Boxcars Will House Dining and Entertainment in Tucson

Home Boxcars Will House Dining and Entertainment in Tucson

September 27, 2017


We all know that Tucson is the size of a city, but most days it feels like a big town. The charm of the Fourth Avenue district appeals to us for the same reason. It’s a great place to shop, stroll, eat, and celebrate during special occasions, so it draws an eclectic crowd. It’s this blend of nostalgia with a dash of modernism that makes the Ave a favorite destination for locals and tourists alike.

There’s a new and exciting addition planned for one of the city’s most beloved spots. We’re eagerly awaiting the opening of the BoxYard dining and entertainment venue on the Ave. Local developer, Brenndon Scott, a Tucson native and entrepreneur, plans to open the BoxYard by the end of the year. He’s planned a development of four restaurants and two bars with communal dining on the 12,000 square foot lot at 238 N. Fourth Ave. The inspiration for this unique, trendy space came from visiting other venues around the country designed from boxcars.

Repurposing the uniquely industrial boxcar as the basis for funky architecture in bars and restaurants is a growing national trend. Modern ingenuity has allowed these unique building materials to thrive when they have otherwise been considered absurd.  The boxcars are eco-friendly and virtually indestructible, since they were built to handle heavy loads, harsh climate conditions, and designed to be stacked. These sturdy building blocks can be welded together and built in a very short time, and handle just about anything that is thrown at them.

Ten containers will form the building blocks of the project. Centered on a courtyard, several 20-foot containers will serve as the restaurants’ kitchens, while a few more stacked 40-foot containers function as the bars. The remaining containers house indoor seating around a temperature-controlled courtyard.

“There will be a lot of interesting colors and concepts,” Scott said, “surrounded by great trees and shade.” At the request of the surrounding historic neighborhood, a small old building on the site will be preserved and integrated into the final project.

“This is the best entertainment walking district, linking up with downtown and the university,” he said. “It’s a unique and exciting spot for us.” The site will only have a handful of parking spots, but a large area for bicycle parking.

“An element of exclusivity and time-sensitivity is the novelty aspect that attracts people.” Scott plans to capitalize on that and sign only one-year leases with restaurants so the cuisine is always changing. The restaurants will be local, Scott said, and he hopes to announce final details soon.

The liquor license is for the property as a whole, and this unique setup allows the two bars to operate independently from the restaurants.

The open space will also house events such as yoga classes, a bocce ball court, and concerts. The space will accommodate 150 people, or up to 200 for concerts. This project is a dream come true for many merchants in the area who suffered through the construction of the streetcar route. The appeal of the area will draw more foot traffic and support the revitalization of the city center.

Look for more information on this project as it nears the opening date. 

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