Friday, March 1, 2019

So where is Central Perk from 'Friends' in real life?

So no one told you real life was gonna be this way — without Central Perk in existence.

But Places of Fancy will be there for you. The fictional coffee shop below the equally imaginary apartment where Friends Chandler, Joey, Monica, Phoebe, Rachel and Ross congregate is at the corner of Bedford and Grove streets in New York’s Greenwich Village.

That building, 90 Bedford Street, posed for exterior shots of the legendary sitcom.

The famous Friends apartment building as it appears on the show (left via Bustle) and at the corner of Grove and Bedford Streets in Greenwich Village, New York City (right via Google Maps)

The very spot where Central Perk would have been at 90 Bedford Street has been home to The Little Owl restaurant since 2006.

If you looked at the right window, you'd see mugs for sale with a print of the building facade. Photo via Google Maps 

Get ready to be disappointed though as owner and former Universal Studios corporate chef Joey Campanero has made only token efforts to capitalize on the spot’s fame, i.e. there’s no orange sofa to be found, in a bid to focus on the eatery's identity, Travel+Leisure reported.

As you might expect, a Los Angeles soundstage stood for the interior scenes. You can visit a preserved recreation of the set on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour.

Central Perk set as seen on the Warner Brothers Studio Tour in California. Photo via William Warby

The show does explicitly state that the Central Perk building is at 495 Grove Street in Brooklyn, which looks nothing like in the series.

To mark the 20th anniversary of the Friends premiere, Warner Bros. opened a pop-up café made to resemble Central Perk. The make-believe coffee house at 199 Lafayette Street served cups of Central Perk roast during its run from September to October 2014.

Pop-up replica of the Central Perk cafe at 199 Lafayette Street, New York City that operated from September 17 to October 18, 2014. Photo via John Wisniewski

That seemed like a hit because last year, news broke that the Warners made a trademark request to use “Central Perk” for "coffee shop and café services."

It looks like that trademark has been put to good use since a replica of Central Perk awaits you outside Gotham.

In Southeast Asia, that is.

Screenshot of the website for the Central Perk coffee shop in Singapore

At 1 Magazine Road Central Mall in Singapore, you will find arguably the most elaborate, laboriously created Friends-themed café, the only one officially licensed by Warner Brothers outside the US. More importantly, it is a fully functioning coffee shop, offering blends named after the show's characters.

It seems like Warner Bros will be there for you, too.

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