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  • 5 out of 5 stars
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  1. A cocktail at Re
    Photograph: Supplied
  2. Inside of bar with white bench stools
    Photograph: Supplied/Re
  3. People outside
    Photograph: Supplied
  4. People outside
    Photograph: Supplied
  5. People outside
    Photograph: Supplied
  6. Inside of bar with white bench stools
    Photograph: Supplied/Re

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure at the world’s first permanent zero-waste bar

February 2024 update: Pioneering zero-waste bar, Re, has closed. Opened in 2021 by cocktail-gun Matt Whiley, the accolade- and attention-grabbing bar won hearts for its seriously impressive cocktails made from wacky ingredients – think chicken feet caramel – and its complete commitment to sustainability. In fact, we loved Re so much the bar won our Best Innovation Award 2023. Whiley alongside co-owner Maurice Terzini (also Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, Snack Kitchen) cited tough post-Covid conditions and the Eveleigh location for the bar's closure. But it’s not all bad news, and thankfully not the last we will see and taste of Whiley, as he heads up the creative drinks at new debauchery-den Pleasure Club, as well as opening a new venue in the former La Salut bar-restaurant in Redfern’s Norfolk Hotel. Watch this space.

- Avril Treasure

Read on for our review of Re by Mel Woodley from August 2023.


At first glimpse, Re is like any other high-end bar: dimly lit with terrazzo tabletops, designer stools, patrons sipping cocktails from fancy glassware and sharing platters of cheese. But what you’re looking at is a bar built entirely on waste (and it’s much more impressive than that description might suggest).

You won’t stumble across Re on a night out in the city, considering it’s hidden in a historic locomotive workshop in the recently restored South Eveleigh precinct. While the bar might not benefit from bustling foot traffic, this off-the-beaten-path spot has given hospitality trailblazers Matt Whiley (Scout) and Maurice Terzini (Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, Cicciabella) a blank canvas to build the world’s first permanent zero-waste bar.

Let's be clear: there’s no preachiness here. Our waitress seats us in the centre of the sleek 80-seat venue and eagerly walks us through the design. It turns out, the ‘terrazzo’ bar, tabletops and staircase are built from a mass of recycled milk bottles. As for your chair? The ‘leather’ banquettes are clothed in pineapple leaf fibre, while the bar stools are designed from discarded wood and plastic. And our favourite part: the hanging lights were sprouted from mushroom mycelium (the vegetative, thread-like part of a fungus).

You won’t be surprised to learn that the menus are printed on recycled coffee cups too. First up: the house classics. All of Re’s cocktails are house-made masterpieces and hero surplus produce salvaged from the Sydney Markets. We pondered the Terry’s Orange Chocolate Negroni and the Margarita Spritz with whole mandarin soda, before surrendering to our waitress’ favourite: the French Martini.

Standing tall in a (supposedly imperfect) Maison Balzac glass, the cocktail is almost like a grown-up and boozed-up version of Ribena, with Økar x Re wasteland aperitif (the world’s first fully recycled aperitif made using grapes destined for landfill), crème de mûre and a kiss of sparkling wine. A thick cloud of pineapple foam sits on top, giving the drink a creamy mouthfeel and adding an extra touch of sweetness to complement the blackberry liqueur.

Re’s ten x ten menu is where things get interesting. Here, you’ll be delighted (or gobsmacked) by an ever-evolving line-up of cocktails created solely from the world’s ten most wasted food items. There are four to play with at any time; each cocktail taking its name from the company that Re rescued its star ingredient from.

Our ears perk up at the words chicken feet caramel, potato coffee, beetroot wine and banana juice. Don’t worry, we did a double-take too. “The last one almost tastes like banana bread,” our waitress adds, and just like that, we're sold.

The Marlivale Farm is a light and fizzy number spotlighting cracked rice that has been upcycled into roasted rice milk vodka and paired with a splash of whisky, tonka bean and clarified banana (fun fact: those banana peels, wine-cured, become faux olives for the Dirty Martini). At first, it feels like you’re sipping on a banana peel, but the taste is quickly overpowered by a strong and nutty roasted rice flavour. It was an unusual choice, however, the cocktail grew on us over time.

When you see the ingredients avocado and toast in a cocktail, how can you resist? As its name suggests, the Goodways Deli features rescued bread from the Redfern sandwich shop, along with vodka and roasted sweet potato sake. Thanks to a dash of coconut, the drink unveils like a tangy dance of coconut water, while the vodka, fat-washed with avocado, adds richness and heft. We like it, even more so for the salty sweet potato cracker that balances atop the glass.

Re offers a tidy selection of bites to snack on, put together by head chef Josh Donachie. Like the drinks, these are born from the creative use of offcuts and salvaged produce, each plated simply on imperfect ceramics from Mud. Take the kimchi and aged cheddar toastie, for example, which is rich with umami, acidity, saltiness and spice. The satisfying crunch of the kimchi mirrors the crisp perfection of the bread, which we have A.P. Bakery to thank for, and we think it’s the next best thing since sliced bread.

Another stand-out is Re’s roasted carrot hummus with herb pesto, pickled carrot and toasted sourdough. This rendition takes the classic chickpea dip on a welcome detour, infusing it with the vibrancy and sweetness of carrots and a lively kick of spice courtesy of the use-it-up herb pesto.

The ingenious minds of the zero-waste warrior team truly triumph with the cereal milk panna cotta, which appears to be a riff on Christina Tosi’s (Momofuku Milk Bar) famous cereal milk dessert. A wave of nostalgia washes over us with every velvety spoonful and a subtle swipe of avocado puree and caramelised Cornflake crunch add an interesting contrast to the dessert.

Re is perhaps Australia’s boldest bar and is nailing it every step of the way. And hey, who knows? We might even be brave enough to give the chicken feet cocktail a whirl next time.

Keen to kick on? Head to this craft brewery a few doors down in South Eveleigh

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Melissa Woodley
Written by
Melissa Woodley


2 Locomotive St
Opening hours:
Wed-Thu, 4-11pm; Fri-Sat, 4pm-midnight
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