It was a crisp fall day when four Fuse staffers headed out to start our Wednesday morning with coffee, like Lorelei Gilmore did at the start of basically every episode of Gilmore Girls. At 9 a.m., it was sunny and brisk, but instead of maneuvering our way through the friendly streets of Stars Hollow, we sluggishly made our way through the morning rush on 42nd Street in Manhattan. Like Lorelei said, "What I need now is lots and lots of coffee."
When we heard that Netflix was sponsoring 250 Luke's Diner pop-up shops around the country in preparation for the four new Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life mini-movies premiering on Nov. 25, we started a group text and made it happen. There were a dozen locations in New York City alone, so we chose to go to Grand Central Coffee Company, where the line was out onto the street.
On the front of the building hung a Luke's sign—you know, that infamous, oblong, marigold coffee cup, with Luke Danes' first name painted in blocky letters on it. The line, as we noticed, appeared to be mostly women on their way to work.
Passersby stopped to ask what we were waiting for, and we proudly spouted our geeky Gilmore Girls dedication when we told them we were awaiting free coffee from people dressed in Luke's aprons and backwards baseball caps. "Oh!" they said with fake enthusiasm, and then sauntered away. We saw a bicyclist hit a cab (surprisingly not the other way around), which seemed like something Kirk would do, and a police officer with the seriousness of Taylor came to question the cabbie. There was not a dull moment in the line for Luke's.
Once we were inside, I fully expected a No Cell Phones sign (it's the Luke Danes way), but alas, there was only a cardboard cutout of our fellow, stating the rules of the diner.
No texting while ordering, no man buns (which seems discriminatory, but Luke isn't really one to give a shit), no taking pictures of food, no headphones, etc. I wondered if these new rules, which didn't really have to exist in the 2000 to 2007 time period that Gilmore Girls took place, are jokes in the new season that's premiering on Netflix in November. "If I can hear your music through your headphones, WHY ARE YOU WEARING HEADPHONES?" Luke says, looking sassily at us with his index pointed in a somewhat threatening manner. Except we all know that Luke's an ol' softie.
When I got up to the counter, I ordered a chai tea latte—something Luke probably wouldn't have on his menu unless he was trying to impress dum-dum Rachel. My non-coffee order seemed blasphemous given the whole reason for this promotional event is about the Gilmores' obsession with coffee, but I don't need any more caffeine to fuel the adrenaline that I already had. My order was taken on an iPad instead of Luke's notepad.
Once we all got our coffee, we took an obligatory photo. Because how often do you actually get Luke's coffee?!?
We didn't get any free early-bird swag or coffee; the event started at 7 a.m. and we arrived on the scene well after. But when we pulled the custom cardboard sleeve off our drinks, we got a surprise. Apparently, every cup has a different GG quote printed on it. Mine was:
"Everything in my life has something to do with coffee. I believe in a former life, I was coffee." –Lorelei (Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life)
Oooh! Another sneak peak of the new episodes!
On the other side of the cup, there was a Snapchat code that granted us an ~exclusive~ filter. Here's what it looks like. Be jealous.
Anyway, the whole journey made us late for work, but at least we got our java. Lorelei would be proud, and then she'd drink four more cups.