Eco-friendly Starbucks cafe made out of shipping containers

TUKWILA, Wash. -- We already suspected the Starbucks of the future might be serving a whole lot of juice. Now, it looks like tomorrow's Starbucks cafes might be rectangular and metal - and look suspiciously like shipping containers.

Did someone say "juice box"?

Earlier this week, a construction crew on East Marginal Way in Tukwila was assembling what look like several cargo-style containers stacked on top of each other. The containers are painted shades of brown and feature a drive-thru window on one side.

A font familiar to Starbucks customers covers the side of one container: "Regenerate, Reuse, Recycle, Renew, Reclaim." (You get the idea. Lots of environmentally friendly "R" words.)

The construction crew working at the site Monday told photographer Joshua Trujillo they were building an eco-friendly drive-thru for Starbucks.

Shipping containers have made a splash on the sustainable design scene lately, with one developer launching a 7,200-square-foot cargo-based project in Georgetown just miles away from the drive-thru Starbucks.

Calls to Starbucks seeking confirmation of the project were not returned this week. But the city of Tukwila issued a building permit to the Seattle company on Nov. 4 for the same piece of property, citing an address on a side street just off East Marginal Way South.

The intended development purpose: A "new drive thru/walk-up building for Starbucks Coffee Company."

The company also posted a job listing for a shift supervisor at the new drive-thru.

Starbucks recently detailed an initiative to make greener buildings, including eco-friendly staples such as incorporating discarded and post-industrial materials into design. It's not clear if other shipping-container Starbucks have debuted quietly in other locations, or if the company plans to replicate the design. is a media partner of KOMO News.