The One With The Lattes: See Upstate’s New Friends-Inspired Café
If you’ve ever watched the sitcom Friends, you know Central Perk. It has to be the most famous coffee shop in all of television. So many iconic moments between Joey, Monica, Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, and Chandler all happened on and around the café’s famous orange couch.
While the Central Perk you know from the show is entirely fictional, if you’ve ever wished you and your friends could have your own Friends-inspired hangout spot a new coffee joint in Averill Park may perk your interest.
Welcome to Averill Perk
I stopped in because I had to see the sign for myself. It’s quickly becoming a local landmark since Averill Perk's soft opening. Owner Chris Bradway told me that people already stop on the road all the time to take pictures.
I got to sit down with Chris and ask her a few questions:
What inspired you to open Averill Perk?
"When my kids were in school and we would have parent committee meetings, PTA meetings or just needed a place to catch up… there wasn’t a place. Either you sat in the school library or the local restaurant. I always said we need a coffee shop to go and relax and enjoy ourselves."
Friends clearly played a big part in the name and sign, but did it help you in any other ways with the opening?
"I knew I wanted that feeling of meeting with friends laughing and enjoying friends new and old. No, we don’t have an orange couch, (it’s blue) and nobody singing Smelly Cat. Not yet…"
How long have you wanted to open Averill Perk and what went into the opening?
"My kids are now 21 and 23, so a good 15 years. Finding the right location was a challenge. We looked at quite a few in Averill Park and West Sand Lake and then my son bought the old AJ's, this building was vacant, and it clicked. A lot of construction and love went into this opening and a lot of help from family and friends!"
Averill Park has a lot of local vendors on display. How those are selected for the shop?
"I was in charge of the committee for the Vendor and Craft fair for the schools. It started when Austin was in Kindergarten and followed all the way through 12th grade. It was a big hit! The community and people from all over like homemade local vendor made items. I always wanted a brick and mortar where you could get that unique item... but not just in December. I stayed with those vendors I knew, some were friends, one is my Mom, friends daughter and some found us through word of mouth recommendations."
Do you have a favorite Friends episode?
"Not sure it’s a favorite, but the funniest I think is when Ross went on a date wearing leather pants and started sweating then couldn’t get them on. He used powder and it was hysterical!"
If you could have one of the characters in the show work at Averill Perk, who would it be and why?
"Rachel. She had coffee shop experience. Or Joey! He was just the funniest!"
Joey Doesn’t Share Espresso
Even if you’re not a huge Friends fan, you should definitely stop in for the drinks. I ordered an iced French Toast Latte and it was legitimately one of the best lattes I’ve ever had. Chris recommends the cold brew with chai, vanilla, and cream.
Sadly, deliciousness is not yet a photographable quality, so you’ll just have to stop in for yourself to try one. They’re open Wednesday through Sundays on NY 43. And if you’ve been writing any songs about odorous felines, maybe practice before coming to Averill Perk to play?