CRATE Modular & Block Shops Grand Opening

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

The new retail complex brings with it Ancient Owl Beer Garden and Bottle Shop, Negranti Creamery, and custom hat retailer Stellar + Sun Hat Co. Opened by two local brewers Marcin Andruszkiewicz and Laurence Duterte who have spent time working with BarrelHouse Brewing Co., The Beer Garden will have 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,” Zappas continued. “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.

Located off of the famed U.S. Route 101, Block Shops is positioned centrally between Los Angeles and San Francisco, benefiting people traveling both north and south on the highway. 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.”

To stay up-to-date on the latest news from Block Shops, follow them on Instagram at @block.shops

About CRATE Modular

CRATE Modular is an industry leader in creatively repurposing single-use shipping containers into modular buildings for the multifamily, supportive housing, educational and residential construction sectors. Since its founding two years ago, CRATE has delivered over 2000 modules, representing over 500,000 square feet of buildings. CRATE Modular’s approach eliminates workflow inefficiencies, shortens the development cycle compared to conventional site-built construction, reduces waste and produces stronger and more durable buildings. CRATE Modular buildings are manufactured in Los Angeles and are delivered ready-to-install to our customers. For more information, please visit

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