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Hipster Hangout: Cholula’s Container City

As the name suggests, Container City is built entirely of recycled shipping containers.Recycling is not yet a big part of Mexican culture, but repurposing certainly is, and clever developers in San Andrés Cholula have taken the concept to its extreme: Gabriel Esper Caram and his partner built an entire city of salvaged shipping containers, many of which are adorned with reused materials, from bottle caps to plastic tubing.

Container City, frequently referred to as simply los containers, isn’t really a city, of course. It’s a roughly 50,000-square-foot strip mall for hipsters that houses boutique clothing stores, restaurants, bars and clubs, a dry cleaner, a tattoo parlor, and a bus depot.

“The creation of a type of Soho or Palermo or Condesa was a fundamental objective, realized with high regard for the needs of the tenants and the magnificent location [near the pyramid],” the developers, who also wanted to build something sustainable, explain on their website. “If you love all things on the vanguard, urban design, or following the latest design and style trends, you should come get to know this project.”

Like almost everything else in Cholula, Container City caters to students from the nearby university (UDLAP), which means its businesses change themes, names, and hands fairly regularly. But the overall laid-back nature of the place, enhanced by the whimsically painted shipping containers, makes it a pleasant spot for patrons of any age to enjoy a leisurely breakfast, an afternoon cup of tea, or a rock & roll nightcap.

“There’s plenty of outdoor space to sit around and hang out, and there are events and bands scheduled all the time,” Bridgette Meinhold noted earlier this year on the Inhabitat design blog.

Our favorite spot is Taxi bar, which hosts live music most evenings. Note that, if you’re enjoying a beer at Taxi and get hungry, you can order food (tacos, sushi, doner kebab) from the neighboring restaurants; look for wait staff wandering around with menus. La Martina next door serves sinfully good deep-fried cecina (salt-cured beef).

The Container City is located at the corner of 12 Oriente and 2 Norte in San Andrés Cholula. Hours vary wildly, but you’ll find most businesses open daily in the late afternoon.

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6 Responses to “Hipster Hangout: Cholula’s Container City”

  1. Susan says:

    What a wonderful place! I don’t thinks this was in Cholulua when i visted over 5 years ago.
    Nice blog, nice website.

  2. admin says:

    Thanks, Susan! I appreciate your feedback, and I hope you’ll have another chance to visit Cholula.

  3. Kate says:

    What was the name of that adorable bakery/restaurant you took us to here? The food was incredible!

  4. admin says:

    The one previously mentioned in this post was called Flavr. Here’s the parent company’s website (Spanish only): http://www.hackl.com.mx/ Sadly, the restaurant has since closed.

  5. […] Como quase tudo em Cholula, a cidade container atende a estudantes da universidade nas proximidades, o que significa que as empresas mudam seus temas, nomes com bastante regularidade. Mas a natureza descontraída do local, reforçado pelos contêineres caprichosamente pintados, o torna um local agradável para clientes de qualquer idade para desfrutar de um agradável pequeno-almoço, uma xícara de chá à tarde ou uma bebida. Veja mais puebla-méxico […]

  6. Amber Vyn says:

    Thanks for the background on this very interesting aspect of Cholula architecture. I will make my home for the month of May this year. Looking forward to the benefits of a small-ish ‘college town’ with the big city of Puebla right next door!