The first shipping containers destined to be transformed into CARGO – a new retail concept for Bristol – landed at Wapping Wharf a few weeks ago.

CARGO, the city’s first retail yard made of converted shipping containers, will be part of Wapping Wharf, Bristol’s new harbourside quarter, which is quickly making a name for itself as the city’s new foodie hub.

CARGO will be home to a host of independent retailers including:

– Woky Ko – A 40-seater Asian restaurant and takeaway headed up by MasterChef finalist Larkin Cen of Cen at Celtic Manor, opening this September.

– Chicken Shed – a finger-lickin’ dine-in, dine-out chicken shop, opening in September, created by the team behind food festival Eat Drink Bristol Fashion, co-founded by Michelin-starred Bristol chef Josh Eggleton of The Pony & Trap, Amelia Twine, Nick Roberts and organic farmer Luke Hasell.

– BOX-E – Modern British seasonal cooking by award-winning chef Elliott Lidstone featuring a four-seat kitchen table for those who want to experience the buzz of the kitchen in full.

– PIGSTY – The first PIGSTY restaurant brought to you by the three brothers behind The Jolly Hog and Will Collier, current Harlequins player.

– Lovett Pies – artisan gourmet pies from the West Country from Lovett Pies’ first shop in Bristol.

– Bristol Cider Shop – Established cider shop complete with cider tastings.

– Corks of Cotham – Local wine, spirits and beer merchant opening its third site at CARGO.

– The Mighty Quinns Flower Emporium – Independent florist, stylist and event specialist. Opening its first retail unit at CARGO.

– Shambarber – Famed Stoke Croft barbershop will be opening its second venue, offering styling for all.

Retailers already open along Gaol Ferry Steps – the new pedestrian route through Wapping Wharf, connecting the city centre to south Bristol – include Mokoko, Better Food and Wild Beer Co, with Pizzarova trading from its pop-up crate. Little Victories and Bertha’s Pizza will also be opening soon.

Stuart Hatton, director at Umberslade, the developer of CARGO, said: “It is hugely exciting to be involved in bringing a new retail concept to Bristol with the arrival of CARGO. This is a first for the city and will bring something unique to its vibrant independent retail scene. We are thrilled that Wapping Wharf has attracted such an eclectic mix of food and drink venues, ranging from pop-ups to cuisine from some of Britain’s top chefs.”

Josh Eggleton, co-founder of Eat Drink Bristol Fashion said: “CARGO is a great development which will make this part of the city a real destination for people who love eating out. The emphasis is on Bristol grassroots businesses and we’re proud to bring Chicken Shed to add to the other independents opening here. Our focus will be on creating food that is delicious and sourced from ethical farms which treat their chickens well. We’ll also have a roof terrace wrapping around our containers which will be the place to watch the world go by with a beer and some chicken wings.”

Larkin Cen said: “CARGO at Wapping Wharf presented the perfect opportunity to be part of a hugely exciting new food community in Bristol. I live in the city and have been waiting for the right location and moment to open an Asian-flavours restaurant that provides a casual dining experience while staying true to my style of cooking. I’m excited about the super skilled team we are building to take well-loved dishes and add in my own ideas to make them even more exciting for people to try.”

Elliott Lidstone said: “It’s incredibly exciting to have the containers arriving on site after months of planning. We’re desperate to get started on transforming our bit of metal box into something special, and I can’t wait to get into my own kitchen and start cooking. CARGO’s already got a strong sense of community about it and it’s great to be able to contribute to Bristol’s exploding food scene.”

Rachel Higgens of Corks of Cotham said: “It is with much excitement that Corks of Bristol will be opening their third site at the innovative CARGO within the fabulous new Wapping Wharf development. With a focussed range of wine, spirits and local beers for retail, it is also the first Corks to offer a bar for customers to drop in and enjoy a glass or two from an ever changing, intriguing wine list. With tasting events and private hire also available this is truly exciting times.”

Olly Kohn from Jolly Hog said: “My two brothers and I have always wanted to have a stronger presence in our home town. Opening up our first restaurant is a real testament to the quality of our products and all the hard work that has been put in by everyone at The Jolly Hog over the past eight years.”

Phil Roseblade from Lovett Pies, said: “Lovett Pies are really looking forward to opening our first ever shop in Bristol and working with the CARGO team on such an exciting project. Coming from a street-food background we’ll be keeping the same ethos in our shop. Keeping it simple, affordable and tasty using fresh local ingredients.”

Pete Snowman of Bristol Cider Shop said: “We’re really excited to be moving into CARGO – it’s going to be such a great food and drink community. We love matching amazing food with amazing cider and we’re all about collaboration so we can’t wait to meet our new neighbours!”

Both CARGO 1, which includes 18 converted shipping containers, and CARGO 2, a similar hub adjacent to the first and including 28 containers, have received planning consent. Many of the units, which are set across two levels, have glass frontages, views out onto the waterfront and outside terraces. It is anticipated that the first retailers in CARGO 1 will open in September and in CARGO 2 later this autumn.

The retail property agent for the Wapping Wharf development, including CARGO, is JLL.

Will Duckworth, senior retail surveyor at JLL in Bristol, said: “The vision for CARGO has always been to provide a stepping stone for fledgling businesses including pop-ups and street traders and give them a chance to scale up. As it is so rare for independent retailers to be given the opportunity to come into a city centre regeneration project like this, we have also had interest from more established independents, but we are keen to get the right balance and there are still opportunities for smaller street traders to get involved in CARGO 2.”