Saved by the Bell, one of my favorite shows from childhood has temporarily left Bayside and relocated to Chicago.
Saved by the Max, a pop up restaurant located in Wicker Park, opened this summer to crowds of 90’s kids wanting to taste a piece of their childhood, and perhaps a burger.
The decor is absolutely spot on (licensing from NBC no doubt helped on this count). With its splashy colors, oversized geometric patterns, a payphone (that sadly, doesn’t work), character photos, and iconic lightning bolt door handle, a trip to Saved by the Max is as close as one can get to being on set of the original show.
The lighting leaves a lot to be desired (most people are here to take photos, after all), but not enough of a deterent for the hundreds of hungry fans.
Speaking of, the restaurant serves diner style cuisine with names such as AC Sliders and Mac & Screech, the food at Saved by the Max is better than expected (see my slightly spicy, vegetarian bean ‘Bayside’ burger).
Post 11 p.m., the menu is pared down to just a few ‘late night’ selections, and guests are seated it is a first come, first served basis (no reservations are taken after 10 p.m.).
If you happen to live or be in the Chicago area, I recommend visiting after 11 p.m. on a weeknight, like I did t o avoid waiting for longer than a few minutes.
It’s as fun and kitsy as the OG SBTB, but no Zach Morris phone (or the man himself) in sight.
Saved by the Max is open Monday – Sunday from 5 p.m. – 1 a.m. (2 a.m. on Saturdays), and for “walk in bag lunches” (11 a.m.) on weekends.