Obsessed With ‘Friends’? Here Are All the Ways You Can Live Like Your Favorite Central Perk Characters
They’ll be there for you if you’re broke, your job is a joke, or your love life is D.O.A. The Friends show and its six lead cast members were more than just another sitcom: they became cultural icons and represented the changing lifestyle of growing adults as the world grew into the new millennium.
While we can’t go back to 1995 (or, sadly, sit in the real Central Perk — yet), we can live like our favorite six friends in the city that their show left its mark on.
Take a walking tour of the ‘Friends’ apartment
The exterior shot of the Friends apartment is located at 90 Bedford Street at the corner of Grove Street in Greenwich Village. For those unfamiliar with the city, your best bet is to arrive at the West 4th Street station off the A, B, C, D, E, F, and M lines. Those taking the 1 local train will want to exist at Christopher Street station.
A few little-known facts about the Friends apartment include how unimportant it was to filming. While the show used shots of the city to set the New York vibe, the cast rarely visited NYC and mainly filmed in the Warner Bros. Studio stage in Los Angeles.
Remember the infamous balcony where most of the outdoor scenes were shot? The exterior shot of the Bedford Street apartment shows the building doesn’t have a balcony at all.
Visit the restaurant in place of Central Perk
Central Perk may not be a reality, but you can hang with your friends and grab a bite to eat below the famous Friends apartment in the city. The Little Owl, a neighborhood restaurant that opened its doors below the apartment two years after Friends aired its finale and before Google Maps had deemed it a tourist stop.
The original business plan for The Little Owl was pitched as a “bohemian social club,” so far off from the fictional Central Perk atmosphere.
One Brooklyn coffee shop particularly reminds fans of Central Perk. Sir D’s Lounge in Park Slope wasn’t featured in the show but comes close to the Central Perk vibe with its couches, spacious atmosphere, and occasional open mic nights (If you’re lucky, you might hear “Smelly Cat”).
Or try out Central Perk pop up cafes
Warner Bros. owns the rights to the Central Perk name, and recent action proves they may do something with it — Friends fanatics are hopeful a permanent Central Perk is in the works.
In the meantime, the studio opened up a monthlong Central Perk pop-up cafe in SoHo after securing the legal right to the turn the hangout into an actual brick-and-mortar business if they choose to. The pop-up shop ran for four weeks starting in September of 2014 and included the iconic orange couch, appearances from quirky barista Gunther, and “Smelly Cat” sing-a-longs.
The pop-up cafe took place at actual cafe Eight O’Clock, which sold a special Central Perk-themed coffee blend and commemorative cups for the occasion.
When the Blast released the news that Warner Bros. trademarked the Central Perk logo for all “coffee shop and cafe services; coffee bars; tea bars; snack bars,” many outlets speculated that Warner Bros. was planning to make a permanent Central Perk establishment. While owning the trademark doesn’t mean they’ve drafted any plans, there are signs suggesting they have something up their sleeve, including an application to put the logo on “toys, board games, and slot machines.”
Explore Greenwich Village
Take a walk around New York University’s campus and Washington Square Park, the site of one of the “Friend’s fountain” look-a-likes (the actual fountain was filmed on an LA soundstage, sadly) as well as where Ross acted as a professor of paleontology.
Invest in some ‘Friends’ clothing
Urban Outfitters among other retail stores boasts the Friends logo and pictures of the six stars on its T-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats. What better way to show your love for the show than to sport the iconic label?
Amazon also sells a graphic print Friends T-shirt for significantly less than the Urban Outfitters apparel if you want to ball second-season Rachel Green style — on a budget.
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