For 10 years, the dream has always been there: What if Central Perk were a real, functioning, undeniably cozy coffee shop? Though real jobs preclude all of us from waxing Bing and spending all day with hazelnut roasts and crullers, any avid Friends watcher has long imagined what it would feel like to set foot in the show’s iconic coffeehouse, if only to feel—just for a second—that the magic of the 10-season sitcom was real.
Well, it’s real, thanks to a new pop-up installation in downtown Manhattan, just minutes from the show’s West Village setting. You can’t miss the store logo on the windows of the renovated SoHo café, or the awnings emblazoned with “Friends 20th Anniversary.” And when you enter the inherently nostalgic space, it’s like 2004 to 2014 never really happened. It’s surreal for a die-hard Friends fanatic like myself—and even more so for the one cast member who has become synonymous with the name Central Perk. READ FULL STORY