Matt Whiley and Maurice Terzini to open RE- in Sydney in February 2021. By Holly Graham.

Matt Whiley of Scout (London and Sydney) is set to open RE- next year, with Maurice Terzini (Icebergs Dining Room & Bar; CicciaBella, Bondi Beach). The bar is set to be a sustainable drinking experience “built on waste” in Sydney’s newly-restored South Eveleigh precinct in February. 

Whiley is famed for his award winning bar Scout – which originally opened in London with another outpost in Sydney – and his pioneering focus on local ingredients and sustainability, creating cocktails with minimal waste. RE- will take this ethos to the next level, looking at every part of the bar including building materials, glassware, light fittings, ingredients, garnishes, what goes in the bin and more.

Bars like Native (Singapore) and the newly opened PENICILLIN (Hong Kong) and Reply (Taipei) champion sustainability in Asia and Whiley hopes RE- will also be a leader responsible for triggering the bar industry to reassess and change the way it deals with sustainability and waste. 

“RE- is a cocktail bar, first and foremost – a place for people to hang out, have fun, and leave knowing they’ve enjoyed excellent service, good food and great drinks with their mates”, explains Whiley. “But if you strip back the layers, you realise there is so much more at play here. Ultimately, the conversation in the industry can’t just be about shifting how you run a service, it’s completely changing how you dictate what comes through your door in the first place, and that extends to the furniture you use, how you build a menu, what produce you’re getting in, even what packaging it comes in. 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”.

The bar will have a list of eight to ten signature cocktails using otherwise wasted products and a selection of highballs, spritzes and classics to get you started, with each drink showcasing the classic Whiley approach. All bar snacks will also be made using sustainable ingredients and reclaimed produce. 

Decor-wise, the bar is situated in an exposed brick heritage site at Sydney’s South Eveleigh, with arched windows, a central bar and tables resembling terrazzo made from “Re-Plas” recycled bottles and Tupperware. Stairs and structural features are made from recycled plastic bags, wood is sustainable, the banquettes use pineapple leaf fibres, light fittings and wine coolers are made from mycelium and stools and chairs are made from recycled and reclaimed materials.

Whiley, a huge proponent of sustainability, adds: “Never has this subject been more important. Food waste costs our economies billions per year as more than five million tonnes of food ends up in landfill meaning one in five bags of groceries winds up in the bin. We have a responsibility to look hard at what we’re not using and find ways to make it desirable. RE- will showcase this through our bar program, but also build a platform geared towards change on a global level. The time is now.”