Fayette County

‘Gilmore Girls’ fans flock to Lexington Luke’s Diner pop-ups

Gilmore Girls event brings big crowds to two Lexington coffee shops

Two Lexington coffee shops drew big crowds Wednesday morning as they celebrated fan-favorite television show "Gilmore Girls" and gave out free coffee. Southland Perk on Southland Drive and Coffee Times Coffee House on Regency Road used decorations
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Two Lexington coffee shops drew big crowds Wednesday morning as they celebrated fan-favorite television show "Gilmore Girls" and gave out free coffee. Southland Perk on Southland Drive and Coffee Times Coffee House on Regency Road used decorations

Long lines of “Gilmore Girls” fans overflowed two Lexington coffee shops that transformed Wednesday into a fictional Stars Hollow eatery.

Southland Perk on Southland Drive and Coffee Times Coffee House on Regency Road decked their walls with Luke’s Diner decor and their employees donned flannel and backward baseball caps as a part of a Netflix-sponsored promotion. The event included free coffee and giveaways.

Netflix partnered with the shops to tout the upcoming reboot, “Gilmore Girls: A Day in the Life,” and celebrate the day the show first aired in 2000. The four-episode reboot picks up several years after the conclusion of the show, which centered around single mother Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter, Rory.

By the time Southland Perk opened at 7 a.m., a long line of eager fans, some from out of town, spilled past the edge of the parking lot. Coffee Times Coffee House’s line was still wrapped around the building several hours after they opened.

Barbara Shepherd and her daughter Debbie Little have watched the show together for years. Shepherd lives in Jackson and Little lives in Georgetown, but they didn’t hesitate to make the early-morning trip to Southland Perk to experience a slice of their favorite show.

“This is a small, cozy setting just like Luke’s Diner is, so it’s a perfect place for it,” Shepherd said.

Little used a Lorelai Gilmore quote to order her drink when she finally reached the front of the long line. “It’s a jumbo coffee morning, I need coffee in an I.V.”

The caffeine fueled mother-daughter duo at the heart of “Gilmore Girls” have held a loyal fan base after the show concluded its seven-season run in 2007. Its attracted new followers as the seasons became available on Netflix.

“I would not miss any ‘Gilmore Girls’ event in probably a 500-mile radius,” fan Kara Farley said.

Farley and her group took multiple pictures outside the shop, posing by the Luke’s sign and by the jeep driven by friend Amanda Hunter. Lorelai drives a Jeep in “Gilmore Girls,” so the trio of friends used the opportunity to reenact moments from the show.

Jen Brown stopped by the event on her way to Lafayette High School, where she works in the main office.

“My daughter is at college in Washington, D.C., and she messaged me at 1 in the morning and said, ‘mama, you must go to Southland Perk in the morning, it’s ‘Gilmore Girls’ day.’ It’s our favorite show.”

Brown said she was a single mother for part of her only daughter’s childhood, so the show really resonates with them.

“It is a great mother-daughter show and she just went off to college, so it’s kind of a big moment for us,” Brown said.

Brown planned to deliver one of the special ‘Gilmore’ coffee cups and sleeve when she visits her daughter.

“We talk a lot, and we’re very close,” Brown said of her daughter. “All of those adventures that they had (in the show) and the different experiences that Rory had, we really connect with that. And we’d love to live in Stars Hollow.”

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