I turned 30 this year. A big birthday, for sure – especially for me. I had always had this inkling that I was going to die before I turned 30 (I know this is a very strange intuition to have, but I started feeling it when I was very young and it always kind of lingered.) I felt a little pressure to really make my birthday super memorable – to do something unique to commemorate the occasion. At first I considered recreating my 21st birthday (when I drove to Chicago with some of my friends – by midnight, I was so exhausted that I merely walked across the street to drink a cosmo at the bar with my best friend, then retreated to the hotel where I fell asleep as my under-21 friends partied around me) but in December, I got the email I had been dreaming of. Back in May, the Saved by the Max pop-up diner opened in Chicago – it was scheduled to close quite a few times, and I never made it. Around Christmas, they sent out an email that they were staying open for one more “semester,” and I excitedly bought tickets for Brendan and I for my birthday dinner.
When you walk in, you’re immediately in the locker hallway at Bayside – complete with Zack’s cell phone and rally posters. Ms. Bliss’ classroom is one of the tables, and you can even dine in Mr. Belding’s office. Saved by the Max even has the pay phone featured by the “door” of the diner.