There's nothing live childhood nostalgia to stir up interest in a trendy restaurant. But Wicker Park pop up Saved By The Max, has moved way past trendy to full on Chicago foodie phenomenon. What was supposed to have been a transitory summer eatery based on the classic 90s teen show "Saved By The Bell", has evolved into one of the most popular restaurants on the Chi-town scene.
That means snagging tickets is a tricky situation but not impossible. Saved By The Max has been extended through December. Check out these tips, pics and highlights about Bayside's best hangout.
Stalk The Website
Saved By The Max isn't the typical restaurant, you can't just walk in or call to make reservations. Nah preppy, you need to study the website like it's the night before finals. Rumors have spread that the diner is sold out through December but not for everybody.
If you can go solo, you will find lots of reservations through the end of the year, but not if you want to go as a couple. Reservations for two are totally SOLD OUT but you can always piece together a couple of solo reservations. Tables for three are also still available starting in October, but they go fast.
Consider Brunch or Early Walk Ins
After a troublesome introduction, weekend brunch is back, which means more chances to relive your '90s high-school dreams. Brunch is walk in only and starts at 10 a.m. until it's sold out. Lines are always long so plan on arriving at least one hour in advance. As for dinner walk ins, 5-7 p.m. are the best times to try your luck. After 7 p.m., your chances are dimmer than Screech's hope to date Lisa.
Don't Miss The Details
With all the fuss to get in, don't forget to take in all of the amazing details. This isn't just an interpretation of the iconic hangout, it IS The Max.
From '90s music blasting and the glowing pink sign, to Slater and Jessie's lockers in the front, you are transported to your '90s TV fantasy. TVs with scenes from Saved By The Bell line the walls and there is even a juke box and pay-phone! You know, that thing people used before everybody started carrying cell phones.
Bring A Big Appetite For The Insane Menu
Don't get confused by all the '90s gear, this is a real restaurant with real, Chicago worthy dishes. Michelin starred executive chef Brian Fisher didn't just toss together a kitschy menu, he created dishes that can compete with the city's foodie standouts.
Highlights include Tori's fried chicken, a Goose Island and coconut infused waffle topped with Korean fried chicken and spicy maple syrup and Lisa's Grilled Cheese, with Gruyere, aged cheddar and caramelized mushrooms. Don't skip the boozy milkshakes.
Saved By The Max
1941 W. North Avenue
- Hours: Monday to Friday: 5 - 10 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
- Tickets: $35 per person
Additional photos courtesy of Rosalind Cummings-Yeates