ANZAC Day in NYC, 2017

Written by Alex Eggerking


We Aussies in New York may find ourselves far from home, but there are many ways to come together here for ANZAC Day. April 25th is a day to reflect on the meaning and impact of war, and to remember those Australians and New Zealanders who have given their lives, and those who have served: some we may know; many we never will.

This ANZAC Day 2017 we continue to commemorate the ANZAC Centenary, a period of time that marks 100 years since our involvement in the First World War. Here are a few of the ANZAC events in and around New York for you to take part in:

Sunday, April 23rd

Sunday Service, hosted by the New Zealand and Australian Consuls General

2017’s Sunday Service is hosted by the New Zealand and Australian Consuls General, Beatrice Faumuina, ONZM and Nick Minchin. It is a limited entry, ballot event, and the ballot has unfortunately closed for this year.

If you were lucky enough to secure tickets to this event, the details are below. For those who missed out but still want to commemorate ANZAC Day in a formal way, we recommend heading to the dawn service on Tuesday, April 25th (see below). 

Date and time: Sunday, April 23rd, from 10:30am to midday
Venue: ANZAC Memorial Garden, Level 7, British Empire Building, Rockefeller Center, 620 Fifth Avenue, New York City (entry on south side of West 50th Street)
Access: Photo ID required as condition of entry, bags may be searched
RSVP: RSVPs have unfortunately closed for this event but you can join the waitlist by email.

Afternoon drinks with the New York Magpies

Join the New York Magpies, NYC’s only Aussie Rules team, to celebrate Anzac Day in a private area at the Boat Basin – the perfect setting to enjoy a springtime afternoon of drinks on the Hudson. Proceeds will go to support the New York Magpies for their 20th season.

Date and time: Sunday, April 23rd, from 2pm
Venue: the Boat Basin (W 79th St, New York)
Cost: $10 entry per person.
RSVP: here


Tuesday, April 25th

ANZAC Dawn Service

We highly recommend the beautiful Dawn service at the Vietnam Veterans Plaza (55 Water Street, New York). The service is open to the public, and no RSVP is required. The service begins at 5.45am, and suggested arrival time is 5.30am, as it does get crowded.

Date and time: Tuesday, April 25th, from 5.30am for a 5.45am start
Venue: Vietnam Veterans Plaza (55 Water Street, btwn Broad Street and Old Slip, New York)
RSVP: none required


Coffee and ANZAC Biscuits after the Dawn Service

Both of Bluestone Lane’s FiDi locations (30 Broad St and 90 Water St) will be opening earlier than usual, from 6:30am, to cater to those attending the Dawn Service. Perfect for your morning coffee, lamington or ANZAC biscuit, both are located only a few minutes’ walk from Vietnam Veterans Plaza, where the Dawn Service is being held.


The Australian

Celebrate ANZAC Day in New York at The Australian. Drop in for breakfast from 8am, stay to play 2-Up at 2pm, live music from 5pm, and all-day AFL and NRL replays.

Date and time: Tuesday, April 25th, from 8am
Venue: The Australian (20 W 38th St, New York)
RSVP: If you want to be sure of a spot to sit, make a table reservation through the website 


Drinks with the Aussie Meetup group at Benson’s NYC

Join members of the Aussie Meetup group (for Australians in New York) to commemorate ANZAC Day at Benson’s, with Aussie tunes, Coopers on tap, a sausage sizzle and ANZAC biscuits.

Date and time: Tuesday, April 25th, from 7pm
Venue: Benson’s NYC (181 Essex St (corner of Houston St), New York)
RSVP: by joining the Aussie Meetup group


Saturday, April 29

ANZAC Day Commemorative Service, New England

The American Australian Association and Kia Ora New England invite members and friends to attend ANZAC Day 2017. Reception to follow, where guests are invited to bring a plate to share.

Date and time: Saturday, April 29th, 10am
Venue: Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church, 1555 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA
RSVP: Register here to assist with numbers   


Have you heard about something we haven’t?

Let us know (via email, or on Facebook) of any other ANZAC Day events happening in and around NY this year, and we’ll help spread the word.

Australia Day 2017

Ah yes, it’s time to celebrate our national day again and Australia Day in New York is great fun! This year it falls on Thursday, January 26th, 2017 and there are some wonderful celebrations and festivities in and around the city for you to join.

The American Australian Association’s Annual Australia Day Black Tie Gala is on Friday, January 20th at Cipriani Wall Street and will be a fun and glamorous night out.

The American Australian Association and G’day USA have a luncheon on Monday 23rd January, from 12pm to 2pm with a presentation by The Hon Steven Ciobo, MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, on ‘The Importance of Australia for U.S. Companies Pivoting to Asia’. Click here for tickets.

Friends of Australian Wildlife Conservancy present an Australia Day Party on Sunday, January 22nd from 3-8pm at Jimmy At the James Hotel – 27 Grand Street, New York. Note there is limited capacity, and in lieu of a ticket price, a donation to Friends of Australian Wildlife Conservancy is greatly appreciated (suggested donation $50 – $200 per person). All funds raised from the Australia Day party will go towards protecting Australia’s threatened wildlife and their unique habitats.

The Australian – 20 West 38th Street, New York – will be celebrating on Wednesday 25th January from 8pm till late and will play the Hottest 100 live. And, again on Thursday 26th January from 11am till late there will be more Triple J’s Hottest 100 + Live Music, plus $1 off all Coopers. Door charge from 4pm.

New York Magpies Australia Day Party is on Friday 27th of January at 8pm at Professor Thom’s – 219 2nd Ave, New York – $15 at the door or $10 tickets online here.

Bensons – 181 Essex St (Corner of Houston) New York – are celebrating on Tuesday January 25th, where the Aussie Meetup Group will be there from 7pm for the Hottest 100 party and Benson’s will be serving Coopers on tap. There will be another Australia Day party from 6pm on January 26th where Bensons will serve up their classic sausage sizzle PLUS fairy bread.

Burke & Wills – 226 W 79th Street, New York – on Thursday 26th January there will be a 5-course special dinner menu with pairing of all Australian wine. Reservations Required. Call 646 823 9251 or email

Flinders Lane – 162 Avenue A, New York – on Thursday 26th January there will be a special four course tasting menu for $50 per person. Australian Kingfish Sashimi Finger Lime, Citrus Ponzu, Crispy Taro Salt & Pepper Prawns Sesame Dressing, Grilled Lime Braised Victorian Beef Cheek Truffle Mash, Almond-Parley Salad Passionfruit & Mango Pavlova Vanilla Whipped Cream (drinks/tax/gratuity not included). Reservations Required.

Four’n Twenty pies – will be doing a special drop-off near McCarren Park, Brooklyn on Saturday 21st January, so get your orders in now!

Bluestone Lane is offering Mates Rates to all Aussie locals on Thursday 26th January across both Bluestone Lane cafe and coffee shops. Cafes are offering $5 Australian beer and wine by glass as well as serving up warm Sausage Rolls and Meat Pies all day.  Coffee shops are offering $2 flat whites and pastries including our delicious Aussie lamington and caramel slice. Also, to keep the Australian cheekiness, be the first to bare your ‘budgie smugglers’ on Australia Day and they’ll give you a free coffee every day for a month. Sounds like a great deal!

Two Hands Restaurant & Bar – 251 Church St, TriBeCa – is having a Aussie shin-dig on Thursday 26th January with treats like wedges with sour cream & sweet chilli sauce, buckets o’ prawns, sausage rolls, lamb ribs, chicken parmies and pavlovas all washed down with ice-cold sweet selfish Coopers Green & Red ales. Email for bookings.

The Thirsty Koala – 35-12 Ditmars Boulevard, Astoria – are celebrating on Thursday 26th January with happy hour from 5-11pm: $4 Koala Lager, $5 draught beers, $5 wines & $5 cocktails all night. You will not go hungry with a great list of Aussie food available including homemade mini meat pies, sausage rolls, chicken parma & barramundi. For those with a sweet tooth you can enjoy pavlova, lamingtons, caramel slices & sticky date pudding.

Northern Territory – 12 Franklin Street, Brooklyn – will be celebrating on Thursday 26th January with Cooper’s Beer and food specials as well as playing the Triple J countdown and the Australian Tennis Open will be showing.


And if you are in the mood for shopping, celebrate Australia Day with R.M.Williams in New York who are offering 20% off throughout the store for AAA and AWNY members Thursday 26th to Sunday 29th inclusive. Coffee house Bluestone Lane will be offering an assortment of beverages at a pop-up station on Australia Day only, so go and visit R.M. Williams at 152 Spring Street (between West Broadway and Wooster).


In the meantime watch this year’s Lamb commercial aimed at celebrating diversity, and have a fantastic Australia Day in New York!

From Sports Marketing and Media to Benson’s on the LES. Meet Annie Morton – AWNY Startup Stories

Annie Morton moved to NYC in 2012 in a snap decision without a specific plan. Read here how she started her craft beer and burger bar, Benson’s on the Lower East Side.

How long have you been in the USA and what brought you here?

I moved to NYC in 2012, a snap decision based on a frustratingly stagnant role in Australia. I wanted to be my own boss rather than keep working at the mercy of someone else’s priorities. Hospitality was a passion of mine that I had always worked in part time, so I took the opportunity of a full time management role with The Australian NYC to learn the ropes from a broader business perspective.

Tell us about Benson’s and what made you want to start a New York Bar? 

Benson’s is a craft beer & burger bar in the Lower East Side. It’s a small space that makes you feel welcome and a part of our “family” of regular guests. I had planned to move back to Australia before opening a venue, but then an opportunity presented itself and I figured I should take advantage of it. I think I was also drawn to the challenge.

Bensons Interior

How long did you have the idea for this business and why did you decide to start Benson’s?

The timing was a bit backwards – the venue came first, then the concept, and finally the financing. All told, I started vaguely considering it as an option for New York in September, and by April we’d opened Benson’s. That’s a lightning fast turnaround! There were so many reasons we could have backed away from it, but the emotional support I had from friends and family was unbelievable. I also figured it was worth taking the risk, I’d have hated to not do it and always wonder what if?

Were you always in hospitality or was this something completely new for you? 

I’ve worked in hospitality since I was 14, but it’s only been my main career the last four years. In Sydney, I worked in sports marketing & media, an industry I love dearly. What I’ve learned is how similar each of these roles have been – I’m always still handling a bucket load of logistics, and dealing with hoards of people!

What has been your ‘Ah Ha’ / ‘I’ve made it in the USA moment’?

The real one is yet to come, but our first birthday at Benson’s was a good feeling.

Annie & Dave

Photo: Annie and her Business Partner David. 

What have been the hardest lessons in opening a Brick and Mortar business? 

Budgeting! As good & disciplined as you are, you can always be better. Also the challenges associated with finding and keeping quality staff in a highly transient city.

Are the customers transient or mostly regulars? Do you find business to be seasonal or quite steady? 

We get a steady stream of regulars, and any given night will see plenty of them stopping by. As our profile grows it’s been exciting to see people view Benson’s as a top destination for their trip to NYC, and it’s always our aim to convert all of our new guests into repeat guests.
There are certainly strong seasonal patterns, with summer being the quiet period. Business picks up considerably through Sept/Oct, and then very strong through the colder months right through to April. Cold weather brings on a hankering for burgers and craft beer I guess!

Bensons with people

Photo: Some of the clientele at Benson’s

Where have you been most successful in marketing your business?

For new guests, Yelp has been a huge advantage for us. We have some of the most engaging & positive reviews, and that has seen a huge jump in new customers. For our existing customers, Instagram has been the most effective way to let them know about a new special, or just to prompt them into making another visit.

Do you have any mentors, and how have people been with sharing information and their networks? 

Matt Astill & Glenn Treacher were great as we started out, they have all the experience behind them and an amazing network of contacts that I was able to use knowing I wasn’t being taken advantage of. It’s also been great having so many young Aussie entrepreneurs in the city right now, and the camaraderie of that has been really helpful.

What advice would you give someone thinking about starting a business? 

Think through every part of the set up and operations process. Project conservatively. Work hard (and be happy to). Check out the competition. Utilize your friends, family & colleagues as your best marketers.

Other than yourself, what piece of Australia have you put into your business? 

We have a couple of Aussie influences on the menu, with Cooper’s & Boags on the list as well as a lamb burger & the “Benson Burger” – a close take on the traditional burger with the lot. We celebrate the bigger holidays like Australia Day & ANZAC Day, but mostly are happy to dial back on the Aussie vibe and just present a fun and relaxed atmosphere.

What is next for Bensons?

We’re still perfecting the original, so maybe this time next year we will have an inkling of what comes next.

Do you have an offer or promo code you would like to share with AWNY members? 

Any brunch entree with three drinks for $28 – available weekends, 11am-4pm

Follow Benson’s at:


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What’s On ANZAC Day 2015

Centenary Commemoration of the ANZAC Landing
Australians and New Zealanders commemorate ANZAC Day on 25 April to recognize the sacrifices of New Zealand and Australian servicemen and servicewomen – not only in defending their country but in upholding their nations’ firmly held commitment to peace and security. 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the landing of Australian and New Zealand soldiers on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey.

Here are a few of the ANZAC events in New York City:

Friday 24th 9pm to 4am at the Galway Pub – 7 E 36th St, New York, New York 10016
Join the New York Magpies, NYC’s only Aussie Rules team!! Collingwood vs. Essendon will battle it out in the annual ANZAC Day game, live from Melbourne at midnight New York time.

To warm up for the game the Magpies will be running games, including traditional Aussie “Two-Up”, playing Live Aussie Music and a formal ANZAC Day ceremony with the Last Post and Reveille. Drew de Carvalho, The Voice of Australia in America will be running the mic. $5 Coopers beer all night and Aussie Wine specials

Friday 24th The Water Diviner opens (limited release, check local cinema session info). Directed by and starring Russell Crow, it is a story about an Australian man who travels to Turkey after the Battle of Gallipoli to try and locate his three missing sons.

April, 25th 5:45AM – 6.15AM – Dawn Service at the Vietnam Veterans Plaza. It is recommended you arrive by 5.30AM.

Bluestone Lane FiDi (30 Broad St) will be opening at 6:30 AM on Saturday, April 25th, they will be offering ANZAC Biscuits, Lamingtons alongside other Aussie classics. It is only a 5-minute walk from Vietnam Veterans Plaza where the Dawn Service is being held.

The Australian Hotel will be open from 8am for breakfast. Two Up will be played at 12noon and 3pm, and they have live music from 2pm.

April, 26th (10:30 AM) – Commemorative Service at the ANZAC Memorial Garden, Rockefeller Center (the ballot for this event is closed – if you missed out, make sure you try for the ballot next year)

To commemorate the ANZAC Centenary, AWNY members will be selling poppies on Saturday 25th at the Dawn Service to assist the AAA raise funds for the Australian charity Mates4Mates. Watch this video of Mates4Mates Ambassador Hugh Jackman providing his support.

About Mates4Mates
Mates4Mates is a not-for-profit which supports current and ex-serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) members who have suffered physical or psychological wounds, injuries or illnesses as a result of their service, either in Australia or overseas. Mates4Mates provides holistic physical and psychological rehabilitation programs for these Mates and their families. Download more information about Mates4Mates or visit their website.

photo credit: Central District Exhibit at the Sydney Royal Easter Show by Belinda Jackson

Happy Australia Day in NYC 2015

Australia Day is Monday, January 26th and there is a wealth of celebrations to be part of commencing this coming weekend. Below is a list of what’s on offer.

The Australia Day Black Tie Gala is on Friday, January 23rd at Cipriani Wall Street.

The Liberty 29 W 35th Street, New York
New York Magpies present Australia Day
Saturday 24 Jan. 8pm-4am – Free drink with entry, Aussie beer and wine specials, live music by Dave Young, Aussie sport on TV and a special appearance from Keith the Koala. Complimentary food available from 8-9pm. Dress in your best Australiana costume for a chance to win great prizes.

The Thirsty Koala – 35-12 Ditmars Boulevard, Astoria
Saturday 24 Jan. 8-11pm – Munch on meat pies, sausage rolls and cheezymites. Aussie drink specials flowing and live jazz music. Raffles and prizes all night long from Coopers.

The Australian20 West 38th Street, New York
Sunday 25 Jan. 8pm-4am – Triple J’s Hottest 100
Monday 26 Jan. Free Coopers on entry between 3-4pm, Skype session with Jimmy Barnes at 5pm, live music from 6pm.

Northern Territory12 Franklin Street, Brooklyn
Sunday 25 Jan. 4pm-late – DJ playing throughout the day, lamb burgers and lamb lollipops, kitchen specials, free Coopers gift give away, $6 Coopers pale ale draft pints all night and raffle prizes to be won.

Soho House – 29-35 9th Avenue, New York – SOLD OUT
Friends of Australian Wildlife Conservancy Event present an Australia Day Party at Soho House
Sunday, January 25. 2-7pm – In lieu of a ticket price, a donation to Friends of Australian Wildlife Conservancy is greatly appreciated (suggested donation $50 – $200 per person).  All funds raised from the Australia Day party will go towards protecting Australia’s threatened wildlife and their unique habitats. SOLD OUT

Flinders Lane 162 Avenue A, New York
Sunday 25 & Monday 26 Jan. – Special 3-course menu created by chef Chris Rendell.

Burke & Wills226 W 79th Street, New York
Monday 26 Jan.  5.30-11pm – 5-course special dinner menu with all Australian wine pairing. Reservations essential.

Bluestone LaneWest Village, Financial District, Midtown East & the new Bryant Park store, New York
Australia Day promotion – Half price key Australian espresso coffee beverages including: Flat White, Long Black, Magic and Piccolo Latte.

Down Under New York Tech MeetupBiergarten at The Standard Hotel 848 Washington Street, New York
Monday 26 Jan. 7-10:30pm – Casual drinks to celebrate Australia Day.

Whatever you do to celebrate Australia Day AWNY wishes you a happy one. Just to get you in the mood check out this cute video ‘STRAYA’ a parody of Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya’ with lots of great images to make you homesick.