"Saved By The Bell" fans now know where they're spending summer vacation in Wicker Park, as officials have revealed the location of that month-long pop-up diner. Saved By The Max will take over the former Geek Bar space on North Avenue, and dinner reservations go online starting at 11 a.m. on Friday. The first day of service is June 1 and it'll have about 80 seats inside.
A spokesman for Saved By The Max said Geek Bar — now called SFCO after a change in ownership — will reopen after the month-long pop-up.
Notably, the pop-up comes with NBC Universal's blessing. Saved By The Max paid a licensing fee to the peacock covering all necessary usages. Don't believe it? Check out this snazzy video announcing the location featuring "Saved By The Bell" actor Ed Alonzo, who played Max, the last-nameless owner of his eponymous diner.
Don't remember the commotion and national headlines made when organizers first shared their nostalgic idea with fans for the 1990s NBC TV show? Let's take a timeout and get everyone up to speed. "Saved By The Bell" aficionado, former Beauty Bar event coordinator and DJ Derek Berry posted a Facebook event page as a joke back in February, wanting to pay homage to The Max, the diner where the high school-aged characters from the show would spend time after class. He's been to "Saved By The Bell" events, and he and his cohorts want to give back to the Bayside High community. That joke soon became reality. Unexpectedly to Berry, thousands of fans on Facebook showed support for the endeavor.
While the menu will have some references to the show's episodes and characters, Berry and Co. said their pop-up will feature "chef-driven fare." They've yet to make a chef announcement, but will offer weekday dinner and weekend brunch services, as well as a daily late-night menu, saying open until 2 a.m. most days and 3 a.m. on Saturday. Brunch seatings will be available on a first come, first served basis.
Berry will release an event schedule later along with the ticketing info. He previously talked about special episode-themed events —Monday's release mentioned a "cut day" theme, as Zack Morris sure liked ditching class. While the pop-up is slated to last only through June, Berry and his crew have interest in doing something more permanent, whatever that may be.
Meanwhile, Geek Bar changed ownership earlier this year and quietly switched names to SFCO last month and rebranded all their social media. Founder David Zoltan is no longer involved. The new name is a reference to Storefront Company, the restaurant Geek Bar replaced two years ago in the same space. Storefront Company—at least the original iteration—closed in February 2014.
Geek Bar was originally planned to open at 1960 N. Clybourn Ave. in Lincoln Park, as the North Avenue location was supposed to be a temporary solution with management calling it a "beta" with the intention of eventually moving to Clybourn. That never materialized, and Geek Bar dropped the "beta" in hopes of becoming a permanent fixture in Wicker Park, despite fiscal problems that led to an online fundraising campaign last summer.