Fans of the sitcom Friends know that Central Perk was part of the lives of their favorite characters. This coffee shop is where everything started -- when Rachel entered the door while wearing her rain-soaked bridal gown. Fortunately, this cafe in New York City is not just a prop but is a real establishment that is still operating today.
People, a website that provides news about celebrity and human-interest stories, reported that even though the popularity of the sitcom attracts a lot of tourists to the area, the cafe's owner is not really fond of it. Joey Campanaro, owner and chef at the said restaurant called Little Owl, spoke to the New York Post and shared that he’s getting tired of the tourists who gather outside his establishment in Greenwich Village.
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The food is exquisite, but the main reason why people flock to his restaurant is for Friends fans to relive the space once used as the exterior for the Central Perk coffee shop. Fans crowd outside to take a photo where Ross, Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, and Chandler usually gathered to chat over a cup of coffee.
Some tourists simply want a photograph, but what irritates Joey Campanaro is that others have defaced his property by writing their names and favorite quotes from the beloved sitcom on his restaurant. Friends’ fans have gotten worse since the commemoration of its 25th anniversary.
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“It’s annoying, They’re behaving as if there’s zero accountability,” Campanaro said in an interview. He also shared that the amount of visitors depends on which day it is and the weather, but he estimated that “hundreds of people” stop by on an average day. This increases significantly during the weekends. “Over the weekend, it’s closer to 1,000,” Campanaro said.
In the meantime, he plans to sandblast the restaurant’s wall, which he predicted will cost a “couple thousand” dollars. Fans are also warned not to write on the wall, and Campanaro will hang a sign which informs them that their actions are illegal and that they are under video surveillance.