Meet NYC’s first Waste-Free Wine Bar

It’s nothing new that the planet is on fire, and while it may seem daunting to some to opt for more a more green way of living, Fort Greene’s new natural wine bar is, quite literally, setting the bar for local businesses to step up and do their part.

Upon opening its doors late September, Rhodora Wine Bar became NYC’s first waste-free bar. Located at 197 Adelphi, this cozy spot was once home to Metta, a carbon-neutral restaurant under the same ownership, that closed its doors earlier this summer. With a bigger vision in mind for sustainability, Henry Rich and his team (in part with Oberon Group) went above and beyond to re-open as trash-free, green space.

Going through great lengths to avoid making waste, the team and location underwent a huge transformation. Finding vendors who were willing to work with their vision, riding the spot of food waste, single-use plastic, styrofoam, and paper, and cultivating a staff to help make the dream a reality is no easy feat, but Rhodora is doing it, and they expect their patrons to participate as well.

Upon each menu, patrons get an introduction to what Rhodora strives for; sustainability, transparency, and respect. Not only for the environment but the staff and patrons as well. Wanting to educate, all are welcomed to ask the staff questions on the space and how they’re keeping green, and are even encouraged to get involved themselves; by composting their leftovers and helping recycle what they’ve used.

Now, let’s focus on the menu. Centered around an all-natural wine selection, we have a variety of boards to pair and choose from, ranging from seafood to cheese options. There are also bigger tapas plates with octopus, clams, and fish filets, with smaller bites of pickled goods and bread to snack on.

According to an article on Cool Hunting, other local businesses and vendors are more than willing to work with Rhodora, including Marlowe & Daughters, She Wolf, and D’eon Oysters, each providing goods in a waste-free method that reaches Rhodora’s standards.

Included in the drink menu, there’s a modest list of fives house cocktails, a couple of beers options, along with non-alcoholic tea and kombucha options.

While this seems like a small step in a huge direction, this is a big step for the NYC restaurant and bar industry. Hopefully, with Rhodora’s vision, other businesses will take a look at how they can help make an impact in more ways than just banning plastic straws.

And maybe not serve meat? If we’re looking long term? Just saying!