TV Dinner

Fictional food establishments are replicated IRL

Fans are flocking to destinations that pay tribute to their favorite entertainment properties, as it makes them feel closer to the content they love. Recently, brands have found success in bringing fictional eateries to life, and youth are hungry for more.


To promote the upcoming four-part revival of Gilmore Girls, Netflix recreated the show’s fictional café, Luke’s Diner, at 200 independent coffee shops across the country. The day-long marketing stunt drew lines of loyal fans who were eager to have a taste of the show—literally—with free coffee in a custom Luke’s cup. Each cup was printed with a Snapcode, and when fans took a picture of it within Snapchat, they could apply the branded filter to their photos. The initiative was a viral success, with the branded filter being viewed nearly one million times.


When news that Saved by the Bell’s iconic hangout, The Max, would become a pop-up diner in Chicago, it immediately sparked fanfare. The concept was the brainchild of promoter and events manager Derek Berry, who, after creating an event page on Facebook, garnered thousands of interested attendees and inspired NBC to reach out about becoming a partner. When reservations became available, the restaurant filled all spots for its planned three-month run within minutes without any traditional marketing. To meet demand, it will be staying open through December, and the creators will be incorporating fans’ suggestions, such as menu items and trivia nights. 


To mark the 20th anniversary of Friends in 2014, a recreation of Central Perk was set up in NYC for a month, drawing massive crowds. Now, fans in Singapore can have a similar experience—at a significantly higher price. The forthcoming café will charge an annual membership of $720, granting people access to a priority line for up to five guests, table reservations, event bookings, pre-launch events, and more. The café is also inviting fans to submit ideas and designs for merchandise. While membership to Central Perk SG promises an immersive, exclusive experience, fans are inevitably not pleased about the high barrier to entry