Exclusive: 'Friends' Central Perk pop-up coffee shop hits Manhattan
It’s been 20 years since Friends first hit the airwaves, and TV has yet to produce as iconic a coffee shop as the one where Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Phoebe, and—Joey, I think?—spent most of their days.
Now, fans can get a chance to feel like one of the gang, so long as they travel to New York City this autumn. Warner Bros. Television Group, Warner Bros. Consumer Products, and Eight O’Clock Coffee are partnering to re-create the Central Perk coffeehouse at a pop-up location in downtown Manhattan this September, and there are plenty of reasons to check it out besides the free coffee.
Visitors to the decorated storefront will be able to take photos on the actual orange couch from the show, along with a myriad of signature props and a show-themed backdrop. Weekly performances will add some occasional musical flair—yes, they will play “Smelly Cat,” along with other tunes in the same vein as Phoebe’s improvised songs—along with special select appearances by James Michael Tyler, who played barista Gunther (whose hair is “brighter than the sun,” according to Rachel and basically anyone).
Fans can also expect daily giveaways, trivia contestants, and other various contests and merchandise behind the Central Perk counter throughout the month. Also, in conjunction with Friends’ anniversary, Eight O’Clock Coffee’s special Central Perk-themed blend will be available in stores across the country.
The pop-up Central Perk coffee bar will appear at 199 Lafayette Street in downtown Manhattan, opening Wednesday, Sept. 17 and closing Saturday, Oct. 18. The shop is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.