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‘Gilmore Girls’ fans flock to Charleston coffee shop for Luke’s Diner pop-up

Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by Chris Dorst Coffee barista Jordan James fills orders of free coffee at the Moxee Coffee shop which was overflowing with customers Wednesday morning in honor of the 16th anniversary of the "Gilmore Girls" television premier.
Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by Chris Dorst
Coffee barista Jordan James fills orders of free coffee at the Moxee Coffee shop which was overflowing with customers Wednesday morning in honor of the 16th anniversary of the “Gilmore Girls” television premier.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Katie Hunter only drinks one type of coffee — but there was no way she was letting that keep her from missing her chance to step foot in Luke’s Diner, one of Stars Hollow’s delicacies.

Hunter was one of dozens of “superfans” of the hit TV series “Gilmore Girls” who made their way to Moxxee Coffee in Charleston’s East End Wednesday for a Luke’s Diner pop-up event.

Moxxee, along with nearly 200 other coffee shops nationwide, transformed into the popular fictional coffeehouse in honor of the 16th anniversary of the series’ pilot episode.

“My sister texted me pictures and I was like, ‘Oh I have to go, I have to go. I can’t not go,’” Hunter, who made the trip from her home in Teays Valley, said while laughing. “I got a white mocha, which Rory [one of the show’s main characters] would not approve of, but that’s the only kind of coffee I like. I’m not big on coffee, but this is Luke’s Diner.”

Netflix, which will air a revival of the TV series next month, approached owner TJ Baldwin several weeks ago about hosting the event. Netflix footed the bill for each participating coffee shop to give out free coffee from 7 a.m. to noon.

Guests were greeted by a giant yellow coffee mug hanging above the door with the name “Luke’s” printed on it, mimicking the diner’s logo from the show. Fans of the show were lined up outside of Moxxee’s doors almost into the street early Wednesday morning.

Inside, Netflix provided Moxxee with branded aprons, signs, hats and coffee cups to transform the shop into a real life Luke’s Diner.

“I pulled in and saw the Luke’s sign,” Hunter said. “I went in and they all have on flannel shirts and backward baseball caps. The best part about it was the little details, like the no cell phone sign in the corner, which is a staple at Luke’s. You have to have that if you’re going to have Luke’s Diner.”

 Jenny Reese, who works as a chef at a local assisted living facility, stopped at the Luke’s pop-up event before work after her daughter told her about it. Dressed in her chef’s attire for work, several fans of the show commented on how Reese looked like the character Sookie from the show. Sookie, a chef at a local inn in Stars Hollow, is one of the show’s main characters portrayed by actress Melissa McCarthy.

“She looks just like Sookie,” Lori Waller said while hugging Reese.

Though the two had never met, Reese and Waller bonded over their favorite episodes, characters and how grounded the show is compared to other sitcoms.

“They actually have problems that go on for episodes,” Waller said. “It’s relatable.”

Baldwin said he agreed to participate in the pop-up event because of the show’s popularity. Many of the baristas at Moxxee were excited for the pop-up event and even dressed in flannel shirts, similar to the character Luke from the show.

Moxxee was the only coffee shop in West Virginia to transform into Luke’s for the day.

Netflix sponsored the nationwide event ahead of the show’s revival, which airs Nov. 25.

Reach Carlee Lammers at [email protected], 304-348-1230 or follow @CarleeLammers on Twitter.

See more from the Charleston Gazette-Mail. 

 

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