Friday, November 25, 2016

Gilmore Girls meets Fort Thomas- A Stars Hollow Map to our Community

Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls

Today is the day we’ve all been waiting for!  No, not Black Friday- the return of the Gilmore Girls for a four-part special on Netflix!

But, if you plan it right, after watching the entire series Friday night, you can have your very own Gilmore Girls experience here in Fort Thomas on Saturday which just so happens to be Small Business Saturday!

So, if you’re out on the road, feeling lonely and so cold, stop on in to one of these local Gilmore Girls-esque establishments (lyrics by Carole King)!

While I can’t promise a dreamy coffee-encounter with Luke, a run-in with Dean at Doose’s Market, or any experience close to comparing to Miss Patty, I can promise the money you spend and the good-times you have spending it right here in our community will make you think of how lucky we are to live in our very own Stars Hollow.

Barre 3 Ft. Thomas. This is an advertisement. 

Fort Thomas Coffee (aka Luke’s Diner)
Luke’s Diner is THE place to go for coffee (and Rory and Lorelai drink A LOT of coffee).  Luke’s Diner is also THE place to go for Rory and Lorelai to catch up, gossip, and plan out the rest of their day together.  While Luke is not quite as friendly as Lori from Fort Thomas Coffee is (at least in the first few seasons), he really cares about his favorite customers- exactly the way FTC makes all of its customers feel!

Cobblestone Café (aka The Dragonfly Inn)
The Dragonfly Inn is the dream of Lorelai and master chef Sookie but it is the quality menu of the Inn’s restaurant that really sets it apart.  For quality, try the Cobblestone Café which features a variety of sandwiches, salads, soups, and daily dessert options and, like the Dragonfly, is family-owned (Lorelai and Sookie might as well be sisters, am I right?).

Belladance (aka Miss Patty’s Dance School)
No one can approximate the craziness level of Miss Patty and I doubt anyone around has quite the storied dance career to discuss.  But at the end of the day, Miss Patty and her love of dance (which she loves second only to perhaps gossip, and maybe men) makes the town a more vibrant place, especially the town’s children who put on many performances and shows at Miss Patty’s Dance School.  With a variety of dance class options and styles ranging from classical ballet to tumbling to musical theatre to tap (and on and on), Belladance in the Hiland Building is Fort Thomas’ very own Miss Patty’s Dance School.

Fort Thomas Central (aka Doose’s Market)
This might not be a perfect comparison because Doose’s Market is more of a classic grocery store.  However, Doose’s Market is where Rory first meets Dean, one of her TWO long-time loves.  Fort Thomas Central is the best place to go to buy gifts for your long-time love.  Also, Doose’s is owned by Taylor Doose who is largely responsible for organizing many of the local Stars Hollow events; by comparison, Barb Thomas (owner of Fort Thomas Central) is central to the organization of Art Around Towne and many other local events.

The Midway Café (aka Al’s Pancake World)
Al’s Pancake Café is, perhaps, one of the more interesting Stars Hollow hot spots in that the featured international cuisine is always changing AND they don’t serve pancakes!  What better restaurant comparison than Midway Café which also does NOT serve pancakes but, more importantly, features a variety of delicious options and eclectic foods.

Faded Finds Vintage (aka Kim’s Antiques)
Mrs. Kim, proprietor of Kim’s Antiques, knows more than just about anyone about antiques (and how to haggle).  She also has zero tolerance for music, riff-raff, or window shoppers.  While Faded Finds shares the love and knowledge of antiques, Heidi Dutcher-Barret (owner of Faded Finds) has a far more winning personality!  Like Mrs. Kim, though, Heidi knows how to haggle and uses this to buy particular pieces on behalf of her shoppers (I should know, she has bought and refinished most of the furniture in my own house).

Monera Boutique (aka Stars Hollow Beauty Supply)
What’s a community to a teenage girl like Rory without a beauty supply store?  And what’s a Fort Thomas business community without a beauty boutique, featuring hand-crafted and quality-made jewelry and many other items.

Lovell’s Hardwood (aka Gypsy’s Garage)
Gypsy from Gypsy’s Garage is the sole reason Lorelai and Rory can drive anywhere.  It is not the fact that she is a mechanic in a small-town that sets her apart, though.  It is her expansive knowledge of cars, love of her craft, and the fact that she learned much of her car-knowledge from her brothers.  Lovell’s Hardwood, then, applies that same expansive knowledge, love of craft, and family history to their hardwood and flooring designs.

Blue Marble Books (aka Stars Hollow Books)
Without books, Rory Gilmore would not be the woman she grew up to be over the many seasons of Gilmore Girls.  Books transported Rory to other worlds, developed her knowledge, and allowed her to travel without ever leaving Stars Hollow.  Additionally, her love of reading helped her to get into Chilton Prep and eventually into Yale (despite her life-long dream of going to Harvard).  The best way to foster a love of reading like Rory’s is to start your children reading early in life and there is truly no better store to help you with that than the Blue Marble where all of the best children’s series are sold, major authors and illustrators come to do in-person readings and signings, and the owners are knowledgeable about children’s books.

Fort Thomas Florist (aka Gabby’s Flowers)
When Lorelai and Rory have to attend four different Thanksgiving feasts, they buy all of their flowers from Gabby’s.  Whatever the occasion (or as a thank you to yesterday’s Thanksgiving hosts), all of your floral needs can be met at Fort Thomas Florist.

Dogs to Frogs Pet Care (aka Le Chat Club)
Kirk (crazy, funny, odd Kirk) buys all of his cat’s products at Le Chat Club.  Kirk, for all of his quirks, is a true pet-lover.  For the true pet-lover, there’s nothing a pet needs more than love and affection (well, perhaps food and water).  If you’re busy all-day visiting all of Stars’ Hollow’s Fort Thomas’ finest shops, you might want to consider your pet’s loneliness.  Dogs to Frogs Pet Care comes to you to do in-home pet-sitting, dog-walking, or otherwise meet the needs of your pet.

Top This Donut Bar (aka Taylor Doose’s Old-Fashioned Soda Shoppe)
Taylor Doose, owner of the Doose’s Market, opened a soda shoppe right next to Luke’s Diner and eventually even installed a window between the two, firmly planting himself right in the fabric of the Stars Hollow business community.  Like the soda shoppe, the recently opened Top This Donut Bar has taken a tried and true concept, love of donuts and the ability to make your own, and planted it right in the heart of the Fort Thomas business community.

Now that you’ve visited all of Stars Hollows’ Fort Thomas’ hotspots, you must feel like Emily Gilmore following Rory around town on a big tour.  Hopefully, you also feel lucky to know how many great places and wonderful faces there are in this community.  If only some holiday had occurred just yesterday to give you an occasion to give thanks!  Tomorrow, Saturday November 26, give back and support Small Business Saturday and your many neighbors and friends who own local small businesses.  After all, without the many businesses and many characters in Gilmore Girls, the show would’ve featured only a lonely mother/daughter pair rather than two strong-women who fast-talked and coffee-drank their way into the hearts and lives of their community.  So, who are the most important “characters” to you in Fort Thomas?

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