Plaid and backwards baseball cap-clad fans of Gilmore Girls flocked to a dozen New York coffee shops that transformed into the show’s centerpiece diner Luke’s on Wednesday morning. A new season of the cult beloved show is debuting in November on Netflix, and employees at hundreds of coffee shops across the country donned Luke’s branded aprons today as part of a promotion. The shops had Luke’s signs posted up front, and some had giant cardboard cutouts of Luke Danes himself, with classic decor from the show like a hand-written "no cell phones" signs.
Lines in New York weren’t as crazy as the ones in other cities, but fans still made a showing to the shops near their homes. Sir D’s Lounge in Park Slope ran out of 300 free coffees before 9 a.m. — and people still waited in line for close to an hour to pay for their Luke’s branded coffee. "I wish Stars Hollow were real, and I could hang out there from time to time," says Patricia Becus, who waited for close to 45 minutes at the shop. Colette Bosque, a self-declared Gilmore addict, dragged her husband Angel Luis to the shop and made him put on a Luke outfit, backwards baseball cap and all. He immediately turned his cap around when he saw the giant Luke cutout. "He didn’t want to feel like a nerd," Colette says. "I’m not a fan," he says. "I don’t watch the show." They waited just under an hour.
Visitors to a couple locations of The Bean in Manhattan did not go as crazy. Employees at the 147 First Avenue location say it had a line earlier, around 6:15 a.m., but by 9:30 a.m., it still had some Netflix-sponsored free coffee available. Most people in the shop had spotted the promotion on Facebook and stopped in because they live nearby. "I don’t drink coffee," says Laura M., who declined to give her last name. "I’m just here because it’s Gilmore Girls." At one point, a man walked in, looked at the line, and promptly left. "I just wanted some coffee," he says.
The Bean at 54 Second Avenue ran out of their 250 free coffees with Luke’s sleeves just before 10 a.m., though people still hung out at the shop. "I like the community — everyone here likes Gilmore Girls," says a fan named Emilia, who also declined to give her last name. "They’re all excited and taking pictures. It’s fun." The cups have quotes from the new season printed on them, and at one point, employees at this Bean location were instructed to feed the Gilmore beasts. "If they want the cups, give them the cups," a harried employee was overheard saying.
Despite the lines and — let’s be honest — minimal Luke’s transformation, many fans were happy to just be a part of the shebang. "It’s cool. I didn’t know they would have the big Luke’s cutout," Bosque says. "I moved my schedule around to come."