Houston: Are Shipping Containers the New Food Trucks? Stationary Food Park Planned for Heights

An example of a container food truck, La Boite Cafe, in Austin Photo via Roam & Home

By Sarah Rufca | Culture Map Houston

An example of a container food truck, La Boite Cafe, in Austin Photo via Roam & Home

Take a food truck, subtract the wheels and what do you have? If you said Sparkle’s Hamburger Spot or Moon Tower Inn, you’re probably pretty close. So is there a market for stationary food purveyors serving quick, casual fare without a drive-thru?

There is according to Dennis Leviage and Steve Schwartz. They are behind “Kitchens on 14th,” a proposed project that will turn a 25,000-square-foot tract on the corner of N. Shepherd Drive and 14th Street in the Heights into a collection of eateries inside refurbished shipping containers.

According to the Houston Chronicle’s Nancy Sarnoff, construction on Kitchens at 14th is set to begin next month with completion expected in January. Architect Issac Preminger, who is behind upscale restaurants around Houston including Tiny Boxwood’s, Up Restaurant and the former La Strada, has been tapped to design the project with “communal eating areas, trees and water features.”

In addition to the shipping containers, there will also be a more traditionally structured pizzeria on site called 14th Coal Fired Pizza. Former La Strada owner Aldo Catania will operate the pizza parlor and manage the container operations. Laviage tells Sarnoff that the project will start with four or five vendors with room to grow, and will have ping-pong, horseshoes and live entertainment on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings as well as Sunday brunch.

Will this replace the potential food truck food court on Washington Avenue? Would you seek out food served in a chic shipping container?