It had been years since my last “mission” at the SafeHouse, but last night I had the opportunity to revisit this spycraft-themed Milwaukee institution ahead of its reopening today. My mission started off rocky, as I had forgotten how you even get into the SafeHouse. I had to pop into the Newsroom Pub – which just celebrated its reopening on Monday – and ask for directions. The entrance is just east of the pub, in the alley; look for the red door, I was told.
Once I found my way in, I was greeted by Agent Moneypenny with a question: “Do you know the password?” That, I remembered, and sailed through. Unfortunately – or, maybe, fortunately? – my “co-agent” had forgotten and had to pass the clearance test of antics, to the entertainment of everyone watching the video feed at the bar. The SafeHouse has been closed for a full year thanks to the pandemic, so it’s no wonder that she had forgotten. But if you came here hoping I would spill the passcode beans, you’re in the wrong place.
What I can tell you is that the SafeHouse has a new mission launching today (June 9) called “Operation Reopen.” The bar and restaurant is a “refuge for spies who want to quench their thirst and satisfy their hunger.” And while the food and drink is good – I can wholeheartedly recommend the Tradecraft Tacos – where the SafeHouse excels is in its entertainment value. The setting is a living time capsule full of historic artifacts (mostly espionage themed) and remarkably odd art. Examples include Austin Powers’ guitar and a literal piece of the Berlin Wall. If you go, definitely ask your server for a tour of the joint.
Plus, there’s a magic bar. We watched three tricks, and even with my mask on, Luka the magician could tell I was dumbfounded. “OK, I’ll slow this one down for you,” he said, staring me right in the face as he performed what I imagine was a standard card trick. I still have no idea how he did it.
The SafeHouse hours are Wednesday and Thursday from 3-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. The Newsroom Pub is down the street too (no password required) with a noteworthy happy hour and a can’t-miss collection of autographs of notables who’ve visited. It’s open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 pm, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. You can find more information about the SafeHouse, 779 N. Front St., and Newsroom Pub, 137 E. Wells St., at safe-house.com.
Good luck on your next mission. Agent Garcia, over and out.