When the third season of Stranger Things released last month, the series broke Netflix records — within four days of its release, 40.7 million accounts had started watching it and 18.2 million had finished it completely. Palmetto, Georgia is still feeling the effects.
Although creators Matt and Ross Duffer set Stranger Things in a fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, they filmed the sci-fi series on location in Georgia. Bradley’s Big Buy grocery store in Palmetto has received a large number of fans who come seeking the spot where Eleven stole a box of Eggo waffles in an iconic scene of Stranger Things. After the season premiere back in 2016, the store received fans from around the world. Following season three’s release, when the store made its reappearance, fans have appeared almost everyday.
David Johnston, manager of the Piggly Wiggly franchise that acquired the store, said that waffle sales have tripled. Employees have also started encouraging fans to write about their experiences in a notebook they keep in the store, and while visitors do not have to make a purchase when they visit, “The strangest things happen at Bradley’s Big Buy” T-shirts are a hit.
Other locations in Georgia used as Stranger Things sets include Emory University’s Briarcliff Campus in Atlanta, which became the site for Hawkins Laboratory and Gwinnett Place Mall in Duluth which transformed into the beloved ’80s Starcourt Mall. Businesses have also responded to the show’s popularity: Lucy Lu’s Coffee Cafe in Jackson, Georgia created a “Stranger Drinks” menu within months of the first season’s release; its daily average net sales doubled after the third season came out.