Temp “Perk” hits Soho

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Photo by Victoria Karlic.

Fans of the hit show Friends enjoyed complimentary coffee and sat on the very same orange couch where Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Monica, and Chandler once spent most of their time together.

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the show, Warner Bros. and Eight O’Clock Coffee teamed up to bring the famous hangout spot “Central Perk” to life. The pop-up located at 199 Lafayette Street in Manhattan opened on September 17 and closed on October 18.

We visited the cafe on opening day and spoke to a Friends fan who traveled all the way from China to experience Central Perk.

“I watched this show to help me learn English,” she said. “I really loved it, so I had to come visit.”

Senior Syeda Ahmed, though discouraged by the hour wait, was still excited to visit the pop-up because of its sentimental value.

“I grew up watching Friends reruns with my mom every night so it meant a lot to me that Central Perk was brought to life.”

Language teachers Caroline Lopera and Diana Villaverde are big fans of the show and still watch it today. They also credit Friends for helping them better understand conversational English. However, they did not think Central Perk was worth the long wait on line.

Apart from the coffee, Central Park served as a Friends museum. Not only was the distinguished couch present, but there were also autographed portraits of the cast and costumes from the show. The walls housed pictures from memorable scenes as well as a TV that continuously played popular episodes.

Fans hope for a permanent location of Central Perk so that  Friends fans or anyone who enjoys a good cup of coffee can frequently visit without the long waits.

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