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“Central Perk” is now open for business

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By Jessica Zysberg

Staff Writer

artsent.asp@gmail.com

The cast of Friends. Photo credit: Wikipedia
The cast of Friends. Photo credit: Wikipedia

The famous coffee shop featured in the hit TV series “Friends” is now a pop-up store and is open for business in Soho, New York City.

   Although you have the option to go get coffee from stores such as Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks, you may want to hold off and come to Soho instead. “Friends” is celebrating its 20th anniversary of the iconic sitcom. Rachel, Phoebe, Monica, Chandler, Joey and Ross never needed an invite to come to this coffee shop and neither do you. It is free to go in and look around. These household names have left a lasting impression on many 90’s children.

   As reported earlier by Time Magazine, the fictional coffee shop has been able to become a reality thanks to the collaboration between Warner Bros. Entertainment and Eight O’Clock Coffee.

   The shop is only open for a limited time. The grand opening took place on Wednesday, Sept. 17 and it will close its doors on Saturday, Oct. 18.  The hours of the store are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 8 a.m. on the weekend.

   The location features Joey’s porcelain dog statue that he houses in the apartment throughout the duration of the seasons. There is also Phoebe’s guitar that she always used in the shop during her performances of her hit song “Smelly Cat,” and it is paired on display with some “Smelly Cat” litter of course. Fans of the show are also able to see some of the outfits that Rachel, Phoebe, Monica, Chandler, Joey and Ross wore. Two of the outfits on display are Monica Geller’s (Courteney Cox) V-neck peasant shirt and calf-length skirt, and Joey Tribbiani’s (Matt LeBlanc) flannel shirt combo, worn in numerous episodes. Also on display for fans are signed scripts from the casts with photos of the ‘friends’ when they were behind the set messing around.

Actor James Michael Tyler, who played Central Perk barista Gunther, was present at the opening. Photo credit: Getty Images
Actor James Michael Tyler, who played Central Perk barista Gunther, was present at the opening. Photo credit: Getty Images

   The event had a large turnout of people. There was security located outside to keep the line in order. I was not disappointed to say the least, and was able to sit on the famous couch as I have always dreamt of.

   “From the point of the line that I started at, it was about a two-and-a half hour wait,” said Kristy Remis, a visitor from Long Island waiting on line. “The only issue that was found with the system was that the coffee shop is small and there is also no time limit to be in the shop. This caused the line to move slow and other people to begin to get aggravated.”

   The line was long but once you got into the shop, you felt as though you were a part of the show. Patrons were able to get a free coffee including a limited edition ‘Central Perk’ roast and three other flavors with another being a caramel macchiato roast.

   The big attraction inside of the shop was the big orange couch that the cast would sit on during episodes. Fans have the opportunity to take their pictures on the couch by a professional photographer for a small fee or have a worker take your picture on your own phone or camera for free.

   There were T-shirts that had the coffee shops name on the front and the limited edition brand of coffee for sale. In addition to all of these ‘perks,’ some of the cast has even made guest appearances to surprise their fans and visit their “second home.”

   As earlier reported by PIX 11 News, when Gunther paid a visit to the coffee shop he said, “It’s weird being able to sit here on the original orange couch and to see all the props… I can finally actually remove myself from being a part of it and just watch it like a normal viewer.”

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