When I wake up in the morning
And the alarm gives out a warning
I don’t think I’ll ever make it on time
By the time I grab my books
And I give myself a look
I’m at the corner just in time to see the bus fly by
It’s alright ‘coz I’m saved by the bell.
Saved by the Bell was an iconic part of my tween adolescence. I coveted Zack’s ability to call “time-out” freezing life for a moment. I had my first girl crush on Kelly Kapowski. Who didn’t? From 1989 to 1993 this teen sitcom offered crush-worthy and cringe-worthy moments. Who could forget Zack Attack’s ‘Friends Forever’ Casey Kasem episode, or the time Jesse Spano took too many diet pills, or when Lisa sprained her ankle and it turned into a dance craze. What about AC Slater wearing the black ballet onesie and doing a pirouette in the halls of Bayside? Two words, Big Bopper. I looked up to this group of quirky teens and their caring overbearing Principal for years as they dealt with environmental issues, friendship, dating and drugs. What made the show so appealing for so many, was it could be both silly and serious. It didn’t talk down to teens or get all preachy. It used just the right level of cheesy comedy to tackle important topics.
Obviously I look back on SBTB with warm-hearted nostalgia. So when I heard that Los Angeles was getting it’s very own Saved by the Max pop-up restaurant bringing The Max diner to life. I had to get reservations. Walking in to The Max is a step back in time. You enter along a corridor of Bayside Tigers lockers into the well known diner space. I honestly could not believe how much attention to detail the creators put in to this place. Every where you look there was something memorable to see. From the classic red plastic water cups to the speckled laminated tables. To the TVs above the bar playing SBTB episodes and Spano for President posters hanging on the walls. If you are looking for photos to fill your Instagram stories this is the place to do it.
We were seated in the main dining room. Your $40 reservation includes your choice of an appetizer and entree. The very SBTB themed menu also offers up specialty cocktails, alongside a selection of wine and craft beers. I started off with Lisa’s Spritzainaroni. A Plymouth gin cocktail with Aperol, orange and sparkling Moscato. Delicious! For my appetizer I chose the Mac & Screech. Which was good but not great. It was creamy and cheesy but missing the crunchy topping that is always my favorite part of Mac & Cheese. Dinner was the classic Bayside Burger. It was a basic cheeseburger but juicy and came with extra pickles on the side. That makes it a winner in my book. Keep in mind the Bayside Burger comes with a side of french fries. So you may want to skip the Poutine Engel for your app. Unless of course, eating mass quantities of french fried potatoes is your thing. Hey, it’s your trip down memory lane to Bayside, you do you.
The wait staff is super friendly. They also realize you want to wander around, look at everything and take lots of pics. All they ask is that you put in your food and drink order first, then wander at will. Besides, who doesn’t love coming back to their table to find their food hot, ready and waiting for them.
There are plenty of photo opportunities including a retro pay-phone, (ugh I feel old) lockers of each cast member with mementos from the show and over-sized photos of the cast members faces. Allowing you to live out your dreams as a Zack Morris bobble head.
The hallway heading towards the restroom is lined with lockers. There is a small glass case of SBTB collectibles along side Mr Belding’s office, which presents a different dining experience from The Max.
~~Love the Belding Stinks & Tori Wuz Here graffiti on the bathroom stall.~~
Saved by the Max is taking reservations from now through March 2019. So there is plenty of time to show your Bayside pride. Plus now they are offering up brunch! Same price, different experience. So get going preppies! A limited number of walk-ins are available each night, so get your tickets ahead of time. Visit https://www.exploretock.com/savedbythemax/ to purchase in advance and start planning your perfect outfit!
Need some 90s inspiration? Check out Saved by the Max on Instragram
~~Me living out my Zack and Kelly love story with my own preppy bestie!~~