Here’s a question before we begin. Why didn’t some enterprising genius ever figure out a way to create actual restaurants based on these iconic TV hangouts? Do you even KNOW how much money would’ve been made from situating a real Peach Pit in Beverly Hills in the ’90s? SCADS OF MONEY, YES. I mean, think about how many tourists make their way to my #1 pick in Boston every year (and if you’re from Boston or been there, how many times have you heard the phrase “It doesn’t look the same on the inside though.” So make it look the same, Cheers! What the hell? Is that so hard? Why must you insist on disappointing millions of fans who just want the pleasure of sitting on Cliff’s stool while they take a break from their sixth time on the Freedom Trail (hi, Dad).)
SCADS OF MONEY. All right, I’m done now.
5. The Crashdown Cafe from Roswell (1999-2002)
It just occurred to me that, based on my not mentioning it here very often, you might not grasp the depth of my love for the short-lived WB show Roswell (starring Katherine Heigl, Booth’s brother from Bones, Claire from Lost and COLIN HANKS THAT’S RIGHT). That’s just… unacceptable. No, no. It’s not your fault- it’s all mine. I accept full responsibility but I’m going to remedy it now.
I LOVE(D) Roswell.
The Crashdown is owned by main character Liz’s family and she’s a waitress there, along with her best friend Maria, and sometimes it seems like ALL they do is waitress there, like, shouldn’t you be in school? The Crashdown is awesome because it’s a total tourist trap of a restaurant in this alien-tourist trap of a desert New Mexico town and sets the stage for many fantastical alien-human related moments, the capper being- this is where Liz gets shot in the pilot episode, prompting strange alien-boy Max (played by slouchy-shouldered Jason Behr) to heal her, exposing his big ‘ol secret. It’s also where Michael and Maria get it on for the first time, everyone gets ready for the prom, mourns Alex, and where Isabelle uses her alien skills to reheat a cold burger.
4. Luke’s from Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)
Another show that I don’t mention NEARLY enough in its proportion to how much I love it. Actually, my whole family is so bonkers for Gilmore Girls that even my BROTHER sent me an email asking me if Rory’s boyfriend Logan from Gilmore Girls is the guy in I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell (ie the movie that is destroying my soul. And yes, it’s him. Shudder.) And my mother almost got arrested on the WB studio lot for sneaking her camera in to take pictures of- you guessed it- Luke’s Diner. (That’s not her picture though.)
Luke’s Diner is such a Big Deal on the show that when Lorelai and her on-again-off-again beau Luke have a fight, she’s not allowed to go to there- which is basically detrimental to her life. Both Lorelai and Rory hit Luke’s at least once if not twice a day, Laine and her boyfriend-then-husband Zack work there, Zack PROPOSED there, sometimes Lorelai sets up an office from there (to Luke’s constant irritation), and of course, there’s the crusty proprietor of the same name who turned the once-hardware-store, owned by his dad, into a diner after he died. Apparently, the coffee’s the best in town and the burgers are even better. It’s completely fictional and yet I want both, immediately, right now.
3. The Peach Pit from Beverly Hills 90210 (1990-2000)
I want to reiterate- if there were a real Peach Pit, I would’ve gone EVERY DAY when I lived in Los Angeles. What’s not to love? It’s like Johnny Rockets with a DASH of authenticity AND there’s a SUPER COOL nightclub next door. Because when I think of diner, I don’t think of pickles and coleslaw- NO. I think of going into a club where I could possibly hear Donna Lewis sing a kicky of-the-moment song, where Valerie will run the place even though she’s like 21 years old and when I was 21 years old, I could barely function let alone run a night club, where Kelly will get drunk on red wine and freak out because she dropped her super-secret engagement ring, forcing the tool who’s been hitting on her to deem her TOO MUCH EFFORT because she dropped a diamond ring on the floor and was kind of nervous about it.
As for the Pit itself, it was the scene for many a-confrontation, Brenda dressed up like a ’50s cartoon character to work there, Brandon worked there, everyone thought Nat was “part of the gang” and Donna Martin flashed her navel so many times, they should’ve erected a statue of her belly shirts in the corner.
2. The Max from Saved By the Bell (1989-1993)
Where did you hang out after school? If it was between 1989 and 1993 and your last name was Morris, Slater, Powers, Turtle, Kapowski, or Spano, then chances are you were in the place where Color Went to Die. Where the owners/head waiters do strange impressions and magic tricks for your amusement or will impersonate your dad in the principal’s office so you can go on the ski trip. Where Casey Kasem hosts a dance contest for some reason. Where we all learn a valuable lesson about playing your song, the one you shared with your waitress ex-girlfriend who cheated on you with a 34 year old soap star, and how dancing with another girl in front of her is really hurtful. Where Hot Sundae performed to a crowd of maybe 15 people. Where they turned Slater into the Human Exclamation Point for this CLASSIC scene:
1. Cheers from Cheers (1982-1993)
Awww. Thanks to Cheers, we all grew up wishing we could someday find a place where “everybody knows our name.” Some of us are still looking for it (pause for single, dramatic tear). Who doesn’t want to open a cheerful Boston pub and see your friends everyday as they pour beer money into your waiting pockets and supply you with plenty of laughs and their fair share of crazy-pants. Add a cranky pint-sized waitress, a long-winded mailman, a portly regular named Norm, a dim-witted bartender named Woody and a snooty blonde in an apron and you’ve got yourself the most beloved faux-hangout of all time.