Get directions | 456 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
It’s safe to say that the true center of Friends wasn’t the whole Ross and Rachel thing, or Monica and Chandler, or even all those times that Joey ate things. The real thing at the heart of the sitcom we watched throughout childhood (and again on DVD in college dorms, and again in late-night Netflix binges) was Central Perk. Like clockwork, the whole gang would show up to hang out on that big couch, sip giant cappuccinos, and probably listen to Phoebe sing ‘Smelly Cat’.
Walk into a coffee shop in LA and this is not the scene you’ll be greeted with. Instead, you’ll find an army of laptops and humans wearing headphones, putting together the business plan for their wellness app or working on a script they swear Scorsese told them was ‘a great idea.” There might be a few people actually speaking to other people, but they’re probably there for a meeting anyway. The coffee shop as hangout spot – not second office – is virtually extinct in this town. But Paramount Coffee Project on Fairfax is one of the few exceptions.