Re- is a sustainability-focused cocktail bar in the South Eveleigh precinct in Sydney, recently opened by hospitality royalty, Matt Whiley (Scout above The Dolphin) and Maurice Terzini (Icebergs). Re- reimagines managing waste literally from the floor to the ceiling, across the bar to the kitchens and on to its operations. From every aspect of the way the bar is built, right through the serving plates to how and what food lands on them and what gets offered as drinks. Re- is beautiful, stylish, modern and it just redefined what's possible in hospitality in every possible way.
There is so much to love about a business who takes every aspect of what is possible in something as complex as a new bar and remains committed to their objective without flinching.
A bar has so many opportunities to cut corners, even in the eco space, but Re- has sought out every opportunity to be the most sustainable, while not compromising a single point on food, drink and the venue. Whiley is very interested in going way beyond the recycled and rescued furnishings, car tyre floors, plastic milk bottle bar and mycelium fungus lights.
"WE DON'T WANT [RE-] TO CARRY THE NEGATIVE CONNOTATION OF 'SAVING' SOMETHING FROM THE BIN. WE WANT TO CHAMPION THE FACT THAT WE'RE GIVING SOMETHING NEW LIFE."
The bar uses market surplus food and is particularly interested in reinventing the supply chain. Everything on the menu is made in-house from surplus produce salvaged from local markets. Icebergs head chef Alex Pritchard has put together the bar food menu, which focuses on offcuts and salvaged produce. Whiley told Delicious:
“WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO LOOK HARD AT FOOD WE’RE NOT USING AND FIND WAYS TO MAKE IT DESIRABLE. AT RE-, WE’LL SHOWCASE THIS THROUGH OUR BAR PROGRAM, BUT ALSO BUILD A PLATFORM GEARED TOWARDS CHANGE ON A GLOBAL LEVEL. THE TIME IS NOW.”
According to Planet Ark, Re- is collaborating with Ketel One Vodka on a project called Never Wasted. Launching in May, a month-long pilot program will bring 10 Sydney bars together to create a circular economy for leftovers and surplus food. After the first month, the project will expand by adding more food waste items into the mix, with the end goal being to build it up to the point where all food waste is being circulated and nothing ends up in landfill. Re will also act as the last port of call for items that can’t be used elsewhere in the network.
Supply chain packaging issues in hospitality are another big issue. While beer is transported in kegs and while travel miles is still an issue, it's minimal compared to the individually glass bottled spirits which are still packaged in one litre bottles. Re- gets Never Never Gin through ecoSPIRITS in refillable five and 25-litre ‘totes’. Once the totes are empty, the company collects them, cleans them and uses them again.
"ECOSPIRITS IS MOVEMENT. ONE IN WHICH PRODUCERS, DISTRIBUTORS AND VENUES COME TOGETHER TO DRAMATICALLY REDUCE WASTE, IMPROVE AFFORDABILITY, AND BUILD A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE FOR THE INDUSTRY”
While ecoSPIRITS is steadily widening it's global footprint, everything else is a work in progress.
Visit Re- Bar when you are in Sydney. It is such and extensive education in eco that a drink and a nibble there should at least be claimable as an eco training course. Cheers!