'Friends'-Themed Central Perk Cafe Opens In An Unlikely Spot

The coffee shop full of Friends-inspired drinks isn't opening in New York City.

The Friends Experience has been taking the world by storm, popping up in cities all around the globe complete with replicas of the sofa from the opening credits, the sets for the characters' shared apartments, and their favorite hangout, the Central Perk cafe. Well, now this temporary dose of '90s nostalgia will live on in perpetuity, because the first permanent Central Perk cafe is finally opening. It's just not going to live where you might think.

The cafe will not be situated in the West Village, near the real Friends apartment building, where Central Perk was purported to be. Nor will it open in Columbus Circle, near the southwest entrance of the park that inspired its name. It will not reside in Brooklyn, where rents are (barely) cheaper for both a business and its guests. In fact, the first permanent Central Perk cafe will not be opening in New York City at all. Not even in New York State. Commercial rents in New York must really be out of control, because Central Perk is opening a cool five hours away... in Boston.

Yeah, I don't get it either. But a lot of effort is going into launching this property. According to a press release, Warner Bros. enlisted top chefs and architects to make sure the ambiance and products are high-end and top-notch. "We are incredibly excited that the world class city of Boston will be the home of our new Central Perk Coffeehouse," an exec said in the press release.

It's particularly funny that Central Perk is headed to Back Bay because the city seems to have a one-sided rivalry with New York. Many people in Boston openly loathe the Big Apple, and no one in the Big Apple can be bothered to even think about Boston. It's a dynamic that works for everyone.

My shitting on Boston aside, the concept of a real-life Central Perk does sound intriguing. The menu, for which Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio provided "culinary guidance" (a role that doesn't sound like it involved too much work on his end), will include "artisanal" (read: expensive) coffee drinks, cocktails, and sandwiches that reference Friends characters. You could, for example, go in and order Chandler's Chocolate Milk Cold Foam with Joey's Meatball Sandwich and Rachel's Side Salad. No word yet on if they'll have Phoebe's Vegetarian Lasagna.

If all goes well with this first location, perhaps we'll see more Central Perks pop up across the country. And if The Little Owl ever closes, perhaps we'll see a Central Perk located beneath the actual Friends apartment.

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