Dining With Denise Neil

Hundreds of Wichita ‘Gilmore Girls’ fans line up at Reverie

Luke’s Diner didn’t last for a day in Wichita. In fact, it lasted only about two hours.

So many people lined up for the “Luke’s Diner for a day” promotion at Reverie Coffee Roasters that the shop ran out of free coffee by 9:30 a.m. – only two hours after opening. The promotion was scheduled to last until noon.

Hundreds of people stood in a line that snaked all the way down the block in front of the shop at 2611 E. Douglas and wrapped around onto the side street. The first visitors arrived around 5:15 a.m. to save their places in line.

Netflix put on the event in observation of the 16th “Gilmoreaversary” of “The Gilmore Girls,” which aired its first episode on Oct. 5, 2000. Netflix selected more than 200 coffee shops across the country and provided each with a temporary sign identifying it as Luke’s Diner, the fictional coffee shop from the show. Also provided were Luke’s Diner aprons for the staff and Luke’s Diner paper coffee cups for customers. The first 200 people in line got the free coffee.

People of all ages lined up, including “Gilmore Girls” fanatic Alisyn Moody, whose mom drove her two hours from Fort Riley and let her skip school as a birthday surprise.

Many of those in line were dressed up as characters, including many donning the type of flannel shirts and backward caps that character Luke Dane always wore.

Amy Heilman dragged her husband, Matt, along with her to the event, and they lined up to wait for the doors to open around 6:30 a.m., she said.

“I’m a huge ‘Gilmore Girls’ fan, and I knew if I didn’t go and saw everyone post online, I’d be super jealous,” she said. “So here I am.”

Reverie owner Andrew Gough, who had a meeting and had to miss most of the event at his shop, said he could tell from social media response that the event would be big. But he was surprised by just how big it was.

“The response far exceeded our expectation,” he said. “I’m just so grateful for the positivity this group of people have. They are a real treat to serve.”

Netflix will release a four-part series called “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” on Nov. 25.