Gilmore Girls fans were finally able to get their coffee fix at Luke's Diner!
In honor of the upcoming Gilmore Girls revival, Netflix hosted one-day-only pop-ups at 250 coffee shops in all 50 states on Wednesday, including two in the Los Angeles area. Naturally, I headed straight to the Studio City location to feed my Lorelai Gilmore-level daily need for caffeine alongside hundreds of other Gilmore Girls fans.
I knew the lines would be crazy at Comoncy, but I was not prepared for wall-to-wall people for more than a full block of Ventura Boulevard, some of whom had been waiting there since midnight, despite the event not officially beginning until 7 a.m. It felt like there were more people in queue than exist in Stars Hollow -- and that was just at this one shop. "We did not expect this at all -- we thought maybe 500 people," Savannah Ryan, Comoncy's marketing manager admitted to me. "It's crazy. It has been consistently at peak all morning since 6 a.m."
Those lucky enough to be at the Beverly Hills' Comoncy actually did get to meet Scott Patterson, who plays Luke. (If you were unlucky, your friends immediately sent you the selfies they took with Patterson, along with a string of OMGs. Or did that only happen to me?)
We weren't exactly lacking for Stars Hollow residents in Studio City, however. The early birds were served coffee by Aris Alvarado, who played Caesar, the bubbly chef at Luke’s Diner. "He was the sweetest guy -- same exact smile from the show," Ryan said of Alvarado, who gamely manned the barista counter for two hours.
Around noon, Michel Gerard himself, Yanic Truesdale, popped in, even jumping behind the counter and giddily taking selfies with surprised patrons.
"It just felt natural to say hi," Truesale told me.
But how does Michel feel about stepping back into Luke's? "He is opinionated, but he doesn't necessarily hate people," the 46-year-old actor explained. "That's the nuance. He loves Lorelai and he loves people, he just has his way, and if it's not his way, he gets upset. So I think if he's at a coffee shop and he has the kind of coffee he would like to have with the kind of milk he would like to have, he would be happy."
Getting a chance to meet the real-life Michel (who was much less picky, we promise) and experience Luke's was definitely worth the wait. I spoke to a mother and daughter who had been waiting for nearly two hours and still weren't at the front of the line, but admitted they felt like they had to be there.
That was the sentiment throughout the morning. The line was filled with Gillies dressed up like Luke, including friends Ani Davtian and Anna Gevorkian, who channeled the grumpy proprietor right down to the plaid shirts and black-and-blue backwards baseball caps.
We even had our own makeshift troubadour in Kate Connaghan, who spontaneously grabbed her ukulele and serenaded the crowd with the Gilmore Girls theme song, Carole King's "Where You Lead."
"I grew up watching this show with my mom and my sister. It's the best show," she told me while thumbing through tabs. "I don't know if I can get coffee, but at least I can play for some people!"
Admittedly, we may have all built up the hype a little too much. Sure, there was an authentic Luke's sign hanging next to the front door that quickly became a selfie station; inside, baristas were dressed up in plaid shirts, backwards baseball caps, and Luke's aprons; and there was a "no cell phones" sign on the counter. We were also greeted with a cardboard cut-out of the curmudgeon diner owner holding up a list of his diner no-nos.
But sadly, free coffee ran out around 8:30 a.m. and the custom cups with Gilmore Girls quotes under the Luke's Diner coffee sleeves disappeared by 10, but I still felt the java vibes:
There also wasn't much else in the café that screamed Luke's -- no wall of coffee mugs, chalkboard listing a special that rarely changes, or mismatched chairs and rustic tables. Honestly, a faux window with Taylor Doose staring in from his ice cream shoppe could've been very cool. There were few if any complaints, though -- everyone I spoke to, coffee cup or not, was genuinely excited to experience a piece of Stars Hollow alongside equally as die-hard Gilmore Girls fans.
And we weren't alone in Los Angeles. Despite the consistently long lines, fans across the country were overjoyed to get a taste of Luke's IRL.
As if the pop-up diners weren't enough, Netflix helped fans everywhere celebrate Gilmore Girls' 16th birthday with a brand new featurette:
Now pardon me while I go make like Lorelai and try to find a coffee I.V.
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life premieres Nov. 25 on Netflix.
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