Whether they live in an equally adorable small town or a big city, fans of Gilmore Girls love Luke’s Diner. Everyone has a neighborhood spot where they enjoy grabbing coffee on weekend mornings or meeting friends for a burger after work. While it’s too bad that Luke’s isn’t actually real, at least fans can live through Rory and Lorelai and how often they visit this Stars Hollow establishment.
Luke’s Diner is the setting for several dramatic moments over the show’s seven seasons, and it’s of course still a major location in the Netflix revival A Year In The Life. While there are many ways that Luke Danes is a smart businessman, he does make some mistakes.
10 Great: He Took Over His Dad’s Building And The Diner Was A Town Staple
Luke’s Diner used to be a hardware store owned by his father. When he passed away, Luke wanted to open his own business there, and it still looked like the store it once was.
It was helpful that Luke owned the building instead of having to pay someone rent, and since it was in the center of town, it was a great location. Luke did a great job of making his restaurant a town staple and even though Stars Hollow does have other places to dine, it’s clear that the residents preferred Luke’s burgers and, of course, his delicious coffee.
9 Fell Flat: He Never Listened To Advice
Richard had an awful time with retirement and it’s fair to say that he loved all things business.
Luke wasn’t interested when Richard wanted to help him make the diner into a franchise, and while it was Luke’s right to make that choice, he never seemed willing to listen to any type of advice. There were still some things that he could have done without ruining the charming diner atmosphere that he had created. He wasn’t willing to look at food trends or see what other small town restaurants were doing.
8 Great: He Knew What Felt Right To Him
While it would have been great if Luke had made a few changes to his diner over the years, or even thought about opening up one more restaurant close by, it’s admirable that he did what felt right to him by saying no to franchising the diner.
A great business owner knows what they’re good at and what they wouldn’t excel at, and Luke seemed self-aware. He also had regular customers and was never hurting for business, and he didn’t have to worry about money as he was actually richer than people realized.
7 Fell Flat: He Had Too Many Rules And Didn’t Move With The Times
From his “no cell phones” policy to never giving customers a real Wi-Fi password in the revival, it’s definitely true that Luke had a lot of rules for his customers.
His hatred of cell phones didn’t make a lot of sense since it didn’t seem like most customers would want to chat for hours on their phones. Luke’s diner was a gathering place and friends and family liked meeting their to visit and gossip. Many Stars Hollow residents also ate alone at the counter or grabbed a quick coffee. Luke never moved with the times, and this seemed like a bit of a problem, as becoming more modern wouldn’t have been so bad.
6 Great: He Gave Advice At Stars Hollow High Career Day
In the third season episode “One’s Got Class and the Other One Dyes,” Luke and Lorelai went to Stars Hollow High to give advice for Career Day.
It turned into a chaotic disaster since the students focused on Lorelai’s teenage pregnancy, but Lorelai wanted Luke to go with her as she respected him as a business owner. In a hilarious scene, Lorelai wanted him to change into nicer clothes, and Luke told her, “The whole point of this stupid class talk was for us to talk about our work and our success. This flannel shirt is my most successful outfit. I’ve closed many a deal in this outfit. It’s my power outfit.”
5 Fell Flat: He Lived Above His Business And Was Too Close To It
It often seemed like Luke was too close to his diner. While the second floor was an office, he changed it into a living space, and fans remember how it wasn’t exactly easy for him to adjust to Jess living there, too.
Luke did have money, though, and it seemed odd that he wouldn’t buy a house in town instead. He was a simple guy, sure, but did he really want to live right above his restaurant? This made it hard for him to move forward with changes as he was so attached to the diner and keeping it the way that it was.
4 Great: He Rented Taylor The Building He Owned
Taylor Doose often got on Luke’s nerves but Luke was nice enough to rent him the building he owned next to the diner. Taylor had a dream of a retro soda shoppe and it was a cool addition to the town.
This was a smart business decision, too, since Luke wasn’t doing anything with that space. While Taylor could have been kinder about wanting the building, it was good that Luke had some rent money coming in and that the town was expanding.
3 Fell Flat: He Could Have Listened To Lorelai’s Ideas
The first season of Gilmore Girls had some truly great scenes that fans can’t stop thinking about. In one episode, Rory cooked Dean dinner as he loved Donna Reed, and Lorelai painted Luke’s diner.
She knew that he had to make some updates and that the place was looking a bit old and tired. While Luke was grateful for her help, why didn’t he ask her for more business advice over the years? Lorelai ran her own inn and did an amazing job, so this would have made a lot of sense.
2 Great: He Appreciated Caesar
Luke seemed to have only one long-term employee, and that was Caesar, who was always a staple of the diner. He wasn’t always in scenes but Luke would talk to him so fans knew that he was there.
He sometimes got overwhelmed by customers, but for the most part, he was an important part of the diner’s success and he did a wonderful job. Since Luke kept him on staff for so long, it’s clear that he appreciated him, and this helped him have peace of mind when he needed to leave for some reason.
1 Fell Flat: He Let Friends And Family Work At The Diner
While sometimes hiring friends and relatives can be a good idea, other times it’s very complicated and it can be hard to give criticism or ask someone to change their behavior.
Jess helped out at the diner when he lived with Luke, which wasn’t the best idea as he was surly with the customers (a lot like Luke, of course). When Luke’s past love Rachel returned, Rachel even worked at the diner. Luke was trying to be a nice person, but he should have hired people based on their merits, not necessarily his relationship with them.
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