Photo: Ng Han Guang
Du Xin loves the 90s TV sitcom Friends - he loves it so much that he decided to open his own Central Perk cafe, themed exactly like the one in the show:
Tucked away on the sixth floor of a Beijing apartment block is a mini replica of the cafe, orange couch and all, whose owner Du Xin introduces himself by saying, "Everyone calls me 'Gunther' here."
Indeed, he is a Chinese version of cafe owner Gunther from the show, down to his giddy passion for Rachel (the character played by Jennifer Aniston).
"I'm crazy about Friends," Du says. "For me, it's like a religion. It's my life."
The extent of Du's Friends obsession is clear on entry to Beijing's Central Perk. The level of detail is scary: same window, same doorway. People sitting on the orange sofa are watching TV — reruns of Friends, naturally.
The cafe only serves snacks mentioned in Friends, and the menus are even annotated.
For instance, the menu informs anyone ordering cheesecake that it was — in season 7, episode 11 — the subject of Rachel's exclamation to Chandler (played by Matthew Perry): "You stole this cheesecake. That is wrong!"
NPR's All Things Considered has the story: Link