The Background

In the spring of 2023, a brand-new 'foodie heaven' opened in Ely, Cambridgeshire and has been drawing big crowds ever since with its unique street food experience. The Yard is the latest offering from the beloved Silver Oak Coffee, who have created a unique venue out of shipping containers. This innovative space hosts a coffee shop, restaurant, bar, outdoor seating area, and children's playroom, with each section housed within one of the five containers.

The Yard, Ely

The Task

Interior designer Layrd Design worked for 18 months on this £400k project sourcing shipping containers, solar panels, and an outdoor canopy. We were then brought into the project by Layrd Design, the Cambridge based firm, to assist with fitting out the venue with loose indoor and outdoor furniture. The goal was to create a “Shoreditch Style” street food venue that was an exciting and vibrant place for families to relax, build a sense of community, and champion sustainability.

The Yard, Ely Fixed Seating

The Work

The strong sense of community at the heart of the project was created by the placing of the large outdoor seating area under huge canopies connecting the container units. Complete with string lights and wooden benches, the outdoor furniture also featured our Terrain Side Chairs and Tables, which are bistro-style pieces that look great and are easily foldable for storage on rainy days. The outdoor section also features our Riga Complete Tables and Side Chairs, which enhance the industrial style created by the shipping containers. The client also chose our Vanity polyprop chairs, which are easily stored and cleaned whilst being durable and comfortable.

The Yard Ely Riga Outdoor Side Chair

Moving into the restaurant container, this space featured multiple fixed-seating booths with metal dividers on one side and multiple two-seater tables on the other, and a small lounge area at the end. To match the industrial style within this container, we provided Rustic Oak Table Tops for both the booth fixed-seating areas and two-seater dining tables. The larger rectangular sizes had to be designed to be fixed to the wall with metal detailing at the ends to further cement the industrial look. Our Rib Side Chair in Ink with a black frame were chosen to sit alongside the square 700mm rustic oak table tops on matte black Dome Table Bases. Two Rib High Chairs were also included for a small bar-style table towards the end of the unit.

The children's playroom has a slightly different feel from the rest of the venue, featuring comfy furniture in soft pastel colours and fun wallpaper. As this room would see a lot of wear and tear, the client wanted simple furniture upholstered in easily wipeable fabric. For the Macaroon Side Chairs, the client opted for our classic Vena faux leather fabric in Cappuccino and Light Green. The room also features our comfortable Denmark Two-Seater Sofa in Panaz Aston Seafoam with contrasting button detailing.

The Yard Ely Playroom

The Result

The Yard opened its doors last year and has quickly become a favourite among locals and tourists in Ely looking for great food, cocktails, and coffee. We are thrilled to have worked with Layrd Design to create this unique venue and that our furniture contributes to this industrial street food setting. The Yard is a vibrant place for families to relax, and its large outdoor space allows for extra events, such as live music, comedy evenings, film nights, and sports viewings. It’s the perfect place to try local food and relax in the sunshine with a cold beer this summer.