Photos by Stephanie Rivera.
The line stretched around the corner, originating at Fox Coffee House and going on for about a half mile. Hundreds of people chatted and laughed while waiting in line for free coffee and the chance to pretend they were in their own version of a beloved show that lasted for six wonderful seasons. (We don’t discuss season seven.)
As I parked and walked to the end of the line, hundreds of people long, two cars breezed past me, playing Carol King’s “Where You Lead” on full blast.
Maybe showing up at 8:00AM wasn’t the best idea. Still, looked like a friendly crowd.
As the Post wrote yesterday, Fox Coffee House was tapped to play the part of Luke’s Diner for a day on the anniversary of the first episode of Gilmore Girls, no doubt part of Netflix’s marketing strategy aimed at amping up the hype for the Gilmore Girls revival, set to air Friday, November 25.
I arrived, bleary-eyed and hungry, but excited, to the little corner at Willow Street and Eucalyptus Avenue, amid quaint homes in the Wrigley neighborhood of Long Beach. I may not have been in Connecticut, but the Luke’s Diner sign poking out proudly from beneath the eaves of of the Long Beach cafe temporarily transported me to the tiny fictional town of Star’s Hollow.
The people in line came from all over the neighboring area. In fact, Long Beach was lucky—out of all the cities in LA County, the Fox Coffee House location was just one of three selected to host Luke’s.
“My daughter convinced us to come,” said Heidi Chance, a resident of Artesia. “This was only about 20 minutes away. We wouldn’t have been able to travel to the ones in Beverly Hills or Studio City.”
Chance’s daughter, Samantha, said she just wanted the chance to feel a part of a show that she’d watched since she was younger.
“We’ve just always watched it together,” said Samantha, gesturing to her mom and friend. “Now we watch it on Netflix.”
They said their first priority, once they got to the front of the line, would be to take a picture of the sign.
“And save the coffee cup,” said Chance, laughing.
While the time to leave for work loomed closer, people began snapping photos under the sign and borrowing the “Luke’s Diner” sleeve for a quick Instagram pic.
‘Twas a lovely encounter with a childhood show that contained such a fascinating mix of emotional layers, spot-on commentary on pop culture and class and flawed, fast-talking characters. I’ve only grown to appreciate the signature creation of Amy Sherman-Palladino more, with the advent of Netflix and the Gilmore Guys podcast.
Suffice to say, where the Gilmore Girls lead, I will follow. Which means on Friday, November 25, I will assuredly be parked in front of my Netflix, chilling like a rockstar, and cherishing the mental image of the Luke’s Diner sign prominently displayed right here, in our very own Long Beach.