Friends no more: Central Perk coffee shop closes its doors

By Brendan Manning & Sophie Witts

- Last updated on GMT

Central Perk sites were designed to mimic the famous Friends coffee house
Central Perk sites were designed to mimic the famous Friends coffee house
The Central Perk franchise, based on the coffee shop featured on popular US sitcom Friends has closed its three sites. 

The cafes in Chester and Liverpool's Bold Street and Hatton Gardens permanently closed in January and have sold off the Friends-themed fixtures in a silent auction.

A post on Central Perk Chester’s Facebook page read: “We would like to thank you, our loyal patrons, for the past two years of quality custom, support and enjoyment of our premises. We have thoroughly enjoyed meeting and serving you and regret that our Chester store must close permanently due to increased business rates imposed by Cheshire West Council as well as an increased rental amount for the premises, both of which are extensive and cost prohibitive.”

The two Liverpool stores have been taken over by independent owners who are converting the sites into American TV & Music themed Café Bar Ameriesko and absorbing Central Perk’s staff.

Items auctioned-off included neon signs, a script signed by the six main Friends cast members and a replica of the cafe's famous orange sofa.

The owners of the Hatton Garden store wrote on their page that they were closing with 'great sadness'.

"We have had a blast and enjoyed all your visits and apologise notice has been short coming," said the post.

The decision marks a stark turnaround from the group's fortunes in 2014,​ when Central Perk's group director said he was aiming to open 300 sites across the UK by 2024.

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