'Saved by the Bell' & 11 Other Shows & Films That Inspired Real-Life Restaurants

Kiarra Sylvester | Jul 4, 2016 TV
'Saved by the Bell' & 11 Other Shows & Films That Inspired Real-Life Restaurants

Saved by the Max, Chicago

As we watch (and watch) copious repeats and streams of our favorite shows, we become so familiar with the casts' hangouts that they start to feel like our own. Don't tell us we're the only ones who find ourselves imagining what it would be like to kick it at the '80s hot spot The Max (where the Saved by the Bell kiddos would hang after school) ... or be just one of the gang at Seinfeld's favorite diner Monk's ... or have a late-night slice of cheesecake with the fab four of the Golden GirlsNo matter what your show was, it seems that they all had one thing in common, and it's that the characters were forever bonding over food.

That's why we went ahead and found 12 bars and restaurants inspired by your (and our) favorite movies and TV shows, from '80s and '90s classics to current must-sees. So while you may not get to have a Sophia (our favorite Golden Girl, of course) to pass down her age-old wisdom, you'll be able to "picture it" just as if she were there. 


Image via Saved by the Max/Facebook

  • The Golden Girls

    1

    It was recently announced that New York City's Washington Heights neighborhood can bank on getting its own Golden Girls–themed cafe -- Rue La Rue -- in early September. The owner, Michael LaRue, was a longtime "pal and confidant" of the late Rue McClanahan -- better known for her sassy role as Blanche Devereaux. His goal is to honor her life with this cozy cafe, and of course, there will be some memorabilia that she left behind featured inside. According to LaRue, he's even gotten proper permission from Disney to create and sell Golden Girls merchandise. While Betty White will reportedly attend the ribbon cutting ceremony, we're hoping she'll stick around for a slice of cheesecake (on the menu) and share (faux) stories about St. Olaf. So plan to grab your bestie for a road trip to the cafe that will thank her for being a friend (er, fan?).

  • Friends

    2

    In 2014, '90s TV fanatics finally had the pleasure of sipping coffee from Central Perk -- the Friends stomping grounds from 1994 up until the early 2000s -- while sitting on the big orange couch (because, duh!). In addition to the shop's being a replica of the cafe, it was also a small museum, filled with memorabilia from over the years -- from photos to outfits, and even Phobe's guitar that inspired hits like "Smelly Cat." This pop-up, much to our dismay, was only made available to the public for a month that September.

  • Breaking Bad

    3

    Your favorite drug dealer dad Walter White has inspired his own coffee brewery and it's literally everything you ever dreamed of -- from blue rock candy cupcakes (inspired by Walter's blue meth) to coffee creamer–filled beakers and hazmat suits. The only catch is ... there's currently no US location, just one in Istanbul. However, there's expected to be a Walter's Coffee Roastery coming soon to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The owner maintains that both locations are "Breaking Bad–inspired, not Breaking Bad–themed" -- but we beg to differ. 

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  • Game of Thrones

    4

    For three short days, HBO hosted a Game of Thrones pop-up restaurant in London called the "All Men Must Dine" experience. Sadly, it was only offered to those who entered in a previously held competition, but we got a glimpse into the feast with details about the dishes, like "The Lies of Tyrion Lannister and His Proclaimed Innocence" (almost as long as the damn show, there) that featured veal tongue. And, it wouldn't be Westeros without a few maps to help you find your way around the land, as well as some victory music, aka the GoT theme song. 

  • Forrest Gump

    5

    We like to think that this is what the business of Forrest and Bubba would've eventually become, as it serves Bubba's dream of eating shrimp in more ways than you can imagine, ya know? Well, maybe Bubba Gump's doesn't offer the shrimp in every way that Bubba dreamed, but it's still got damn good shrimp and a ton of nostalgic vibes in each of its locations, with menu sections like "Jenny's Catch" and "Forrest's Catch." And, of course, its offers a 10 percent discount to military, which makes it even better.

  • Saved by the Bell

    6

    Saved by the Max looks like it will be a fan favorite when it comes to TV-inspired dining. The diner itself was inspired by the Saved by the Bell gang's after-school hangout The Max, and its menu gives you a taste of the show with names like "Bayside Burger" and "Mac and Screech." Currently, the only pop-up location is in Chicago -- however, it has extended its duration until the end of the year because fans responded so well. That said, you should probably book your flight and reservation, like, yesterday, since walk-ins are limited.

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  • The Simpsons

    7

    Just when you didn't think your donuts could get any better than Krispy KremeThe Simpsons's Lard Lad Donuts is here to prove you oh-so-wrong. My mouth is literally watering just thinking about the deliciously, giant donuts that the Universal Studios Hollywood donut shop offers. As Homer would say, "D'oh!"

  • SpongeBob Squarepants

    8

    Ever wondered what made Krabby patties so damn special? After all, they look pretty damn basic on the show, with a winning recipe of one piece of lettuce, one tomato, and one patty. But given Plankton's obsession with finding the secret formula for the famous Krusty Krab burger, there's got to be more than meets the eye. With that said, those willing to travel a couple thousand miles can actually dine at this Palestine location. Sure, it's far (and not affiliated with the cartoon), but it's not under the sea, so alas, there's hope ... until they "bring it around town" here in the States.

  • Orange Is the New Black

    9

    How do you feel about prison slop? Meh, right? What if it's one of the finest delicacies from the chefs of Litchfield? Well, Netflix recently transformed Singapore diner OverEasy into the Litchfield Petitentiary Cafeteria, serving patrons delicious slop on plastic trays. Dishes such as Nutraloaf (a common prison food used to discipline inmates) were on the menu -- but with a less punishable taste and a delectable glass of water to quench your thirst. This prison-style dining arrangement was to promote the latest season of OITNB before it premiered. 

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  • Harry Potter

    10

    Universal Studios may give you a Hogwarts dining experience at the theme park -- but then there's The Lockhart Cocktail Bar in Toronto, a subtle nod (read: inspiration, not replica) to the series. The bar's name comes from Hogwart's Defense of the Dark Arts professor, Gilderoy Lockhart. Only thing left to ask? Can we get our Gin Weasley with well alcohol?

  • Cheers

    11

    A photo posted by Cheers Boston (@cheersboston) on

    The sitcom's plot was based on the iconic Boston bar (orignally named Bulls & Finch Pub) in Beacon Hill, Boston -- but in 2001, the owner of Cheers opened another Boston location that completely replicated the set of the '80s sitcom. The pub even make tributes to the show with menu offerings like "Woody's Garden Greens," "Giant Norm Burger," and "Carla's Petite Burger. Yep, it's the bar where everyone knows the classic castmembers' names. 

  • Seinfeld

    12

    As of July 15, Toronto is bringing us a Seinfeld-inspired pop-up all summer long. The interior replicates Monk's Cafe, the favorite food hangout depicted in the NYC-based sitcom (which used the exterior of the now iconic Tom's Restaurant in the show), with menu items such as "Muffin Tops," "Sexy Pastramis," and "No Soup for You." The brains behind the operation, Mackenzie Keast, admits that he was wanted to outdo the current Seinfeld-themed bar, George's in Australia. In addition to tasty food and a familiar interior, there will be Seinfeld trivia nights and other fun events going on throughout the summer. 

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