Central Perk to Cheers: 7 TV hangouts where everybody knows your name

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By Gael Fashingbauer Cooper

Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name, whether it's a bar, 1950's diner, or Seattle coffee shop to hang out with your neurotic brother. Fortunately, over the years TV shows have given us several such ideal hangouts. While the locales (and shows) may be long gone, here are 7 spots where we'd most like to become a regular.

Central Perk on 'Friends'
Oh, the "Friends." They had it all. Apartments that were way too expensive for their piddling salaries, magazine-cover good looks (except maybe Ross), faithful pals who always stuck by their sides, and a spacious coffeehouse to hang out in. It was here that Phoebe belted out "Smelly Cat" (what are they feeding you?) and barista Gunther nursed a crush on oblivious Rachel. But here's what we want to know: How is it that the giant couch was always available? 

Central Perk was where the "Friends" hung out.Today

And for anyone who really wants their nostalgia tweaked, be sure to watch Katie Couric's interview with the cast below, on the set of Central Perk, from 1994. Talk about a flashback!

Monk's Cafe on 'Seinfeld'
Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer hashed out the problems of their very-New York-centric worlds over "big salads" and sandwiches at Monk's Cafe. (The exterior shown on the show was really Tom's Restaurant, made famous in the Suzanne Vega song "Tom's Diner.") It's here that Elaine once got mad at the owner for only hiring big-breasted waitresses (turned out they were his daughters). And Monk's was also the site of George's hilarious decision to do the opposite of what he usually did, ordering a lunch he didn't like and asking a woman out by confessing that he was unemployed and lived with his parents. It worked, because everything in George's life was weird that way, and maybe because Monk's was magic.

Cheers on 'Cheers'
Everyone wants a neighborhood bar like Cheers, with awesome bartenders like Sam, Woody and Coach (RIP) and a hilarious group of regulars like Norm, Cliff, and Frasier just to name a few. From the Sam-and-Diane opposites-attract relationship to Norm's one-liners to Cliff's annoying trivia knowledge, the show's cliches never felt like cliches, and Cheers itself felt like a real character. The bar even had its own arch-rivals in Gary's Old Towne Tavern and Melville's, the seafood restaurant upstairs. Who wouldn't want to pull up a stool, hear Sam ramble on about his Red Sox days, Norm complain about the unseen Vera, and let Cliff explain why beer makes you smarter? Wouldn't you like to get away?

Woody (Woody Harrelson) kept 'em laughing at Cheers, even if he didn't know it was often as his own expense.Today

Cafe Nervosa on 'Frasier'
Frasier Crane hung out at Cheers in Boston, but when the psychiatrist moved home to Seattle, he picked up that city's coffee habit, indulging in caffeine and long hilarious discussions with brother Niles at Cafe Nervosa. The shop was based on the real cafe of Elliott Bay Books, hence the cozy stacks of books surrounding the tables and shoppers browsing shelves while others sat and sipped. In a classic episode, an on-the-edge Niles cracks up when the cafe is out of straws, and ends up stripping down to his birthday suit, requiring an immediate intervention from his big bro.

Peach Pit on 'Beverly Hills 90210'
Brandon Walsh may have lived among the uber-richies in Beverly Hills, but the "90210" character was a Minnesotan at heart, and he had to work for a living. Though if you ask us, his job at Nat's high-school hangout The Peach Pit seems a lot less like "working" and a lot more like "socializing." As the kids grew up, so did their hangout. Steve Sanders (Ian Ziering, now of "Sharknado" fame) went on to open the nightclub "Peach Pit After Dark" next door to the diner.

The Max on 'Saved by the Bell'
Looking for Zack Morris and his giant cell phone or popular Kelly Kapowski, or maybe, for some unknown reason, Screech? Just like the "90210"-ers, the Bayside High kids of "Saved By the Bell" had a diner hangout, too. The Max was named for its owner, comedic magician Max (Ed Alonzo), and was the cleanest, brightest-colored hangout on TV. Thankfully, patrons didn't mind when the cast randomly broke into song or started dancing.

Arnold’s on 'Happy Days'
Aaaay, there was no hipper joint in 1950's Milwaukee than Arnold's, run by Arnold (Pat Morita) and later Al (Al Morinaro). And no one brought the cool to Arnold's like Fonzie (Henry Winkler), whose leather-jacketed swagger ruled the room. His "office" was the men's room, he could control the jukebox with a well-placed fist-pound, and one finger-snap would get the prettiest girls in the place to walk out with him.

Pat Morita, Henry Winkler and Ron Howard at Arnold's, the "Happy Days" hangout.Today

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