'Friends'-Themed Coffee Shop Opens In Toronto, But No Gunther In Sight

While pop-up incarnations have come and gone in cities like New York and London, Toronto has opened a permanent “Friends”-themed hangout that recreates the iconic New York coffee shop.

Ostensibly to skirt possible trademark infringement, the Toronto location doesn’t take the original name Central Perk, but instead opened under the name Central Café.

To replicate the iconic setting, the Toronto café features a reasonable facsimile of the three-seater brown, fabric, tufted sofa, on which characters like Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Ross, Joey and Chandler would commiserate about their professional and romantic lives while drinking from oversized coffee mugs.

The setting also includes a Persian-style rug and a pair of armchairs flanking the sofa on either side.

Elsewhere, however, the café seems rather generic and sparse, with a menu that includes run-of-the-mill offerings like turkey, avocado grilled cheese, assorted cakes and specialty coffees with amateurish foam art.

When news spread that Toronto’s Central Café was opening, plenty of “Friends” fanatics had this reaction:

So does café live up to the hype? Depends on your expectations.

The coffee shop is, after all, “Friends”-themed, and not an exact replica. With that in mind, some visitors took to social media to share their thoughts.

While some noted that “all it’s missing is Gunther,” others were just happy to snap a photo on the lookalike Central Perk sofa.

If you’re still holding out for the real Central Perk, there’s good news. Earlier this year, The Blast reported that Warner Bros. had secured copyrights to the name Central Perk “for coffee shop and café services” sparking speculation that official “Friends” cafes could be coming our way.

With files from Isabelle Khoo