‘Gilmore Girls’ fans flock to Detroit coffee shops

Urban Bean Co. and Avalon International Breads had lines out the door with customers seeking free coffee and photos with Luke’s Diner signs

Stephanie Steinberg
The Detroit News

In celebration of the miniseries “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” coming to Netflix on Nov. 25, U.S. coffee shops transformed into Luke’s Diner (Rory and Lorelai’s hangout spot) Wednesday morning.

At Urban Bean Co. in Detroit, fans lined up as early for the free coffee promotion. “There was probably 40 girls waiting here at 6 a.m.” says owner Josh Greenwood. “When we first opened up, it was pretty crazy.”

Participating shops were decorated with “Luke’s” and “No cellphones” signs and gave out coffee cups with a quote from Lorelai (Lauren Graham): “Everything in my life has something to do with coffee. I believe in a former life, I was coffee.”

Employees also donned Luke’s aprons and hats. Urban Bean Co. barista Zach Zweifler was a good sport as customers called him “Luke” all morning.

“They’ve been sad I’m not wearing flannel,” he said, admitting he hasn’t watched the show in which Luke Danes (Scott Patterson) always wears flannel. “I have a ton of flannel at home. It’s really disappointing. Had I known, I would have worn it.”

Fans also waited in line at Avalon International Breads up to two hours to get inside. On the Facebook event page, some expressed frustration.

“Basically, people just stood in line for coffee and a paper Gilmore girls cup ...,” wrote Chey-Juan Tripp of Detroit. “The staff looked really cute in their cute little uniforms and there was a little sign out front and two little signs inside, but that’s it.”

By 10 a.m., Greenwood says he brewed about 400 cups of coffee and was quickly running out. The promotion was definitely good for business, he says.

“The No. 1 reason I got involved is my business is down 35 percent with the surrounding construction,” says Greenwood, who’s owned the shop on Grand River near Capitol Park since 2001 and has watched the WB show that ran from 2000-2007.

“It’s just a way to bring in revenue, but most importantly, it sounded fun. There’s nothing better than having a house full of ‘Gilmore Girls’ (fans) in your shop taking selfies.”


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Twitter: @Steph_Steinberg