Over the summer, Saved By The Max, a pop-up restaurant inspired by Saved By the Bell, brought a slice of ’90s pop nostalgia to Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Now, according to a video announcement from Dennis “Principal Belding” Haskins, it appears the pop-up will not only be extending its Chicago stay, but will also embark on a “national tour” once the Chicago location closes up shop in May. Dates and locations have yet to be released.
Saved By The Max sought to emulate the show’s central hangout, The Max, in terms of aesthetics, but distinguished itself with a menu of elevated diner food from acclaimed chef Brian Fisher. It was a bit of gamble, but the project seems to have paid off. “Our waitlist is large,” says Saved By The Max organizer Zack Eastman in an interview with Eater. “We’re constantly getting emails asking if we’re going to be here for longer.”
It’s caught the attention of the original cast members as well. Ed Alonzo, who played the restaurant’s namesake magician on the show, filmed a commercial for the pop-up, and Mario Lopez blessed it with his presence in September. Culinary tastemakers have also taken notice: Action Bronson recently featured the pop-up in an episode of his web series, Fuck, That’s Delicious.
Eastman says he’s optimistic about the future of both the restaurant and weird pop-ups in general. “Yes, other people could do this,” he says, “and I do think we’ll start to see more of these longer-term pop-ups, more of these experiential pop-ups come to life in the near future.”
Check out The A.V. Club’s interview with Haskins from last week, which offers a look at Saved By The Max’s interior and proves that the former Bayside principal truly did know his school.