I’ll be there for you... When that tune plays, all we can think of is the opening titles of Friends, where we see the cast lounging on the sofa at the corner coffee shop Central Perk. Or maybe they're laughing and sharing a meal in their colorful loft in Soho.
Fans of the show can now hang with friends at the famous coffee shop just like Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Ross, Joey, and Chandler would. With the show’s 20th anniversary coming up, Entertainment and Eight O'Clock Coffee are opening a replica pop-up café in New York City’s Soho neighborhood, where the fictional coffee shop was located.
We only wish we could revisit all of the cast’s favorite hangouts in the city, like Moondance Diner, the 1950s-themed restaurant, where Monica waits tables wearing a pinup outfit, complete with a blonde wig and fake breasts; or Joey and Rachel’s first date spot, where they spend the evening dishing their best dating moves to each other.
We can even see the cast at some of New York City’s hotspots. Setting the scene for a modern-day Friends, we imagine The Roost, a coffee shop with a hidden bar, as the real-life Central Perk, and Ellen’s Stardust Diner, a 1950s-inspired diner in Times Square, as the equivalent to Moondance Diner.
If Friends were set in modern-day New York City, we think we’d find the crew at these trendy spots. We've matched up the show's fictional hangouts with real-life spots where we could see them going regularly.
Monica and Rachel’s Apartment — Modern Day NYC Apartment
Then: The girls' apartment, where most of the Friends episodes take place, boasts colorful walls and décor and is pretty sizeable for a New York City apartment, with an extravagant balcony that we wish we had in the city.
Now: An average New York City apartment is half the size, if not smaller, of Monica and Rachel’s apartment but can be just as colorful and homey.
Allesandro’s — Del Posto
Then: Monica is employed as head chef at Allesandro’s for six seasons after impressing the owner with her cooking skills. If not in her apartment, her friends could find her at the up-and-coming Italian restaurant.
Now: Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich's Del Posto in West Village is one of New York City’s favorite spots to sit down for a top-notch Italian meal with excellent service and a classy vibe.
Haley Willard is The Daily Meal's assistant editor. Follow her on Twitter @haleywillrd.