This “Gilmore Girls” Fan Recreated Stars Hollow in her Hometown, and it’s Amazing!
Although Gilmore Girls is set in a fictional town, Ember Quillweb found a way to recreate the magic of Stars Hollow right in her hometown in New Jersey. As a huge fan of the show, Ember runs an online shop, Gilmore Garbs, selling carefully curated vintage clothing “as seen on” and “inspired by” Gilmore Girls. Her attention to detail is amazing! Read her interview below.
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Question: What made you decide to recreate Stars Hollow?
Answer: I’ve been selling vintage and funky clothing on and off for years whenever I needed some extra bread in the ol’ bread box here and I thought how great it would be to merge my love of secondhand clothing with my love of Gilmore Girls! So, I decided to create an online boutique focusing on the style and wardrobe of the show. I wanted to represent the garbs properly, especially for the “inspired by” clothing collection so that Gilmore Girls fans could see the clothing come to life in a Stars Hollow-esque location.
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Ember’s favorite Gilmore Girls location that she recreated is Luke’s Diner.
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“Luke’s is what comes to mind when you think Gilmore Girls, it’s the hub of the town!” says Ember.
I’m pretty new to Gilmore Girls, and began my binge of the series alongside my husband. We live in a rural Connecticut town and we both work at boarding schools. Naturally, we were curious. And, you may not believe this, but my sister’s married name is Gilmore and she has a young daughter. I quite literally have Gilmore Girls in my own family.
As we fell in love with Stars Hollow, I began to research the real town it might be based on, and that’s when I discovered this blog, Finding Stars Hollow. Amy’s posts were fabulous, creative, and well thought-out, and I began to comment with my insights. I started up some fun conversations with her and other fans, and here we are! I’m honored to be posting a guest blog post!
Let’s get right into it. Today, I’m going to talk about some comparisons between my hometown of Kent and Stars Hollow, as well as some similarities and differences between Chilton and real boarding schools.
The Villager Restaurant
If Luke’s Diner and Al’s Pancake World Had A Baby…
The Villager Restaurant is the closest to Luke’s Diner in look and feel.
Thinking about taking the Warner Bros. Studio Tour to catch a glimpse of Stars Hollow? Read about Brittany’s experience on the backlot and learn how you can make the most of your studio tour as a Gilmore Girls fan!
Guest Blogger: Brittany & Her Mom
My Love for Gilmore Girls
The Warner Brothers Lot is home to my favorite TV show, Gilmore Girls. I started watching Gilmore Girls two years ago when it was put on Netflix. From the moment I heard Lorelai beg Luke for more coffee, I was hooked. Once my family started watching the show with me, it made it even more special. My mom is my Lorelai Gilmore and through our relationship, I was able to relate to Lorelai and Rory in a special way. Since staring my Instagram account about the show, named @GilmoreGirlsOnly, last December my fondness for it has grown even more and continues to grow with every post, fan interaction, and experience I have. I am super lucky to live close to Warner Brothers studio and to have had the opportunity to go on their tour three times. With the upcoming release of the Gilmore Girls revival titled, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, I decided to visit the Warner Brothers tour again in December of 2015, when the construction was beginning to take place.
One of my favorite things to look for on my elusive search for a real-life Stars Hollow is a town diner just like Luke’s. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a diner like Luke’s yet, but I thought it would be fun to recreate the funny “No Cell Phones” sign that hangs behind his counter near the coffee machine. Feel free to print this up and post it on your refrigerator. Of, if you want to get really fancy, frame it! Just be prepared to get odd looks from all the iPhone and Android obsessed users out there. :)
NOTE: Free for personal use only. Although this printable file is free, it cannot be sold or distributed without prior permission.
I am a HUGE Gilmore Girls fan and I created this vintage travel poster as a discreet way to show my love for the fictional town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut. Even though I’ve never lived in Stars Hollow, this poster feels like “home” to me, and I hope it feels that way to other fans, too! I actually showed this version, along with a RED version, to a very passionate Gilmore Girls fan club on Facebook, and I had an overwhelming number of votes for the BLUE version, though I must say, the RED version “pops” more, and lends itself to a more retro print look.
The Dragonfly Inn as seen in Stars Hollow, CT (aka the WB lot).
Stars Hollow Poster Close Up of Dragonfly Inn
This artwork is meant to be discreet so to the outside eye, it looks like a vintage travel poster from yesteryear, but I had to add little touches here and there, such as a sign for LUKE’S and of course, the famous Gazebo, Church & Dragonfly Inn.
Because of its close proximity to Kent and Washington Depot, Litchfield, CT seemed like an obvious detour to take on our road trip to Stars Hollow. Plus, in Season 4, Episode 11 of Gilmore Girls (“In the Clamor and the Clangor”), Luke references the town when he tells Lorelai that he moved to Litchfield with his soon-to-be ex-wife, Nicole.
A town green but not a square…
I definitely found Litchfield to be worthy of a pit stop. Even though activity on the main street was non-existent, the quaint and beautifully decorated storefronts (as seen in my video) align with what you’d expect from a charming, archetypal New England town. While I didn’t exactly see a Luke’s Diner type of establishment, the upscale restaurant, West Street Grill looked equally inviting. I just wish the town green had more of the “hug” factor that makes Stars Hollow feel so cozy and isolated from the rest of the outside world. As it stands now, the town green of Litchfield is very one-sided – basically it consists of a grassy area next to a street full of businesses, as opposed to being nestled in a square encompassed by businesses and community buildings on all sides.
Cute antique shop dressed for the holidays in Litchfield, CT.
Other Similarities to Stars Hollow
Abundance of rustic, festive street decorations that really give you that small, hometown feeling.
Charming, walkable town green dotted with independently-owned shops and restaurants.
There’s also an antique shop, though it’s not situated inside a home like Mrs. Kim’s.
Along with Washington, CT, New Milford has been touted many times on Gilmore Girl fan blogs and forums as one of the towns in Connecticut that most closely resembles Stars Hollow. One former New Milford resident even said that after she watched an episode of the Gilmore Girls, she actually believed the show was filmed there! Naturally, after seeing photos of the promising gazebo (a Stars Hollow staple!), New Milford was among the top must-see towns on my list that I had to visit on my quest to finding Stars Hollow.
…is that all there is?
Honestly, I was a bit skeptical about this town after doing some recon on Google Maps. After taking a peek of the town green through Google Maps Street View, I thought the main street looked a bit weathered and didn’t seem to have many charming/quaint shops and thriving businesses that would serve an isolated community similar to Stars Hollow. After visiting the area firsthand, my suspicions were sadly confirmed.
Don’t get me wrong, the gazebo is wonderful…. And when the town is covered in fresh snow (as seen in my video), New Milford definitely has its own charm – but it’s no Stars Hollow. After seeing some of the abandoned businesses and lack of foot traffic, the area felt kind of…depressing. When I’m supposedly in the heart of a town, I want to bask in its isolation, as if it’s “hugging” me (similar to how Lorelai explains that the library at the Dragonfly Inn is her favorite room because it “hugs you” in a way that makes you feel safe, warm and loved). I couldn’t help but feel like I needed a blanket when walking around New Milford, and believe me, it had nothing to do with the chilly weather that day.
But wait…I found “Chilton”
After exploring the town green by foot, we drove around the neighborhood and spotted a very charming private school that was definitely reminiscent of Chilton, right down to the color of their uniforms! Despite my earlier disappointment regarding the neglected town green, the beautiful campus of Canterbury somehow makes up for it. So, if it’s Stars Hollow you seek, you may find a very thin slice of it in New Milford, CT after all.
Guilford reminded me of a supersized version of Stars Hollow, minus the quintessential gazebo. The town green is HUGE and seems to span a few blocks, so while it’s not as intimate and cozy like the center of Stars Hollow, I like that the heart of town is fully enclosed by quaint shops and buildings on all four sides, like a real town square. Unlike the “exposed” town green in New Milford and Litchfield, the old world charm of Guilford felt isolated from the rest of the modern world.
Whitfield Street in Guilford, CT
Was Lorelai running errands that day?
Dance Studio in Guilford, CT
After milling around the shops and picking up some aromatic gifts at the Spice & Tea Exchange (adorable shop), I decided to shoot some video around the town square. Guess what type of car kept on popping up in all of my shots? An orange JEEP! Could it be that after much coaxing from Luke, Lorelai finally upgraded her ride after all? All joking aside, it was nice to see local residents shopping and running errands in town, instead of having to drive to the big box stores elsewhere. Aside from the businesses mentioned in my list below (“Other Similarities to Stars Hollow”), we found a small dance studio behind one of the buildings. Unfortunately, Miss Patty was nowhere to be seen.
Page Hardware in Guilford, CT
Cute shops in Guilford, CT
Local grocery store in Guilford, CT – as seen in the 2012 movie, Hope Springs.
Other Similarities to Stars Hollow
Charming, walkable town square that is enclosed and feels isolated from the hustle and bustle of the modern world.
Hardware store – Page Hardware – similar to Luke’s (converted) Diner, however, they actually sell tools.
Small grocery store – Guilford Food Center – that is similar to Doose’s Market. This store was also featured in the 2012 movie, Hope Springs, starring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones.
Local dance studio, Limelight, similar to Miss Patty’s.
Town Hall – where you would expect Taylor Doose to conduct town meetings.