Friends’ Central Perk coffee shop set for UK expansion

By Lauren Houghton contact

- Last updated on GMT

Central Perk sites are designed to reflect the famous Friends coffee house
Central Perk sites are designed to reflect the famous Friends coffee house

Related tags: Coffee

The Central Perk franchise, based on the coffee shop featured on popular US sitcom Friends, has just opened its third site in the UK in Liverpool and has ambitious expansion plans, aiming to have 300 UK franchises in the next decade. 

The third site in the Central Park coffee shop franchise in the UK opened today (15 September) on Bold Street. This is the brand’s second Liverpool site, the first one having opened in Hatton Garden in 2012. There is also a Central Perk in Chester which opened in 2013.

Central Perk’s group director Steven Hesketh said: “We are delighted how customers in Liverpool and Chester have embraced the Central Perk brand, so to open our third venue in less than three years is no mean feat in the current economic climate.

“We were confident that Central Perk would prove popular, but it has exceeded our expectations. The demand is there, so we’re excited and looking forward to introducing new customers to Central Perk, I know they won’t be disappointed.”

Future franchises

The sites have proved successful with Friends’ fans; the original Hatton Garden site was expanded to double its original size after a year to accommodate demands. The Central Perk brand is owned and operated in association with Warner Bros under its licence for the UK and Northern Ireland. The group are now looking for further franchise opportunities across the UK.

“We are now exploring opportunities to develop sites in Southport, St. Helens and Manchester,” explained Hesketh. “This is part of our detailed franchising model which will see an estimated 300 Central Perk coffee shops open across the country in the next 10 years.

“The appeal of the Friends brand continues to be strong, with customers travelling to specifically experience our unique coffee shops and take home a special piece of official Central Perk memorabilia.”

Central Perk Bold Street

Like the other two sites, Central Perk Bold Street is designed to reflect the New York coffee house where the six main characters of Friends would meet during the TV series. The Bold Street site has 100 covers and is set over two floors. It is a licensed venue and the brand is working with local suppliers such as Joe Black Coffee, which created an exclusive Central Perk coffee blend for the group.

Hesketh said: ““Bold Street is a thriving Liverpool hotspot, and home to a lot of independent businesses. We are keen to become part of that community and work alongside our neighbours to continue to raise the profile of Bold Street and attract new custom.

“Seeing the look on people’s faces when they step through the door is priceless; they feel like they’ve just stepped onto the Friends’ set. They want to recreate that moment and meet their own friends here, relax on the comfortable sofas and armchairs and have that same feeling of catching up over a coffee and cheesecake. And also catch an episode of Friends at the same time.”

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