Luke’s Diner comes to Portland
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On the morning of Oct. 5, coffee shops across the country were momentarily transformed into Luke’s Diner from the beloved T.V. show, “Gilmore Girls.” The event was held for a mix of reasons. Oct. 5 was the 16th anniversary of the “Gilmore Girls” premiere. This transformation also acted as a promotion for Netflix’s upcoming four episode revival of the series, airing Nov. 25.
Portland’s own Luke’s Diner is known as Oblique Coffee Roasters on any other day. Netflix funded the event and provided owners John and Heather Chandler with the supplies to transform their small business into Luke’s. Free coffee was provided to the customers that had started forming a line before the sun had even risen. About 200 patrons received drip coffee, free of charge, before the baristas ran out of the specially provided beans. If you were lucky enough to be one of the first 250 hardcore “Gilmore Girls” fans in line, you also received your coffee in a special cup and sleeve. Each cup featured a quote from Lorelai Gilmore herself, pertaining to her devotion to coffee. Mine read, “‘You like coffee?’ ‘Only with my oxygen.’ -Lorelai (S01, Ep05).” Rotate the cup and there was a Snapchat code that enabled an hour long Snapchat filter, featuring a Luke’s Diner sign and a retro toaster. Some customers were extra lucky, getting their coffee in a cup that also had a code for a free Netflix subscription lasting three months. Everyone will probably be keeping their coffee sleeves as their memorabilia from the event. The sleeves are bright blue and have a yellow Luke’s logo just like the actual sign in Stars Hollow.
Speaking of signs, the outside decor included the famous mug shaped Luke’s sign. Everyone in line around me was very kind and offered to take pictures of their fellow “Gilmore Girls” fans under the sign. Although the line was so long that the front door to the temporary Luke’s Diner was never actually closed, a sign was pasted to it that read “NO CELLPHONES” with a crossed out cellphone drawn above the wording. Luke would have been furious with the amount of cell phones inside his diner. But hey, people waited an average of three hours to just get inside and had to occupy themselves somehow, so maybe Luke should just get with the times. Inside the “diner,” baristas also wore hats and aprons with Luke’s mug logo.
Oblique Coffee Roasters did receive some criticism for not having any merchandise available or more memorabilia, but that wasn’t their fault. Netflix created and sponsored the event and are the ones who didn’t think to provide items to purchase or more than the 250 printed coffee sleeves. Oblique did a wonderful job trying to keep everything in order and handle the crowds. Heather or John periodically came out and updated the line on the status of their projected wait time.
Many were also upset by how long it would take to get through the line and voiced their complaints on the event’s Facebook page. My mom and I spent roughly three hours in line. It was somewhat cold and got drizzly at points, but I had few complaints. Spending a couple hours alone with my mom was nice. By the time we left with our coffee in special cups and sleeves, it didn’t even feel like it had been that long. We got to catch up on what was going on in each other’s lives and it felt like a true Lorelai and Rory moment.