CRATE Modular Celebrates Grand Opening of ‘Block Shops’ in Downtown Atascadero

ATASCADERO — CRATE Modular, a leading manufacturer of modular buildings made from reused shipping containers, announced on Jul. 19 the grand opening of “Block Shops,” a 1,900-square-foot retail and restaurant complex made out of steel shipping containers in downtown Atascadero. CRATE partnered with Z Villages to develop the project.

The new retail complex brings with it Ancient Owl Beer Garden and Bottle ShopNegranti Creamery, and custom hat retailer Stellar + Sun Hat Co.

Opened by two local brewers Marcin Andruszkiewicz and Laurence Duterte, who spent time working with BarrelHouse Brewing Co., The Beer Garden boasts 20-25 taps with craft beers with a combination of locally sourced variants from California, the United States, and all over the world.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have teamed up with a forward-thinking company like CRATE that not only has a high standard for energy efficiency but also saves a huge amount of time during the development process,” said Max Zappas, CEO of Z Villages. “We were able to handle the site infrastructure and improvements while CRATE was fabricating the containers…It was the perfect partnership.”

The complex’s developer and general contractor is Z Villages Development Inc.; Radlab is the architect; Above Grade Engineering is the civil engineer; Budlong and Associates is the MEP engineer; and CRATE handled the factory-built scope of work, including procuring the containers, fabricating the openings, as well as some of the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing components.

“Block Shops is a beautiful, modern project, and downtown Atascadero now has three new businesses to add to the growing roster of small businesses that are flourishing here,” Zappas added.

Block Shops is located on El Camino Real between Traffic Way and Entrada Ave. The project’s creation began in 2019 when Z Villages stumbled on the Berkeley-based Fieldwork Brewing Company, which used the recycled shipping containers concept. Z Villages began working with Fieldwork’s architect to bring the concept to downtown Atascadero.

“CRATE is uniquely positioned to help tackle challenges that exist in the construction industry today,” said Rich Rozycki, CEO of CRATE Modular. “We pride ourselves on the ability to quickly turn over projects that impact people’s daily lives, and we’re ecstatic to be a part of a groundbreaking project that utilizes steel shipping containers like Block Shops.”