Restaurant hires artist to beautify shipping container at lakeshore

Muskegon County

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Shipping containers aren’t something you normally see on a beach, but alongside Pere Marquette Park in Muskegon, they’re being used to expand a beachfront restaurant called The Deck.

“They’re just a new way of doing things. A lot of people are using them for restaurants, housing, just recycled materials and otherwise stuff that would be going into the trash or whatnot, so we’re just reusing them for bars and stages and all that stuff,” the restaurant’s owner Michelle Harris said.

The Deck has seen more and more customers over its eight years in business.

“Muskegon is such a tourist town and it’s growing and growing in the tourism industry, and I see it being in the restaurant business,” Harris said.

Though the expansion will allow for more seating, serving windows and a stage for summer performances, not everyone is thrilled with the idea of shipping containers on the beach. Among them is Roberto, who lives three blocks away.

“I come down here almost every day and I have to be honest, it’s not something that I really enjoy looking at,” he said.

He feels that it doesn’t fit in with the ‘world-class beauty’ of Pere Marquette and that it’s creating a much bigger human footprint.

“People are very protective of this beach in terms of just preserving it as naturally as possible,” Roberto explained.

Harris hopes the work of a local artist will help change some of those opinions.

“They told me, ‘Hey, we got some shipping containers by the beach. Are you willing to do some work for us?'” Jubenal Rodriguez recalled.

He has created several other murals in Muskegon. Despite some of the negative reaction, he took on the shipping container project without a second thought.

“I tend to block all of that stuff out and look at it in a good perspective. I’m all for a great change, seeing beyond,” he said.

Rodriguez says the design will be fun, funky and colorful. He said he hopes people will not only admire the mural but also appreciate the beauty around it and all that is Muskegon. He expects it to be finished sometime in June.

An undated courtesy photo of a mural painted on 3rd Street in Muskegon by Jubenal Rodriguez.

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