In Friends, I always imagined that Central Perk was located on the ground floor of the building that Monica, Rachel, Joey, and Chandler lived in.

However, I can't remember anything in the show that actually confirms that — nor anything that directly contradicts it.

A Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation blog post (referenced in this answer) states that Central Perk was on the ground floor of the building, but doesn't include anything to support the assertion.

Can we finally put the world's mind at rest by nailing this down?


2 Answers 2


I've watched the series in its entirety multiple times, and I don't remember anything explicitly answering that question.

There is, however, a scene in season one's The One With George Stephanopoulos where Joey enters the coffee shop and he states that there are 97 steps from their flat to the coffee shop. Again, that's not a definite answer, but considering they are multiple floors up and have to go down many steps just to reach the ground floor, 97 steps mean that if not above, their apartments are at least a very close neighbour.

Slightly more conclusive, in another episode, before leaving the coffee shop to return home, Monica says to Rachel that she'll "see [her] upstairs".

Although never explicitly and directly said, it is heavily and almost conclusively implied.

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    @Valorum - I would not describe a location as simply "upstairs" unless it was in the same building. To me that implies the apartment are accessible internally from the coffee shop, l.e without going outside, and is therfore part of the same building.
    – Ethan
    Commented Jan 30 at 0:40
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    @Ethan: "To me that implies the apartment are accessible internally from the coffee shop" — I doubt that the apartments are meant to accessible from the coffee shop without going outside — aside from real-world practical concerns, we always seem to see the characters leave Central Perk by the door that goes out onto the street. If they are meant to be located in the same building, I'd expect the apartments to have their own street entrance. Commented Jan 30 at 16:19
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    My office is on the 8th floor of a building downtown. If a coworker and I were having lunch within a block or so off the office, and he said that he had to run a few errands before going back to work, I could easily picture myself saying "ok, you go on ahead, I'll meet you upstairs." Perhaps with a little head nod or hand wave in the vague direction of the office. All of that would mean that I'd meet him in the office, not upstairs in the restaurant's building. Commented Jan 30 at 18:40
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    The 97 steps comes from "95, 96, 97. See, I told you! Less than 100 steps from our place" That could be the apartment building front door - whatever definition of "our place" they wanted to accept - and as it is Joey proving it is less than "100" - could and probably would mean taking enormous strides - I'd be jumping down a flight of stairs and claiming it as 1 step and taking over 2m per stride. Which could place it as much as 2 blocks over.
    – Collett89
    Commented Jan 31 at 14:23
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    @Ethan As a life-long New Yorker, I assure you that “upstairs” can easily just mean “home” to people living in the same apartment. Probably wouldn’t be used if it were a long trip just to get to the building, but being already in the building itself is absolutely unnecessary. “I’ll see you upstairs” is absolutely not conclusive evidence at all.
    – KRyan
    Commented Jan 31 at 14:34

There have been several fan-made attempts at floor plans for the apartments and Central Perk.

None of these appear to share any distinctive external wall patterns. That doesn't conclusively say they're not in the same building, but doesn't provide evidence they are.

We also can't look to real life either, because Grove Street in New York stops at around street number 70. so the address is completely fictitious.

Central Perk

SOURCE https://www.deviantart.com/nikneuk/art/Floorplan-of-the-Central-Perk-from-FRIENDS-873833711

enter image description here

SOURCE https://www.deviantart.com/nikneuk/art/FRIENDS-Apartment-s-Floorplans-New-Version-509938534

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    These plans are fan-made and have little or no bearing on what the makers of the show had in mind.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 31 at 22:18
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    It's interesting to see these. Accurate or not, it shows how dedicated fans can be. Any expectation that TV or film set layouts be reproducible in real life is unrealistic anyway. May as well enjoy the effort the fans put in, without reading into it too deeply.
    – Mentalist
    Commented Feb 1 at 1:25
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    That said, Comic Sans is criminal, and so is sizing the ampersands to be the largest part of the text.
    – Mentalist
    Commented Feb 1 at 1:32
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    Although the plans are fan-made, they look to be closely based on what we see in the show, so if we’re just trying to interpret what’s on-screen, I say they’re interesting and worth looking at. Commented Feb 1 at 8:14
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    Yeah I mean in my head the street entrance for the Friends friends' apartments is around the corner from Central Perk, and their apartment windows may be on the other side of the building entirely. (I'm not familiar with Greenwich Village in real life, so I'm not clear how likely any of this is in reality.) Commented Feb 1 at 10:32

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