Warner Bros. is celebrating Friends by opening a real Central Perk in New York

Warner Bros. is celebrating Friends by opening a real Central Perk in New York

It might be weird to picture these days—with everyone constantly hopped up on little shots of energy-giving snake oil—but people in the ‘90s used to love sitting around and drinking coffee. They’d go to special restaurants called “coffee houses” and they’d talk about Grunge music and someone named Monica Lewinsky. It was a crazy time, and it all centered around this bitter, black beverage called coffee. TV shows even embraced this wacky fad, with several notable sitcoms featuring prominent coffee house locations.

One such show, Friends, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and Warner Bros. has announced that it will celebrate the occasion by opening a replica of that show’s Central Perk coffee shop in New York City. This comes from MTV, which reports that the actual functioning coffee place will be open from September 17 to October 18, and that—in addition to free coffee—it will feature “numerous photo ops, weekly sing-alongs to Phoebe’s classic songs, contests, giveaways,” and even highly coveted “Friends merch.” It’s the traditional marketing strategy of getting someone in the door with free coffee, and then pressuring them to spend money on a vintage denim jacket with the Friends logo.

MTV says the pop-up Central Perk will be located at “199 Lafayette Street, in SoHo,” assuming that means something to New York people. Also, James Michael Tyler—who played Central Perk’s manager Gunther on Friends—will make “special appearances.” Presumably, that means he’ll stand in the background and jealously stare at you and your friends as he simultaneously hates you and wishes he could become you.

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