On October 5th, exactly 16 years ago to the day, the first episode of Gilmore Girls aired. In just a few weeks, Netflix will allow all of us to get our Gilmore on just one more time. But until then, a Luke’s pop-up coffee shop will have to do.
When I heard there would be Luke’s Pop-up serving free coffees in Manhattan on Wednesday morning, I did a little happy dance. I love Gilmore Girls, I love coffee, and I love free things. All of this is sounded like a literal dream come true.
My parents are visiting for my birthday and we got breakfast in the West Village. So around 10am we separate. They head to the Statue of Liberty for an all-day tour. I start walking to the closest Luke’s pop-up I can find: The Bean on Broadway and East 12th Street. It’s only after I see the sign for the Strand that I realize I’m heading toward Union Square. This seems appropriate. Obviously I should get Luke’s coffee right next to 18 Miles of Books. Rory would approve.
The line is only half a city block, which by New York standards is pretty good. I take my place in line around 10:30am. It’s mostly young women, already dressed for sweater weather, complete with leggings, scarves, and crop boots. There are a few Gilmore Guys in line and for that, gentlemen, we salute you. A few people stop and ask what’s going on. A few more stop and take pictures. The line moves pretty slowly. I assume it’s because the interior is Instagram-worthy, despite the fact that there is not a Luke’s sign outside like I expected.
I finally step in at 11am. Not bad timing. By this point the construction outside is killing me and my finger are frozen. I cross the threshold, ready to bask in some Star-Hollow-Realness. And let me tell you, dear Reader. I was….
Disappointed. I stood in line for 30 mins to enter a regular chain coffee shop that had their baristas put on a Luke’s hat and a plaid shirt, slapped up a “No Cellphone” poster, and put up a cardboard cut up of Luke. It’s cute, but in 30 minutes I could have done the same thing in my apartment and made my own coffee.
Another 20 minutes in line. I’m fascinated by the people who order food and sit down. Or the people who have decided to study here. This may be your main spot for a coffice (coffee office), but today is for sure not the day to hang out in The Bean. How can you study with all these plaid-clad people trying to get their Lorelei on? Also, how many women (or men) in this line are hoping that today they’ll finally meet their curmudgeonly, coffee-wielding soulmate? Not an observation, merely curious.
When I finally make it to the front, I find out the coffee is in fact not free. The barista, who is nice when answering my silly questions, tells me that at 5:30am this morning there was a line around the block. And since there was only 250 free coffees to give away, they were all out by 8:15. I nodded, paid for my coffee, and promptly went to take pictures by the life-size Luke.
All-in-all, this trip was a bust. The line was too long for what I got, the coffee was terrible, and the real Luke didn’t show up. Guess I’ll just have to wait for November 25th to feed my inner Gilmore.