A version of this story originally appeared in LEO's sister paper, Cincinnati CityBeat.
Earlier this year, a Cincinnati couple opened two Airbnbs themed after the sitcoms "Seinfeld" and "Friends," respectively. The Sitcom Suites aren't just full of memorabilia, but instead resemble real-life set replicas.
Brenda and Otto Baum are behind the sitcom-themed apartments. Brenda told CityBeat via email that being stuck at home during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic sparked the idea.
“About three years ago, COVID lockdowns had just begun. Sports, which is my husband's passion, had officially been canceled and we found ourselves with a whole lot of time. We started rewatching a lot of old television. Otto is an owner in a property development company and thought, ‘How cool would it be to recreate an actual set?’" said Brenda. “With love of old TV, architecture, eye for design and drive for a new date night spot, the Sitcom Suites idea was born.”
Both units are located in a four-family apartment. The Friends-themed one, “The Purple Suite” (formerly known as "The one with the F•r•i•e•n•d•s"), mimics characters Monica’s and Rachel’s New York City apartment, complete with the kitchen’s turquoise cabinetry, purple living room, and the large picture window with views of “NYC.” The Seinfeld-themed one, “The New York Suite" (formerly known as "The Apartment About Nothing),” likewise looks like Jerry’s New York City apartment with a bike on the wall, a toy basketball hoop on the door, a New York state license plate reading “ASSMAN,” and a cutout of neighbor Cosmo Kramer.
Brenda said bringing Otto’s idea to reality was the fun part in creating the Sitcom Suites.
“The current apartment layouts are far from similar to those on the shows, so ‘set’ walls were built to block windows, faux doors were brought in and the light fixtures were chosen to replicate set camera lights. While Otto and his team are building the units, I have been hunting down the exact furniture and fixtures which have taken me all over the country and have some crazy stories. These units are truly unlike anything else,” she said.
Both apartments are one-bedrooms with king-sized beds, pull-out couches in the living rooms, and fully equipped kitchens. For parents staying with kids, there is a rec center with a playground, pool, and splash pad across the street from the building.
Rental prices start at $175 a night for both apartments.