Safe House: A Clandestine Lunch Adventure in Milwaukee

By on September 17, 2015

If you’re a secret agent looking for a great place to lay low and grab some good food in Milwaukee, the Safe House restaurant is the place to be.
Safe House restaurant in Milwaukee

You’ll find it in downtown Milwaukee, along the river near the life-size bronze replica of Fonzie. An inconspicuous door in a back alley. A nameplate on the wall reads International Imports, LTD. But beyond the door (if you can find the secret entrance) is the legendary, espionage-themed Safe House restaurant.

Since we happened to be wandering around the area on a top secret Cult of Weird mission last weekend, we couldn’t pass up an opportunity for a lunch adventure in once of the most unique restaurants you’ll ever find.

David J. Baldwin opened the Safe House in 1966. But before it was a safe haven for international spies, it was home to a jazz club. I haven’t found any other info about the history of the building, but it’s not hard to imagine the hidden doors and passages serving the clientele of a seedy, prohibition-era speakeasy.

Entrance to the Safe House

We managed to find our way inside, and that’s where the real mission begins. After taking our order, the waitress handed up a scavenger hunt with clues to the secrets hidden around the restaurant. Can you find the piece of the Berlin Wall? How about the cell door from a notorious KGB prison?

600 feet of tubing along the ceiling is the secret behind the Spytini. It’s shaken, not stirred, by zipping around the perimeter of the restaurant. I’m not a martini drinker, but I wanted to order one just to see it in action.

Get your Spytini shaken, not stirred

A piece of the Berlin Wall on display at the Safe House in Milwaukee.

No shooting within the city limits

Return fire here...

Don't disrupt the interrogations.

Spy women only.

If you chose to take refuge at the Safe House next time your mission takes you to Milwaukee, don’t forget to bring a quarter so you can make your escape through the secret subterranean exit.

The Safe House is located somewhere in the vicinity of 779 N. Front Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202. Decode more information on their website at

Bonus Find: The Bronze Fonz

The Bronze Fonz on the riverfront in Milwaukee

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