Bar No. 5 doesn't just talk the talk about being a local joint. The repurposed warehouse Alexandria bar is focused not only on seasonality and sourcing local ingredients, but is also enacting a closed-loop policy for the venue — think foraging, bee keeping, solar panels and a composting worm farm to boot.
"We want to achieve as close to zero waste as we can with this bar and the restaurant, and keeping it local is all a part of that goal," says bar manager Alex O'Brien (ex -Archie Rose). O'Brien and the team are already taking courses in all of the above through Newtown's Green Living Centre, and will shortly begin foraging in nearby parks. These ingredients will make their way onto the seasonal food and cocktail menu, with the latter including locally made spirits and craft brews from the likes of Willie the Boatman, Yulli's Brews and Wayward Brewing. "We're also making cordials and vinegars in house, using left over ingredients like pineapple skins and long bean tops/tails to infuse in sherries and vodkas," says O'Brien.
Food-wise, Bar No. 5 focuses on share plates, fitting the community vibe nicely. At the moment, they're serving up buttermilk fried chicken po' boys ($16), family-style seafood platters ($38) and spice-rubbed chicken ($25-$40). The best day to drop by is Sundays, when they're offering up$1.50 oysters and arancini, $1 wing, $5 mulled wine and live music from 3pm-5pm.
It's a made-by-locals-for-local venue, owned by Alexandria folk in an area keen for repurposed hospitality spaces. "We love the idea of locals serving locals, and that's what is at the heart of this venue", says O'Brien. The long unused building has its roots as a gemstone processing facility and they've maintained that warehouse fitout and worn-out character. If all this doesn't make them neighbourhood champions, the bar also has an alcove dog area with leash hooks and a gas fire for winter.
The space is still a work in progress and gearing up for a relaunch in the coming months, but they're clearly worth going to check out in the meantime. Keep an eye on this space for all of the foraging and beekeeping updates to come.