The Boston Licensing Board yesterday approved plans for a Newbury Street coffee-like shop based on a fictional New York coffeehouse whose name is a play on that of a famous New York park.
Central Perk will open at 205-207 Newbury St., formerly home to a Caffe Nero and will be able to serve beer and wine to go with its bean-based offerings, because it has a deal to buy the beer-and-wine license from the recently closed North Station Tasty Burger. The location is a little less than a mile walk from the Cheers at Beacon and Charles streets.
The Newbury Street Central Perk is the very first of what is planned to be a national chain of coffeehouses based on the coffeehouse that was a focus of friends who sat there on couches having wacky hijinks or singing about smelly cats, when not sitting on couches in their large New York apartment having wacky hijinks or singing about smelly cats.
The Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay issued a formal letter of non-opposition - which is as close as the group ever gets to supporting anything.
City Councilor Sharon Durkan (Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Fenway, Misssion Hill), however, enthused about the replacement of an Italian-like coffeehouse with a New York-like coffeehouse with beer and wine. At the board's hearing on the proposal, her aide, Jake Werner, said: "She wanted to note for the record that the restaurant's namesake is a show that's all about friendship and community and that it's wonderful to see that there's going to be a new space that's been inspired by that show, that has been designed for friends to gather and enjoy each other's company."
He added that Durkan is looking forward to watching the coffeehouse become "an iconic addition to Newbury Street" - but also that she is hoping Central Perk will do as good a job as Caffe Nero did at keeping its exterior spaces clean.
Watch the hearing: