Friends Central Perk cafe opens today – and it’s better than we could’ve dreamed of

Manchester’s taking it back to the 90s this week as our very own Central Perk cafe opens in Primark, and we couldn’t BE any more excited.

It’s been home to so many key moments in Friends, from Rachel making her entrance as a bride to Phoebe’s famous rendition of Smelly Cat. And now it’s here for us to enjoy, too.

Located on the ground floor off Market Street‘s Primark, it looks even better than we could’ve imagined with its signature green frontage, striped awnings, neon signs and old Victorian lamp posts all perfectly in place as we make our approach.

Inside are bare brick walls and a wooden counter just like Gunther’s one in the show, laden with cakes and classic American treats like pretzels, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Hershey’s bars.

Behind sits that famous chalkboard menu, and next to the coffee machine they’ve even put in a dedicated tray spot. With cups of filter coffee available from 99p, it’s almost got those 90’s prices for us, too.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Central Perk without THAT sofa, which is just waiting to be jumped on for a photo opportunity.

The only thing that’s missing is Rachel to serve us our coffee.

The walls are lined with framed illustrations depicting some of the show’s most memorable moments, from the Holiday Armadillo to Marcel (Ross’s monkey), the chick and the duck, and that time Joey put a turkey on his head and it got stuck.

One even reads “Hello Regina Philangee.”

Cakes are provided by local Preston-based supplier Sweet Ideas and include pink frosted donuts covered in sprinkles and filled with strawberry jam, huge rainbow cakes, flapjacks, and salted caramel and victoria sponge muffins.

You can also order sandwiches and salads at the counter from £2.95, or stacks of pancakes or waffles from £3 (flavours include double chocolate, very berry or banana and salted caramel).

The coffee, we’re told, is grown especially for the cafe by Fairtrade producers in Peru. With an above average strength, they’re definitely putting the perk in Central Perk.

Getting it to take out? Then make sure to get one of the compostable branded cups to go.

The only cafe of it’s kind in the UK, the Central Perk Café has been opened in partnership with Warner Bros in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the US TV show Friends.

Over 52 million watched the final in the US in 2004, and according to a report by TV Watchdog OfCom Friends was the most-streamed show on Netflix when it was uploaded to the platform at the beginning of 2018.

Fans can also pick up branded merch to take home, with everything from bedsheets and travel pillows to caps, t-shirts, flip flops and bags available alongside giant Central Perk mugs.

The only question left to ask: how long until we can see some live music in there? We can almost hear the Smelly Cat intro already…

Open 8am-9pm Mon – Sat, 10.30am-5pm Sunday.


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