TWIN LAKES — Oh. My. Gawd. Could it BE any more exciting?
Cup O’ Jo, the soon-to-be-open “Friends” sitcom-themed coffee house in Twin Lakes, will have an official Warner Bros. replica of the iconic orange couch from Central Perk.
The couch — one of only 20 official replicas — arrived in Twin Lakes last Tuesday, along with a replica coffee table, rug and backdrop.
“Pivot, pivot,” Dena Prestininzi and Kim Hill, co-owners of Cup O’ Joe yelled in jest when the couch was delivered, using a famous “Friends” quote uttered by Ross (actor David Schwimmer) in an episode in which he, Rachel (actress Jennifer Aniston), and Chandler (actor Matthew Perry) attempted to maneuver a couch up a flight of stairs.
Prestininzi said she got a call from Marcus Theaters in October that they planned to auction off the replica set from Warner Bros. to raise money for Children’s Wisconsin. After learning that she and Hill were planning on opening a Friends-themed coffee shop (news that went viral when posted on social media in September), they offered to sell it to them for a donation of at least $7,500.
Their more than 5,000 Facebook “friends” collectively said “I’ll be there for you,” by making donations through a GoFundMe campaign in exchange for reservations on the couch — $25 for 15 minutes, $50 for 30 minutes, $100 for 1 hour, etc.
“We raised the money in two-and-a-half days,” Prestininzi said.
Prestininzi and Hill said they are planning to pay-it-forward. After the initial reservations are honored, they plan to donate proceeds from couch reservations to a different local charity each month.
It was immediately evident to Prestininzi and Hill when they moved to Twin Lakes last year from San Diego that the village needed a coffee shop.
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They said they are overwhelmed by the response — partly fueled by the fact September 2019 marked the 25th anniversary of the show.
“We are looking forward to meeting all the people we feel we already know,” Prestininzi said.
For now, the coffee shop door appropriately reads “We were on a break.” When it opens in late January, Prestininzi said there will be plenty of “selfie” opportunities with plush versions of Marcel the monkey and Phoebe’s hairless cat, the Geller Cup (a troll on a piece of wood used as a trophy), and a replica of Gladys (an art piece made by Phoebe). They hired artist Lexi Lesko to help make the atmosphere, while not exact, as authentic as possible.
There will also be an autograph wall, trivia and open mic nights, and live, acoustic music.
Better Scents Bath and Body Boutique is making a replica of Rachel’s Trifle in the form of a candle. In addition to one large one for the shop, smaller versions will be available. For those who aren’t familiar with the episode, Ross’ response when tasting the trifle — half an English trifle and half Shepherds pie — was “It tastes like feet,” while Joey (actor Matt LeBlanc) responded, “What’s not to like? Custard: good. Jam: good. Meat: good!”
Dena said they do have a liquor license, but will be a coffee bar — with boozy coffee, hot toddies, spiked cider available.
They will feature local products, such as Anodyne Coffee from Milwaukee, Lovebootch Kombucha from East Troy, desserts from La Crème de Keto in Twin Lakes and Lovin’ Oven in Antioch, and cold-pressed juice from Juiced! in Milwaukee.
For those who wish to host special events at the shop, special items, such as Joey’s meatball subs and Monica’s lasagna, will be available.
From Cup O’ Joe, patrons will also find indoor access to Kim’s other business Soul-Ful Moon Journey, or “Phoebe’s Happy Place,” where they can find a variety of healing crystals and other products.
As for the name ... Joe is not in reference to Joey from the sitcom. Dena’s son is named Joe and, when little, did introduce himself by saying, “I’m Joey, how you doin?’ ”