New Brunswick

Moncton's first shipping container restaurant set to open in 2018

By next summer, the city of Moncton could welcome its first restaurant and bar-in-a-box.

Euston Park Restaurant will have a casual atmosphere like a 'really great backyard'

This empty lot will become the location of Moncton's first restaurant and bar built using shipping containers. (Kate Letterick/CBC)

A project in Moncton has passed another hurdle and by next summer, the city could welcome its first restaurant and bar-in-a-box.

City council passed a rezoning request Aug. 21 for a lot on Euston Street off Assomption Boulevard.

The rezoning will allow Gene Cormier and his wife Susan to pursue their vision for a bar and restaurant in a shipping container.

"Your best friend that has a really great backyard, that's what we're trying to build," he said. 

Cormier has worked as a chef all over the world and is currently living in Doha, Qatar.

He said he and his wife were inspired by similar small, outdoor restaurants they saw in New York when they lived there. 

Restaurant industry changing

Cormier says he's been away from Moncton for 10 years but during visits home, he's been impressed with the way the city's food and restaurant industry has been evolving.

"Greater Moncton is sort of growing and becoming more in tune with different restaurants, home grown concepts, so this is why we started to jump into this for Euston Park." Cormier said.

A rendering of what the Euston Street Restaurant will look like when completed. (Submitted by Gene Cormier)

The shipping-container restaurant will offer food and drinks with a large fenced in patio space.

"Coming from Moncton, there's always a need to enjoy summer as much as you can and we feel there was a bit of a lack of patio space," said Cormier.

Cormier said he wants to create a casual atmosphere.

"So you know, fenced in, lots of greenery, picnic tables and multi size tables and we really want to start to utilize a lot of the products and produce that's happening in the Maritimes."

Although the lot is small, Cormier likes the location, close to the river front and the new Downtown Centre.

First for city 

It's the first time the city has allowed a project like this, said Sebastien Arcand, Moncton's senior planner.

Sebastien Arcand, senior planner for the City of Moncton says this is a first for the city. (Kate Letterick/CBC)

"We've seen shipping containers in the past more used as storage so we purposely don't allow them, but all of a sudden they're being used as something completely new so yes, this would be a first for the city of Moncton."  Arcand said.

Although there are similar establishments in other cities like Halifax, Arcand says the city is looking at the Euston Park Restaurant as a pilot project.

"I think we could see some others but we've got to be careful in terms of … they can't be located in every location it needs to be evaluated on a case by case basis," said Arcand. 

Now that rezoning is complete, Cormier said site surveys and other pre-construction work can begin. 

"We're engaging companies in order to build the container … and then we look to open the Euston Park by summer of next year."