Hundreds of millennials waited in line for hours Wednesday just to relive a few moments of nostalgia with their favorite “Friends.”
Just in time for the 20th anniversary of the series’ premiere, Eight O’Clock Coffee and Warner Bros. Entertainment have opened a replica of Central Perk—the longtime NBC hit sitcom's main hangout for anyone who somehow didn’t know—in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood. The new Perk is complete with the familiar orange couch where they gang spent so many Thursday nights.
Friends Jamie McGill, 34, Shani Zanescu, 25, and Vandana Singla, 36, waited in line for almost two hours Wednesday morning just to get inside. While the girls were most excited about sitting on the orange couch and snagging some sweet show memorabilia, complete with a commemorative shopping bag, their commitment to the show goes much deeper.
The show “helped me get through the military,” McGill said, explaining that it helped her “laugh off the stupid stuff.”
The pop-up shop is stuffed with set-based memorabilia for the most die-hard of fans. At the front, of course, is the big white dog.
Also, the rather revealing outfit Monica wore to sing karaoke. Monica and Chandler’s wedding rings and vows are also on display.
The shop also features the iconic gold picture frame and a signed script copy of the show's pilot.
But the biggest draw is the orange couch. "Friends" fans can sit on the couch with their cups of Central Perk special roast coffee and have their pictures taken under a picture of the original Central Perk set.
“We’re freaking out a little,” 19-year-old Camila Kann said.
“It’s insane they have the original couch,” her friend Denise Torres, also 19, said. “The whole thing is like reliving old memories.”
For the girls, "Friends" resonated so deeply with them because, while each character was so unique, they could still see themselves in each character. Plus, it was just so well-written.
“Who doesn’t love 'Friends?'” said Michael Scalera, Eight O'Clock Coffee brand manager, said at the shop’s grand opening Wednesday. The show created such “a great feeling” that “from a partnership standpoint it was a no-brainer.”
Central Perk will be open through Saturday, Oct. 18. It’s hours are 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. In addition to featuring Eight O’Clock Coffee’s special Central Perk roast, the pseudo-Central Perk will host an improv artist on Friday nights in the style of Phoebe’s performances at the show’s Central Perk, Scalera said.
And every Wednesday will be bean counter day, where contestants can win a themed prize pack if they correctly guess how many coffee beans are in a huge jar at the coffee bar.