Like its namesake, the Phoenix Bar rose from the ashes littering Michael Weekes' backyard after bushfire attacked his property in the Black Summer.
Built partly from burnt timber, the bar is named in memory of the day the Currowan fire encircled his home at Woodburn on the NSW South Coast in late December 2019.
Firefighters from the Wreck Bay Rural Fire Service brigade faced the towering flames head on as bushfire eviscerated the surrounding forest.
Mr Weekes put out spot fires lighting up in thick smoke and dehydrating heat. The fire passed, and the property survived.
The Phoenix Bar stands only metres from trees that were alight with flames leaping 60 metres high on December 21, 2019.
It resembles a symbol of hope and recovery from natural disaster, surrounded by regenerating forest.
Mr Weekes built the shed after bushfire nearly destroyed his house.
In the year after it avoided destruction, his property was also the venue for his daughters' weddings.
By the time his youngest daughter got married in October, COVID-19 was at a lower ebb and her wedding was allowed 60 guests.
"It went off beautifully. I think everyone must have been ready for a celebration at that time," Mr Weekes said.
He's grateful to the Wreck Bay firefighters who helped save his home. The memory of seeing the volunteers at the firefront remains with him.
"Once the fire brigade arrived, you garner strength and I felt quite confident we'd save the house and survive," Mr Weekes said.
"They instilled a great deal of confidence just by their sheer presence."
His recovery from the fire was not easy. He remembers the exhaustion he felt once the flames passed.
In the following days, Mr Weekes absorbed what had happened. He did his Christmas shopping, but mainly kept to himself as he reflected on the experiences of December 21, 2019.
"It was quite a while afterwards I felt I was ready to talk to other people and get back to normal life."
In fact, he's only returned to the usual rhythm of his life in the bush behind Milton in recent weeks.
He's rebuilding his garden, which was destroyed in the fire. A recent walk in the forest around his home also gave him hope.
"The bush just keeps on giving and giving, it is absolutely beautiful. All the ground herbs were out," he said.
That day in December 2019, Mr Weekes simply focused on the task at hand of defending his property.
"It's the best fight we've ever fought. The will to save your home becomes all powerful. And you tend to do just what is required to save something you love.