If you can believe it, it’s been a decade since “Friends” went off the air and almost two decades since it first premiered on NBC. For a limited time, fans who are feeling nostalgic for the classic sitcom can step into a real-life replica of the gang’s favorite hangout and celebrate the big anniversary.
Warner Bros. Television Group announced on Wednesday that it is teaming up with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Eight O’Clock Coffee to build a replica of Central Perk, that West Village institution where the friends spent a big chunk of the show’s 10 seasons hanging out. The pop-up coffeehouse will be located in downtown Manhattan and is scheduled to open on Sept. 17, five days before the show marks its actual 20th anniversary on Sept. 22. Fans will be able to visit the faux Central Perk until Oct. 18.
You can bet there will be plenty of throwbacks to the series as well. Naturally, visitors will be able to have a seat on the big orange couch and organizers are planning fun things like giveaways, trivia contests, and weekly sing-alongs of Phoebe Buffay’s quirky, yet totally endearing tunes (“Smelly Cat,” anyone?). Eight O’Clock will be giving out free cups of their coffee and fans will also be able to get their hands on a limited-edition Central Perk Roast. What’s more, depending on which day you go you might run into James Michael Tyler, the actor known for playing the flaxen-haired and oft-lovelorn Central Perk manager Gunther, in one of his special appearances.
As if that wasn’t enough “Friends” news, there was a mini-reunion featuring the show’s leading ladies on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Wednesday night. What started out as a pretty standard interview with Jennifer Aniston eventually escalated into a skit in which the actress and host read some of Kimmel’s cringe-inducing “Friends” fan-fiction in a perfect replica of Monica’s kitchen (the attention to detail alone makes it a pretty great skit).
Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow eventually walked into the sketch for a pseudo-reprisal of their former roles, much to the surprise and delight of the studio audience. Check out the video of the skit embedded above. Not quite the full reunion people have been hoping for, perhaps, but a nice surprise nonetheless.