containers has hit big in other cities. This is the first time the concept has come to New Orleans.

“They’re doing this around the world,” said Justin Duncan, who owns and runs the restaurant with his family. “The concept was an idea of my father’s. California, Seattle -- there are a number of places where they’re taking (containers) and they’re making homes, other small shops, businesses.”

The owners told The New Orleans Advocate they want to take the concept of two different recycled container restaurants to different parts of the city. The next one is planned for Mid-City.

The containers sit next to each other, with a shared deck for outdoor eating. Owner Gina Duncan said she decorated the restaurants herself, using recycled pallets, pipes and wood to make much of the inside seating and signage.

One side is the “Fresh Side” that serves up salads and wraps. The other is the “Wing Side,” where chicken wings are dipped in various sauces and served with fries.

Almost everyone who comes into one of the restaurants crossed the patio, giving the other container and its offerings a look. The development is situated at the foot of the Interstate 10 North Claiborne Avenue exit ramp, so those who frequent the area said they noticed the construction.

Many of the customers said wondering what the boxes were brought them to the restaurant. The food keeps them coming back, they said.

“I saw it from the beginning, and I was wondering, ‘what can they make of that?’” said Harold Rose, who has already visited the fresh side and the wing side. “I’m overly impressed. They brought a beautiful attraction to an area normally known for a lot of crime.”

The owners hail from the 7th Ward and said bringing the unique restaurant to their neighborhood was a way to spur new business in the neighborhood.

“The concept behind this was to bring something fresh and new to the community,” Justin Duncan explained. “Liven up the neighborhood and have something nice for everyone to come and enjoy. No matter your ethnicity, no matter your color, no matter what. Just somewhere where we can all just come together and have good food.”

© 2017 WWL-TV


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