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Gilmore Girls Fans Swarm Local Coffee Shops For Luke's Diner Promotion

Sarah Kovash
90.5 WESA
About 500 people showed up at both Big Dog Coffee in the South Side and Bookshelf Cafe in Morningside on Wednesday morning for the Luke's Diner pop-up promoting the new episodes of Gilmore Girls, airing on Netflix.

They arrived just after dawn in flannel and backwards baseball caps, spilling out into Sarah Street clutching notebooks and fall handbags. They spoke fast, and with snark. They had very, very strong opinions about Jess, Dean and Logan.

About 200 small coffee shops and cafes across the country donned the iconic Luke Danes' persona at Gilmore Girls-inspired coffee shop pop-ups as a promotion for the nostalgia-clad Netflix reboot slated for November.

Big Dog Coffee on the South Side and Bookshelf Café in Morningside had lines around the corner starting at 7 a.m., when they started doling out free coffees. An estimated 1,000 people had dropped in by mid-afternoon.

Credit Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA
90.5 WESA
Gilmore Girls fans lined up around the corner to get coffee from Big Dog Coffee, which temporarily became Luke's Diner.

Carnegie mom Kathy Lafferty said it was worth the early wake-up call to live out a piece of her favorite TV show.

“It’s just so fun. I still watch it every day. They’re like family, I don’t know,” she said. “Having daughters myself, it’s just something you can relate to.”

Franciscan University juniors Maria Furness and Martha Egan woke up at 5:30 a.m. to make the drive from Stuebenville, Ohio. Their take on 'Luke's' included the usual plaids, neutral tones and jeans.

“We’re wearing the classic Luke Diner’s flannel shirt and backwards baseball cap,” Furness said.

“We are going to Luke’s Diner, so that’s like his trademark,” Egan said.

Credit Netflix / Twitter
Scott Patterson, who played Luke Danes on Gilmore Girls, handed out coffees at one of the Luke's Diner pop-ups on Wednesday.

Though Gilmore Girls first aired from 2000-07, the show saw a boost in new fans when it was added to Netflix in 2014. Some fans discovered it while in syndication on the former ABC Family channel, like Carnegie Mellon University super senior Rachel Freer.

She said there’s something about the show that captured, and kept, her heart.

“It was ... an idealistic kind of relatable," she said. "Where there were certain things you were like, ‘This is really my life.’ And there were other things, you were like, ‘This is how I wish my life was.’” 

Four new Gilmore Girls episodes will be available on Netflix on Nov. 25. 

Sarah Kovash previously worked as a web producer for KDKA-TV, as a freelance journalist for the Valley News Dispatch covering local government throughout the Alle-Kiski Valley and at NPR station KPBS in San Diego.
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