A visit to the nation’s only zero-waste wine bar in Brooklyn

At Rhodora in Fort Greene, natural wines are usually the big attraction, but what’s even more noteworthy is what’s missing: Trash.

“We’re the first zero-waste natural wine bar in the country,” said Henry Rich, the owner of Rhodora. 

The restaurant goes well out of its way to make sure it earns that distinction, using stainless steel straws instead of plastic ones, reusable beeswax paper in place of plastic wrap, and hand towels instead of paper ones, among other eco-friendly solutions.

In its first few weeks of operation, Rich says that customers have been supportive of the concept, but understand that others will take a little convincing.

“People are using to having garbage bins follow them around for their entire lives, they’ve always been in arms’ reach and we’re not doing that here so, if people are frustrated that’s fine. We’ll explain what we’re trying to do and why,” Rich said. 

The goal is to add more menu items over the coming weeks and months as the staff works to find suppliers willing to package and deliver products in line with Rhodora’s sustainability mission.