Back in the day, as in the very late 1980s, and the first third of the '90s, the notion of eating pie in a fictional world that sprung, very wholly formed, from a favorite movie or TV series, was about as pie-in-the-sky-y as daydreams come.
But then the World Wide Web happened (well, was already very much happening, yes, at that time, but chatrooms and online fan groups began to sizzle), and certain shows that ended before the heyday of the internet continued to be celebrated with love, passionate fan theories, and attention.
The result was that these still-hot shows found firm footing well outside the sphere of the small screen.
What to do, where to go and what to see
One amazing result of continuing fandom? The tribute pop-up, a restaurant or space that pays homage to the on-screen universe of a beloved series.
And one of the shows that remains robust nearly a quarter century after the conclusion of its original series (yep, there were spin-offs, as with any super-successful property) is about to have its own SoCal space of scrunchie style, '90s-a-rama fashion, and Bayside Burgers, too.
It's "Saved by the Bell," that 1989-1993 teen-focused hit that created a clutch of characters you likely know, and dramatic, real-talk issues, too, even if you never watched an episode.
You can soon live an episode, or create your own new storyline, at Saved by the Max, a zazzy, '90s-colorful pop-up eatery that's headed for West Hollywood, at the West Hollywood Gateway at 7100 Santa Monica Boulevard.
Mr. Belding himself, Dennis Haskins, made the location announcement in a video posted to Saved by the Max's social media on Tuesday, Oct. 24.
Southern California-based Bell buffs knew that the Chicago-started pop-up was headed for Los Angeles, thanks to a reveal at the beginning of June 2017 (complete with neon-bright photos from the Illinois eatery).
But where the IRL experience would land remained a mystery as intense as some of the budding romances and friendships seen on the series.
The video gave fans some solid 411, though. "Construction is about to begin...," reveals Mr. Belding — er, Mr. Haskins — "...so tickets will go on sale soon."
So how can you be among the cool kids, or at least the people who'll nab an early entry to the restaurant? (Also, side note: Like so many of the good lessons seen on SbtB, we're all the cool kids when we're nice and genuine and friendly, because being nice and genuine and friendly is cool.)
Mr. Belding recommends that you follow Saved by the Max on its various social media channels to stay up on the opening, and as he was the principal of Bayside High School, we're wont to follow his sage advice.
You can, too, starting here, Baysiders.