In which of these places would you like to hang out?
Check out the greatest fictional locations in television history
We tend to get drawn into our favorite TV shows; we know what the characters do for a living and are privy to their groups of friends. But in order to really love a sitcom or dramatic series, it must be set to perfection—in other words, it’s all about the hangout spots. From the Three’s Company bar, Regal Beagle, to Beverly Hills, 90210’s diner, the Peach Pit, these renowned places—where our favorite small-screen characters gathered—ignite big memories for those of us who loyally tuned in. Reminisce with us as you check out these 10 famous spots where love, laughs and drama all unfolded—and where everyone definitely knew one another’s names.
Originally Aired: July 1989 – May 1998
The opening-credit shot of this corner diner, known to Seinfeld cast members as Monk’s Café, is of the New York City eatery Tom’s Restaurant, located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The coffee shop is where Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer—all characters from the show based on writer Larry David’s life—would meet to drink coffee and chat over the latest topic of obsession.
Originally Aired: December 1989 - Present
This neighborhood dive bar, owned by the curmudgeonly ex-boxer Moe, is the gathering place for the town boozers. It’s where the big-eyed, four-fingered Springfield residents quickly gulp foamy mugs of beer in one swig while partaking in dim conversations about the day. And even though The Simpsons is America’s longest-running TV sitcom, we never tire of Bart’s prank calls to the tavern. We can hear Moe now: “I’m looking for a Jacques Strap!”
Bluth’s Original Frozen Banana Stand
Originally Aired: November 2003 – February 2006
As George Bluth, Sr., says, “There’s always money in the banana stand.” Located on the Newport Beach boardwalk, Bluth’s Original Frozen Banana Stand was one of the only profitable businesses in the crumbling Bluth real estate empire. Ruined and rebuilt several times throughout the three-season series, it’s always restored in the spirit of teaching George-Michael the true value of hard work, a lesson he can hardly learn from his once-wealthy, now disruptive relatives.
Originally Aired: September 1994 – May 2004
This fictitious Greenwich Village coffee shop based on Cholmondeley’s, a favorite Brandeis University hangout of the show’s creators, was the only prominent, non-apartment set for the 10-season series. It’s where Friends’ characters Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe spent time chatting, poking fun at the head waiter, Gunther, and lounging on couches—with signature oversize mugs cupped firmly in their hands.
Originally Aired: September 1993 – May 2004
Café Nervosa serves as a respectful, espresso-worthy coffee shop often visited by the Crane brothers, Frasier and Niles. It’s a far cry from the Cheers pub, where the Frasier character originated, but a perfect fit for Frasier, since the show is set in Seattle, Washington—home of the Starbucks Corporation. The meaning of the fictional café’s name is nervous in Italian, a perfect tie-in to Frasier Crane’s psychiatric line.
Originally Aired: January 1974 – July 1984
Taking place during the late ’50s/early ’60s in Milwaukee, Happy Days had two main sets: the Cunningham home and Arnold’s Drive-In. The Milky Way Diner in Glendale, Wisconsin, was the inspiration behind this swingin’ eatery, where Richie, Ralph and fan-favorite Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli spent the majority of their time. Clad with college pennants and a jukebox filled with doo-wop songs, the drive-in was where the Happy Days 30th-anniversary reunion was set.
Originally Aired: March 1977 – September 1984
One of three hangouts for cooking-school student Jack Tripper, florist Janet Wood and secretary Chrissy Snow, this is where the trio often spent time conjuring up schemes to get themselves out of messy situations. Long-standing jokes at the faux neighborhood bar were frequently based on Jack’s sexuality and Chrissy’s blonde moments.
Originally Aired: September 1982 – May 1993
The neighborhood pub from the much-loved comedy series Cheers was the soul of the NBC sitcom. Much of the gossip-fueled banter, which centered on the idiosyncratic cast members Ted Danson (Sam; bar owner), Shelley Long (Diane; waitress), Rhea Perlman (Carla; waitress), George Wendt (Norm; bar regular), John Ratzenberger (Cliff; bar regular) and Nicholas Colasanto (Coach; bartender), took place in the main room and office of this famous Boston tavern.
Beverly Hills, 90210
Originally Aired: October 1990 – May 2000
The diner (along with its do-gooder owner, Nat) was as much a part of Beverly Hills, 90210—the teen drama that claimed the primetime spot on Fox for 10 years running—as the sibling characters, Brenda and Brandon Walsh. The hangout/second home was where the weekly troubles would unfold for the twins and their romantically entangled friends Kelly Taylor, Steve Sanders, Donna Martin and David Silver.
Joe’s Emerald City Bar
Originally Aired: March 2005 - Present
It’s here, at the pub across from the infamous Seattle Grace Hospital, where the McDreamies, McSteamies and determined up-and-coming surgeons of the television world unite after a long day of saving lives (and having secret trysts) to shake off the day’s failures, celebrate medical breakthroughs and claim one another’s hearts.