A Visit to the Friends 20th Anniversary Central Perk Popup Coffee Shop in NYC

DSC02773in honor of the 20th anniversary of the first broadcast of Friends, Warner Brothers and Eight O’Clock Coffee, whoever they are, (spoiler: the coffee was horrid) set up a small replica of the Central Perk coffee shop in SoHo (199 Lafayette — corner of Broome). it’s a limited time thing and will be open until October 18th, so if you’re a true fan of Chandler, Monica, Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, and the rest, get there soon! it’s open 8 to 8 weekdays and 10 to 8 weekends. i should note they supposedly have live entertainment Friday afternoons?

the line

but be forewarned, it’s not an amazing experience, so only diehards need apply — or wait in that blasted line, as the case may be. i passed by with a friend yesterday afternoon (Saturday, September 20 — three days after opening) and the line stretched over four blocklengths long, and it was estimated to be a 3-hour wait. no thanks.

i returned at 8:45 this morning (Sunday, September 21) — so an hour and fifteen minutes before opening — and the line was appreciably shorter:

they only let a certain number of people in at a time — less than 40, hence the long wait times. a little after 10, they started letting people in, and i was part of the first group(!).

what’ll be there for you


costumes worn by your favorite characters! tons of pictures! Phoebe’s guitar! the big greyhound statue thingy from the guys’ apartment! (of course, there’s also a small gift counter where you can buy themed merchandise.)

to be honest i never thought of their outfits as iconic, but seeing them again, you’re like OMG YES I REMEMBER — especially Rachel’s!!!







as an impressionable teen i used to think that picture frame around the peephole was the most ingenious thing ever. ok, as an impressionable late-30s-ager, i still do.


ugh. you get a free cup coffee but if you’re expecting anything special, now’s a good time to lower your expectations. there are four flavors — i got the caramel and it was…well, it tasted like cafeteria coffee with some artificial caramel flavoring. (mind you, i’m a fan of Starbucks caramel macchiatos.)


and finally, the couch

there’s a line that forms inside the store to get your picture taken on The Couch. unfortunately while the actual couch is there, the stuff behind it is just a backdrop :(. there is an official photographer to the side that will take a picture that you can view online immediately (you get a card with a code), and you can give another employee your phone or camera to get another shot of you, straight on.



i probably could have posed a bit better…lol. awkward!

so yeah, i think i was a bit disappointed it wasn’t more…authentic. i mean, it’s almost right but not quite how you remember. close, but so far. still, worth the wait i think if you have time. hopefully the lines won’t be as long as the rest of the month it’s around winds down.


overall i guess it’s similar to that time i waited (and waited) for cronuts. kind of a let down, but looking back, i’m glad i did it.

i would be remiss, of course, if i didn’t throw in the theme song. and if i didn’t mention that i was in a choir in school and we sang it for a performance once…

2 Comments on "A Visit to the Friends 20th Anniversary Central Perk Popup Coffee Shop in NYC"

  1. Thanks a bunch for the insight, so glad I found you on Google. I didn’t even know this event was going on before I passed by it on Friday night and noticed the line was so long it wrapped around the block several times. I’ve never really been a die hard Friends fan but was curious as to what warranted such a huge line. Thanks for waiting so I won’t have to!

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