A self-contained food market made out of shipping containers with a roof-top bar is set to open its doors to the public for the first time.

The owner of Blue Collar Corner in Hosier Street is aiming to bring the street food and night life of areas like Brixton and Peckham back to Reading, starting at 11am on Saturday.

But Glen Dinning’s project, which began in 2019, nearly didn’t see the light of day due to complications during the planning and building process as well as Covid-19.

“It was pretty scary at times because we’d started building preliminary work and there was a couple of days in particular where it looked like we just weren’t going to get [planning approval]," said Glen, from Didcot.

Reading Chronicle: Glen Dinning, owner of Blue Collar CornerGlen Dinning, owner of Blue Collar Corner

“That probably would have been the end of Blue Collar. I’d gone all in at that point.

“I underestimated how big a job it was until we were in the heat of the battle but I think it will be worth it when we get there.”

Glenn was just 23 when he started Blue Collar Group, which organized food festivals in Forbury Gardens six years ago.

He went on to take over the Wednesday and Friday markets in Hosier Street as well as catering outside the Select Car Leasing Stadium on match days.

Reading Chronicle: The bar in Blue Collar Corner, which will sell beers from Tilehurst's own Double-Barrelled breweryThe bar in Blue Collar Corner, which will sell beers from Tilehurst's own Double-Barrelled brewery

Today (Friday) work was finished on his first permanent base for the company.

The beer garden/market is surrounded by shipping containers manned by local food sellers and a DJ tent.

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If you climb up the inside of an upturned container surrounded by a mosaic of posters, you will end up on a terrace with heat lamps and a view of Reading.

Reading Chronicle: The stairs to the rooftop terraceThe stairs to the rooftop terrace

Reading Chronicle: Some of the roof seating at Blue CollarSome of the roof seating at Blue Collar

“I just think it’s exciting more than anything else," said Glen.

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“I think the food traders we’ve got here are up there with some of the best in the UK in terms of Street Food”

Reading Chronicle: Sarv's Slice at Blue Collar CornerSarv's Slice at Blue Collar Corner

Reading Chronicle: Chefs at work in You BaoChefs at work in You Bao

“Hopefully there’s a few kind of different people that will come: those that love it because it’s a querky design, people who are in to drinking and then obviously foodies as well."

Blue Collar Corner will bopen from 11am to 10.30 pm Thursday to Saturday and from 11am to 8pm on Sundays.