I Visited a 'Gilmore Girls' Luke's Diner Pop-Up in Brooklyn
And all I got was a cup of free coffee
I'm generally an early riser, but today, I was particularly excited for my alarm to buzz at 6 a.m. because I knew that within an hour, I'd be visiting a Gilmore Girls Luke's Diner pop-up, one of about 200 scattered across the country, and getting a free cup of coffee at Luke's Diner courtesy of Netflix. I rolled up to Brooklyn Roasting Company on Flushing Avenue in Brooklyn around 7:10 a.m., ten minutes after the store opened its doors. There was a line that spilled onto the sidewalk, but it was less than 15 people long. The main attraction seemed to be the Luke's Diner sign that had been suction cupped to the front window, under which many people were snapping selfies. However, this appeared to be in direct violation of Luke's Diner's new rules, listed right inside the foyer along with a cardboard cutout of Stars Hollow's favorite curmudgeonly diner owner himself, Luke. It seems that cell phones might now be allowed at Luke's, though texting while ordering and taking pictures of food are strictly prohibited. (Unless you're Lorelai Gilmore, I'm sure.)
Within ten minutes of getting in line, I had a steaming hot cup of Luke's coffee in my hand, which was actually just a cup of Brooklyn Roasting Company house coffee, served in a Gilmore Girls-themed paper cup with a Luke's Diner paper sleeve. I asked the barista, who was kitted out in a Luke's Diner hat and matching apron, how many people he had served so far. "I don't know, I've lost count," he laughed as he handed me my free medium coffee. "I'm just having fun."
And that was it. There weren't really any other Gilmore Girls decorations, and there definitely wasn't any of Luke's famous diner fare. The crowd had mostly cleared out by 7:30 a.m., and though several other Gilmore Girls fans trickled into the store as I sat by the window and sipped my free coffee, the line never went out the door again. Everyone just seemed pleased to pretend they were in Stars Hollow, Connecticut for a moment rather than across from the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The brisk fall air definitely didn't hurt the atmosphere, though I was sorely disappointed by the lack of flannel, for the record.
But my experience at Luke's Diner in Brooklyn seems to be anomalous in some ways, especially given the lack of crowds. At Sola Coffee in Raleigh, South Carolina, for example, the line went down the block and back.
And at the Golden Roast in Knoxville, Tennessee, fans started lining up and taking selfies before sunrise.
The scene was similarly crowded at 86 Coffee Bar in Cincinnati, Ohio.
But hey, we've all done some crazy things for coffee—especially if your last name is Gilmore.