Sign In
Saved by the Max in Chicago | Courtesy of Saved by the Max
Saved by the Max in Chicago | Courtesy of Saved by the Max
Save to wishlist

A “Saved by the Bell” Diner Is on Its Way to This U.S. City

Picture of Juliet Bennett Rylah
Updated: 6 June 2017
The latest nostalgia-fueled restaurant experience to come to Los Angeles is taking us back to the ’90s. Saved by the Max, a diner inspired by the local haunt of Saved by the Bell’s Bayside High students, is popping up in Los Angeles in the near future.

Saved by the Bell ran on NBC from 1989 until 1993. The hit sitcom centered around a group of teens enrolled at fictional Bayside High and their principal, Mr. Belding. The teens would often hang out at a colorful diner called The Max, named after its owner—an eccentric magician played by real-life magician/actor Ed Alonzo.

Saved by the Max is a recreation of that very diner, and it has been wildly popular since it popped up in Chicago in June 2016. It was supposed to shut down after New Year’s, according to Eater Chicago; however, the diner was so in demand that it not only extended its run to a full year, but it also announced a nationwide tour. Los Angeles is the restaurant’s first stop outside of Chicago, which is fitting considering Saved by the Bell was set in the Los Angeles area.

“The journey of Saved by The Max never fails to amaze us,” Derek Berry, one of the diner’s partners, said via a release. “To see it evolve from fan idea turned overnight social media craze to an entire sold-out year of operations in Chicago, and now coming full circle with a move to the show’s hometown of L.A. is nothing short of a dream come true for us all. It’s a real testament to the enduring popularity and legacy of the show.”

Saved by the Max in Chicago
Saved by the Max in Chicago | Courtesy of Saved by the Max

The details are still somewhat murky. The pop-up does not have an opening date or a location yet, and it’s also not clear if the West Coast’s Saved by the Max will feature all the same menu items as the Chicago pop-up. The release does give us some idea what’s for dinner: Mac & Screech, Tori’s Fried Chicken, A.C. Sliders, the Bayside Burger, the Preppy BLT, and the Kelly Kapowski Monte Cristo. A host of desserts, shakes and signature cocktails rounded out the Windy City menu, so it’s fair to assume L.A. will get a similar treatment. In addition to the diner itself, expect to see lots of ephemera and kitsch from the show placed throughout the scene.

Ed Alonzo appeared in a promotional video for the L.A. outpost, and it wouldn’t be a shock if he actually showed up to perform a few tricks, given that he frequently features at Los Angeles-area venues, including the famed Magic Castle. The Chicago pop-up brought in Saved by the Bell stars such as Alonzo, Dennis Haskins (Mr. Belding), and Mario Lopez (A.C. Slater).

Los Angeles has hosted a number of similar TV- and film-inspired pop-ups over the past several months with varying degrees of success. A Will Ferrell-inspired bar called Stay Classy manifested in the TCL Chinese Theater last winter, while Los Pollos Hermanos—the fried chicken chain in Breaking Bad—enjoyed two days in the Arts District to celebrate the premiere of spin-off Better Call Saul. Hollywood is currently home to both the Star Wars-inspired Scum & Villainy as well as the Tim Burton-styled Beetlehouse.

Those interested in checking out Saved by the Max are encouraged to sign up for updates via their website.