Can you believe it's been 16 years since Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Rory Gilmore (Houstonian Alexis Bledel) had their first cups of coffee at Luke's Diner? (Not familiar with the beloved show Gilmore Girls? All seven seasons of the heartfelt mother-daughter series are now streaming on Netflix.)
To celebrate the anniversary of GG's premiere on The WB (Google it, kids) in 2000, its hip new parents at Netflix turned more than 200 coffee shops across the country into Luke's Diner pop-up shops as the streaming network prepares to release Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life on November 25.
Inspired by the show's go-to coffee shop, three Houston coffeehouses participated: The Honeymoon Café and Bar, The Nook Café and Bosta Kitchen. Each venue offered 200 cups of free coffee in sleeves with Luke's signature logo.
The Honeymoon decorated their store with merchandise sent by Netflix, like cups and a big cardboard cutout of Luke Danes (Scott Patterson) holding a “No Cellphones” sign. “We only got confirmation for this event last Thursday,” says Benjamin Clark, coffee and events manager at The Honeymoon. “We didn’t expect it to be this big!”
The Honeymoon added a special touch to the event by creating a special “Stars Hollow Breakfast Menu," including St. James Shortstacks—bananas foster pancakes named in honor of GG chef Sookie St. James (Melissa McCarthy). Baristas got into character by wearing Luke's signature apron and backwards baseball cap, while server Sonia Parga embodied the character of St. James by wearing a white chef’s coat, pigtails and headscarf.
“Netflix only asked us to put up the merchandise they sent, but we thought it’d be really fun to embrace the look of Luke’s Diner,” says Parga.
Hundreds of fans spanned the whole block outside The Honeymoon, with the first eager patron showing up at 4:30 a.m.
“I thought they did a good job selecting the cafes in Houston," says customer Ruthie Chen. "Die-hard fans of the show will recognize all the small details."