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Milwaukee spy-themed bar the SafeHouse is opening a Chicago outpost

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

For 50 years, visitors have flocked to Milwaukee's SafeHouse, a spy-themed bar and restaurant that serves cocktails inspired by well-known secret agents ("Sterling Archer," "The Man with the Copper Mug") and requires a password (or the completion of an outlandish "clearance test") for entry. If you've grown tired of jumping into your tricked out Aston Martin to make the trip north, you're in luck; Chicago will soon host its own clandestine SafeHouse location.

Set to open in January, SafeHouse will take up residence in the AC Hotel Chicago Downtown (60 E Ontario St) in River North, featuring a nondescript entrance in an alley that will be marked only by a sign that reads, "International Exports Ltd." While the location will draw inspiration from the original concept, a release touting the opening makes note of the "upgraded technology" that will be integrated into the Chicago iteration, including "a new agent authentication process" and themed seating areas, such as the cone of silence booth. Designed by the Gettys Group, SafeHouse's decor will incorporate espionage artifacts, the flight deck of a WWII-era spy plane and a piece of the Berlin Wall.

In addition to covert cocktails, guests will be able to fuel up on a menu created by Chef David Hardy, which includes dishes like Fried C4 Cheese Curds and the M.O.A.B. (Mother of All Burgers). Operatives with dietary restrictions will also find vegetarian and vegan items on the SafeHouse menu.

While Chicago isn't exactly in need of yet-another speakeasy-style bar, SafeHouse should prove to be a unique addition to the River North bar scene (and one of the more interesting hotel bars in the city).

Expect more intel on SafeHouse when the bar opens next month. This blog post will self destruct in five seconds.

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