Luke’s Diner pops up in Buffalo

By Sydney Bucholtz

Assistant Features Editor

Gilmore Girls fans from across the country were met with exceeding happiness Wednesday morning when Luke’s Diner scenes “popped-up” in local coffee shops.  With at least one in every state, the iconic cafes made appearances in restaurants spanning across the United States and Canada.  The excitement even found its way to the Buffalo area, and from 7 a.m. until noon on October 5, the first 250 customers of Spot Coffee on Elmwood Ave. or Sweetness7 Café on Grant St. received a free 12-ounce cup of coffee courtesy of the promotion.

Opening the door to “Luke’s Diner” on Wednesday morning, the aroma of fresh coffee beans and high-pitched occasional screeching of the active espresso bars made for an already pleasant visit.  When greeted by the barista sporting an apron and hat with “Luke’s” on the front of each at the point of sale and a sign reading “No Cell Phones,” the excursion quickly became surreally nostalgic for many.  Features Editor Nathan Ress spoke to The Griffin about his experience.  “I’ve seen a few episodes of Gilmore Girls, but the event genuinely captured my interest.  It brought people to the city for a sense of togetherness and common ground.  Even though people strolled in from every walk of life, it was awesome to see how they came together over a love for the show and a love for free caffeine.”

After ordering at the front register, a customer would receive their hot coffee in cups featuring popular quotations from the show.  They varied across the spectrum of seasons, from “This is a jumbo coffee morning.  I need coffee in an I.V.” (-Lorelai, Season 1 Episode 2), to “Coffee, please. And a shot of cynicism,” (-Lorelai, Season 1 Episode 16), to “Nothing says coffee like six in the morning,” (-Lorelai, Season 3 Episode 7).  The turnout was fantastic, and as Ress mentioned, people from what seemed like every walk of life flowed in and out of the decorated coffee shop, especially during the hours of 7 a.m. and noon.  

Another SPoT Coffee customer who stood in the long line to have a real-life experience of one of her favorite shows was Buffalo resident, former Canisius student, and longtime Gilmore Girls fan, Nicolette Navarro.  She spoke about her personal history with the show and its culture, saying:  “I specifically remember [that] in sixth grade, I went to Target and bought the first season on DVD because it was starting to air on ABC Family,” she recalled.  “I watched one episode and was hooked.”  Navarro continued reminiscing about this uniquely sweet culture of television, and she described her routine.  “I would watch it at home, and the cool or funny thing was everyone started watching it with me:  Grandma, Mom, my cousin Angela, and even my dad,” she said.  “I was obsessed at that point Season 6 was on.  I ended up buying Seasons 1 through 5 that year and catching up so I could watch it on TV.”  

In regards to the event Wednesday morning, Navarro shared her observations of “Luke’s Diner,” as well.  “It was crazy!” she exclaimed.  “I didn’t realize how many people watched the show, mainly women.  The line was out the door,” she described.  “I met a woman who legit named her kids Luke and Lorelei.  It got me excited to watch the show in November and I remembered just how great the show is.”  

It was apparent that the others attending the event felt similarly, given the extremely long line and high traffic.  In fact, a barista behind the counter at the coffee shop expressed a great sense of shock, but excitement nonetheless, in the amount of people who visited the event.  They described that they were not quite prepared for such a long line of people, being that the event was very successful.  

The promotion truly united a community who shared a passion for coffee and Gilmore Girls alike.  It can be assumed that the men and women in attendance have probably hidden things under floorboards, shared a fear and vigilance of swans, and innately understand the times in a movie that are okay to talk through.  It is also likely that the same flux of people have used the phrase, “Oy, with the poodles already!” to create a shift in conversation, especially when they have been smad, and also have sympathized with Lorelai’s sentiments about needing coffee through an I.V.  They probably have dated “such a Dean,” wished they had a dog like Paul Anka, and maybe have repeated certain phrases when cats sporadically show up around their homes.  The group may very likely be the type to respect any “No Cell Phones” sign that they see, as well as the type to have called someone a “Butt-faced miscreant,” even though that surely would result in inevitable disappointment if Mrs. Kim were to catch word of it.

In the spirit of this great nostalgic reunion, another reunion will commence in a month, as the staff of Gilmore Girls recently signed a deal with Netflix for the upcoming final season of the show.  The four 90-minute chapters entitled “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” are forecast to tie up loose ends from the latest episodes of the show, and will be premiering at midnight on Friday, November 25.

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