Master mixologist Matt Whiley (Scout) and visionary restaurateur Maurice Terzini (Icebergs and Cicciabella) teamed up once again to push boundaries across the hospitality industry with Re—the world’s first waste-free bar.
Housed inside the heritage-listed, nineteenth-century railway workshops (aka Mirvac’s billion-dollar South Eveleigh precinct), Re’s guiding principle is applied to all aspects of the business. From keeping the old paint on the walls showing the history of the building to the furniture, light fittings and even the glassware, Re is all about reducing waste and making use of what is already available—namely, other people’s trash.
Glassware from Maison Balzac was saved from the landfill while ceramics by Mud were made from excess clay and the Defy Design coasters were produced from post-consumer plastic. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the sustainability ethos stops there. However, it doesn’t. Sustainability is not only the focus of Re but it is its ultimate goal.
And, that includes the drinks and food as well. In a statement before opening, Whiley said ”this is not about preaching what should be done, it’s about creating the platform to take the vital conversation around waste in hospitality forward.”
Although the idea of rescuing food from the dumpster might still scare a few people off, those that have gone to Re and tried their drinks and menu options, haven’t been put off. And, they shouldn’t be. Ingredients are sourced from growers with surplus stock and supermarkets that can’t sell produce due to imperfections. This produce then goes into an ever-rotating and evolving cocktail list that will have a strong focus on the spirit rather than the garnish.
As of the time of writing, Re is launching a new initiative where they have teamed up with eight Sydney venues and suppliers “who have separated food waste and by-products from the daily running of their businesses.” These ingredients are then repurposed for their cocktails, but the aim is to grow this idea across all of Sydney so that venues share waste and by-products because there is enough to go around.
There is a research-based cocktail list for those keen on Whiley’s creative cocktail abilities, which also incorporates the nous from the other stars behind the bar—a who’s who of Sydney’s bar scene that includes Jake Down, Ho Song and Evan Stroeve.
Re impresses—waste-free bar or not. After all, it was voted as one of the world’s 50 Best Bars in 2021 and cracked the top 100 in 2022.