As themed restaurants may come and go, but few have had the lasting power of SafeHouse. Opened in Milwaukee in nearly 50-years-ago, the place has become a hideaway where everyone can be a secret agent. That being said, this is not as fancy as Casino Royale or the palaces of Octopussy. Instead, the restaurant is more like something out of the 1989 John Travolta gem (not!) – The Experts.
If you are gladly not familiar with the movie, then let me fill you in. Travis and Wendell (i.e. Travolta and Arye Gross) are struggling New York clubsters who get roped into moving to a Russian spy training town which is right out of the 1950’s. Ok, it’s not a classic. I just thought of it as it was on TV last week.
As mentioned the SafeHouse has a long history in Milwaukee and now opened in Chicago on March 1st with a location on East Ontario Street. The restaurant is open daily from 11:00 a.m. and Sunday through Friday closes at 2:00 p.m. and on Saturdays at 3:00 p.m.
What you need to know about SafeHouse is that you don’t just get a table and order. Instead, you ‘chose a mission’. The menu for the Daylight Mission include the Spy Sliders, or the SR-71 Black Bird, Cuban Missile Crisis, or their ‘Black Ops’ Burgers. You can choose from several different spy-themed burgers, but the best is probably the ‘MOAB’ or Mother of All Burgers. This juicy burger comes with bacon and an over-easy egg and is served with the SafeHouse’s secret sauce on a wonderful brioche bun.
If you are looking for some nighttime spy craft, then you will want to stop by the SafeHouse for the Nightlife Mission. This includes such choices as The Raven, the Licensed to Kill Cheese Macaroni, and the Furtive Fish Fry.
Now SafeHouse is more than just a themed restaurant, it is a place to hide out. The ‘house’ has several bars – and that’s not counting EscapeHouse next door. In addition, there is a dance floor, a lounge, and play of areas to explore. That being said, the SafeHouse is family-friendly and is it a welcome addition to Chicago.
Be warned, you just can’t walk up to the SafeHouse and try to get inside. Instead, you will need to find the entrance and offer up the secret code. Only then will the watch officer let you inside. As such, you better hurry or the Russians will get you.
Possibly the best thing to come out of Milwaukee since The Fonz, the SafeHouse is a welcome addition to the Chicago restaurant scene. Not only is the food pretty good, but the atmosphere is unique and it never seems to go out of style.