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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Friends-inspired Central Perk Coffeehouse brings welcoming environment to Back Bay

There was a comforting feeling thinking about how even though the place was packed with so many people of all ages and personalities, we all had something in common: a love for ‘Friends.’
Sarah Roberts
The beloved couch from the original series, available for fans to enjoy their coffee on.

Bostonians can now immerse themselves into the “Friends” lifestyle when they visit Central Perk Coffeehouse in Back Bay. Don’t worry though, there aren’t any smelly cats there. The location is the first permanent Central Perk in the world – could this BE any more exciting?

The coffee shop opened Nov. 14 at 205 Newbury Street and is inspired by the iconic TV series “Friends” that aired from 1994 to 2004. The show is about six single friends living in New York City trying to navigate their lives as adults. 

Throughout the 10 seasons, Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry), Monica Geller (Courtney Cox), Rachel Green (Jennifer Anniston), Ross Geller (David Schwimmer), Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) and Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow) spend a lot of their time on a bright orange, velvet couch in Central Perk, a coffee shop on the first floor of their apartment building. 

While the one in Boston is more of a modern take on the coffee shop in the show, it’s just as exciting as I was expecting it to be. Waiting for a seat to open up didn’t take long at all since there were so many seating options.

Whether it was my own excitement getting to me, or the incredible atmosphere of the coffee shop, I could feel the “Friends” vibe before I even walked in. 

I spent the afternoon in the coffeehouse on their opening day and experienced the very lively environment filled with lots of laughter, excitement, photoshoots and what I assume was the first time a drink was spilled, which really makes it official. 

Being the coffee snob I am, I spend many hours in coffee shops writing or doing homework, so I was really looking for some great coffee and energy to sit with and enjoy. Central Perk had just that. 

There was a comforting feeling thinking about how even though the place was packed with so many people of all ages and personalities, we all had something in common: a love for “Friends.”

As for the coffee, I can only speak on the “Gunther! Espresso.” I ordered my go-to — a hot vanilla latte — so I knew what to expect. The espresso is definitely a darker roast and I’m more of a light roast gal, however, I can appreciate the strong flavor. 

The hot to-go cups are complete with the classic Central Perk logo and covered with icons of very specific moments from the series. If you opt for the “for here” option, you might be given a huge coffee mug similar to the ones the characters are given in the show.

Being given out exclusively on the day of the grand opening were hot coffee cup sleeves that read, “Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?” paying tribute to Perry, who died Oct. 28.

Upon entering, immediately to my left was a little nook with tables and large comfortable green chairs (my pick), but what really caught my eye was a rendition of the iconic orange couch. 

The couch is a leather sectional, complete with throw pillows. The couch in the show is cloth and much smaller. If that’s what you were hoping to see, don’t fret.

Continue walking to the back of the shop and you’re met with a vibrant orange brick wall and THE couch. Above it is a neon orange sign that says “The One With…” which is in reference to the way each episode is titled.

Everything in the shop, down to the WiFi password, has some sort of “Friends” reference. A few of the characters are honored in the names of the coffee roasts, like the “Gunther! Espresso,” or the food items. 

Joey earned himself the medium roast house blend dubbed as “How You Doin’?” – a line he often chirped to women he’s interested in.

In reference to Ross’ hilarious couch scene, they have the medium-to dark-roast “Pivot Blend.” In honor of the infamous Ross and Rachel fight, they have the “We Were On a ‘Coffee’ Break” dark roast, and for those of you that prefer to go au naturel, they have a medium roast “Moo Point” decaf blend.

Chandler’s ex-girlfriend, Janice Hosenstein (Maggie Wheeler), scored her own medium roast cold brew titled “OH. MY. GAWD!” Janice is a vibrant but extremely annoying woman that Chandler dated on and off until he and Monica began seeing each other at the end of season four.

A few notable items from their extensive food menu are Joey’s Meatball Sub, The Moist Maker sandwich and Monica’s jam (fig jam). 

I’m already looking forward to going back and trying the cold brew with “Chandler’s chocolate milk cold foam” on top.

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About the Contributor
Sarah Roberts, News Editor | she/her
Sarah is a senior from Taunton, Mass. majoring in print and web journalism. She’s on the cross country and indoor/outdoor track and field teams. When she’s not running along the Charles or doing laps on the track in Eastie, you will probably find her in a coffee shop. Sarah is a coffee connoisseur and enjoys trying new coffee places frequently. In her free time if she isn’t reading, she’s watching some true crime shows or rewatching Gilmore Girls for the hundredth time. After college, she hopes to work in investigative journalism.

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