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This new Long Beach food court comes with a heavy-metal past

This new Long Beach food court comes with a heavy-metal past
Michael Foss, 27, serves coffee out of a metal shipping container at Steelhead Coffee at the open-air food court Steelcraft in Long Beach. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

Shipping containers have been used for housing, farming, even swimming pools. Now, following on the heels of the Shops at Adams Gateway in L.A., containers from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are being used to create SteelCraft, an open-air eatery in Long Beach.

The project, which officially opens Feb. 3, will feature nine artisanal eateries: Steelhead Coffee, Smog City Brewery, Desano Pizza Bakery, Working Class Kitchen, Tajima, Waffle Love, Pig Pen Delicacy, the Fresh Shave and Lovesome Chocolates.

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"It started out of our love for food and the city and creating an environment that would bring people together," says project manager Kim Gros, who lives nearby in the Bixby Knolls area of Long Beach.

Why build with shipping containers? "We value three things," says Gros. "Building community, celebrating the craft of good food and drink, and sustainability and restoration."

In addition to the repurposed metal containers — long a part of Long Beach's identity — the complex features reclaimed-wood communal picnic tables that were welded and fabricated in Long Beach and bike racks made from recycled material.

SteelCraft is at 3768 Long Beach Blvd. in Long Beach. Steelhead Coffee, Smog City Brewery, Desano Pizza Bakery, Waffle Love and Lovesome Chocolates have opened. The rest will follow on Feb. 3.

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