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Chicago to Welcome a ‘Good Burger’ Pop-Up to Tap into Nickelodeon Nostalgia

The Saved by the Max team comes home from LA

Kenan Thompson (left) and Kel Mitchell seem to have burgers
A photo from 1997 with actors Kenan Thompson (left) and Kel Mitchell (right) from a Good Burger screening party.
Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

The team that brought Wicker Park the Saved by the Bell pop-up is bringing another nostalgic TV show-themed restaurant to the city. Good Burger a ‘90s staple on the Nickelodeon children’s network — will get the Saved by the Max treatment early next year at an undisclosed Chicago location. Good Burger will end a three-month run in LA on September 29 with delivery continuing though December, according to a news release.

Derek Berry, a partner at Beauty Bar in West Town, created the officially licensed Saved by the Bell pop-up in 2016 and the restaurant exceeded expectations with a year run in Chicago. He brought the Max to LA in 2018 and it closed in April 2018. Good Burger launched in July. The Max’s success inspired many Chicago bars to hold pop-ups based on nostalgic pop-culture properties.

Reps didn’t divulge where Good Burger would pop up. The Saved by the Max space is currently occupied by Dorian’s, a restaurant/bar that hosts live music and run by Berry’s business partner Zack Eastman. Eastman (who also owns the East Room) and Berry also partnered with Steve Harris, the veteran Chicago bar owner behind Debonair Social Club.

A diner pop-up restaurant based on the Good Burger movie.
LA’s Good Burger pop-up is coming to Chicago.
Good Burger [Official Photo]

The team recruited chef Brian Fisher to create the menu for the Saved by the Bell pop-up. Fisher, who presides over Michelin-starred Entente, isn’t involved with Good Burger. Alvin Cailan, the star chef who founded LA’s Eggslut chain, is handling the menu. Cailan has experience with pop-culture properties as he developed Blue Apron’s burger kits themed after Fox’s animated series Bob’s Burgers.

Eggslut was founded in LA in 2011 and now has four California locations and one in Las Vegas, with plans for Japan, London, and Kuwait. The restaurant specializes in egg sandwiches on fresh biscuits. There’s been rumblings of a Chicago expansion, so this move may intensify those rumors. The Good Burger menu will feature burgers, boozy sodas, french fries, onion rings, shakes, and pies. It’ll also have a meat-free Beyond Meat burger.

Actor Kel Mitchell pouring an orange soda from a machine.
Actor Kel Mitchell was the straw that stirred Good Burger’s drink.
Good Burger [Official Photo]

Good Burger started as a sketch on the TV show All That before Hollywood adapted it into a 1997 movie. It featured a young Kenan Thompson, the comedian who’s spent 16 years on Saturday Night Live — the series’s longest-tenured cast member. The premise involved Thompson and Kel Mitchell’s characters who work at a fictional fast-food restaurant. Mitchell’s character, Ed, develops a beloved secret sauce that distinguishes Good Burger from the competition.

The team’s success in working with NBC and Saved by the Bell has made an impression in Hollywood. Berry has moved to LA with his family, and when the LA crew behind a Beverly Hills, 90210 pop-up needed help, CBS hired Berry to spruce up the Peach Pit. Nat would be very proud.

Come back in the coming months for news on the location and an opening date.

Saved by the Max

1941 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (773) 687-9824 Visit Website