New Friends-themed café opens in town

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The new Central Perk on Bold Street

The new Central Perk on Bold Street. Pic by Kieran Etoria-King © JMU Journalism

A new branch of the once-fictional coffee house Central Perk has opened in Liverpool, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the sitcom from which it was born, Friends.

Officially trademarked by Warner Bros, the shop on Bold Street is the second branch of Central Perk in Liverpool, following the original on Hatton Garden – which was the first in the UK.

Friends first aired on September 22 1994, and ran for a decade. But in Central Perk, it’s as though Ross, Rachel and the gang never left, as episodes are re-run throughout the day.

Luke Russell, a manager at the new shop, told JMU Journalism why he thinks the show has enough enduring appeal for Central Perk to be expanding more than 10 years later.

He said: “Friends is one of those things that if it’s on, even if you’ve watched one before you’ll watch it again anyway. It’s just got that timeless feel to it, like the older shows of our parents’ generation.

“I think here [at Central Perk] you can reminisce. It brings memories back for people who are a bit older who were young in the 90s – and yet we have people who weren’t even born when the show went off the air.”

Katie McGrath, a manager at the Hatton Garden site who helped set up the Bold Street branch, agreed that there is a surprising diversity in the clientele.

She told JMU Journalism: “It’s a real mix of people. We get lots of students, families. A lot of kids get brought here by the parents for their birthdays and things like that.

“It is quite strange, but with the amount of reruns that are on and the limited edition box sets, there’s a mixture.”

About Kieran Etoria-King, JMU Journalism