By Dane Feldman
On September 17, New York City welcomed the long-awaited and much-anticipated opening of Central Perk. Yes, the famous coffee shop from the hit show Friends is open–but just for a mere four weeks, though this fact only makes the pop up shop that much more special.
Central Perk opened its doors at 8 am yesterday and will remain open from 8 am to 8 pm on weekdays and 10 am to 8 pm on weekends until October 18. The cafe is located at 199 Lafayette St in New York’s SoHo neighborhood.
As someone who has been a Friends fan since before I can remember (honestly, I was three years old when it premiered in 1994), this pop up shop is everything I could have asked for, with the exception of the fact that Matthew Perry and his five pals are not expected to make appearances.
However, James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther for all 10 years of the series, will be making scheduled appearances (and serving four varieties of free Eight O’ Clock coffee!) at Central Perk. Along with Gunther, fans can also see loads of memorabilia (think the dog statue, Monica and Chandler’s vows, the Geller Cup, and even the picture frame), take a picture on the original orange couch, and purchase Central Perk gear.
I, along with hundreds of other Friends fans, found the two-hour wait on opening day well worth it. Even non-fan and fellow BTR staffer, Molly Freeman, felt the pop-up shop and free coffee were worth the exceptionally long line.
The specially brewed Central Perk roast is good, the couch is comfortable, and I can think of no better way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the show’s pilot episode–unless of course Jennifer Aniston had come running in wearing a wedding dress.
The line on opening day wrapped around the block in SoHo.
Friends fans line up for Central Perk’s opening day on Sept 17.
One wall of the pop up shop features framed photos over a collage of pictures from the series
The Central Perk roast, specially created by Eight O’Clock Coffee is a fruity, medium roast.
The famous Central Perk couch.
All photos by Dane Feldman and Molly Freeman. For more photos in higher definition, check out our Flickr account.