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Charley St in New York’s Nolita neighbourhood. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

With a mint-coloured logo, painted white brick walls and an Australian flavour, Charley St – not a “street” but a cafe — is gaining serious attention in New York.

It’s owned by Dan Churchill, a former MasterChef Australia alumni (who appeared on the series in 2013) with an Instagram following of more than 130,000, and a place on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list for 2019.

Located in the trendy Nolita neighbourhood, the “fast casual” restaurant is becoming one of Manhattan’s most talked-about coffee haunts, with an aesthetic basically made for Instagram.

Australian-born Churchill calls it a place “where you either feel at home or want to take photos of”.

Dan Churchill, centre, and the staff at Charley St in New York

Dan Churchill, centre, and the staff at Charley St in New York’s Nolita neighbourhood. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Churchill – who has penned multiple cook books including DudeFood – opened Charley St earlier this year. The space also includes a media studio, where he shoots cooking videos.

“Australia has a brand now – the coffee, food and cafe scene is a big part of that,” Churchill said, speaking from his home on New York’s lower east side.

“We get it. It’s what we relate to. As I’ve learnt being here (in New York), I’m actually representing Australia … I have the ability now to talk about our produce, sustainability messaging, and even our culture.”

 

 

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Hump day blues (and greens and reds…) #charleyst

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Churchill has plans to expand Charley St with two more locations in Manhattan in the next 12 months, possibly in mid-town and the financial district.

Of course, a lot of the Charley St clientele are Australians in the Big Apple. Churchill calls the restaurant “chill”, with a “clean” and flexible menu which includes a $12.70 “BYOB” (“build your own bowl”) and gluten-free and vegan options.

“You can eat healthy in New York if you know where to go, but there’s still a lot to do in terms of education,” he said.

Australian-born chef Dan Churchill is killing it in the Big Apple. Picture: Supplied

Australian-born chef Dan Churchill is killing it in the Big Apple. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

The affable Aussie lives on Manhattan’s lower east side, which he calls “young and really cool, there’s a lot going on”.

He’s been based in the US for about three years. “I thought look, if I’m going to do this, I can’t do it from Australia,” he said.

“The first year and a half is really tough, you’re in a completely new world, and you’re really pushing your message.

“I’ve been here for three years now … ultimately, I chose America because it has the platform for me to change the world through good and for the scale it is, it’s much more possible in America.”

Last month, Churchill had a pinch-yourself moment when he made Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in the food and drink category.

“You have moment in your life where you just go, wow,” Churchill, 29, said.

“I left a meeting with a friend and I checked my emails, and it said, ‘congratulations, you’re part of the alumni for Forbes’ 30 Under 30. I read the email about four times. I couldn’t believe (it).”

Making Forbes’ influential list has already been paying off for Churchill.

“It’s had a direct impact on the business and it’s also added another layer to my brand, that people take me from a business perspective more seriously,” he said.

Categories: Food

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