The Safe House: Where 007’s Dine

The Safe House restaurant and bar is one of Milwaukee’s top-secret spy finds. Located downtown near the Milwaukee River, the main entrance is down a side alley near the historic Pabst Theater. Hint: Are you affiliated with International Exports LTD? See photo above.

Admittance is permitted in one of two ways (1) you know the top-secret password or (2) an “agent” requires some form of hazing (including, but not limited to: the bunny hop, hula dancing, or the chicken dance). If no one is manning the entrance, you’ll have to figure out how to move the false panel of books.

Secret Entrance

Trying to find the main entrance.

007 in theme, The Safe House is true to its name. Stairways, nooks, and crannies are abundant throughout the convoluted floor plan. Some tables are even set back in their own jail cells. Have the feeling you’re being watched? You probably are.

Spy Area

Is your date or boyfriend a double agent? Look out here!

At the Safe House, it’s easy to lurk around, find one-way mirrors, and other opportunities for shenanigans—exploring all the various rooms and passageways is the best way to pass the time while waiting for your food to arrive.

Look for the television on the back wall of the bar – you may see kids peering down at you from a small cubbie near the second-floor women’s bathroom. Another bathroom has a “heart” on Burt Reynolds (ladies, you know where this is). When pressed, a siren alerts patrons of your bad behavior.

Secret Exit

Need to make a fast exit? Quick! Find this pay phone!

Ideal for elementary age kids, tweens, and teens, lunch time is the best way to avoid the bar crowd. Junior Spies (ages 12 and under) can order linguine with “top secret” sauce. Our favorite dessert is Bond’s Bomb, complete with trick candle atop a mound of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Don’t forget to drop a quarter into the pocket of your trench coat. You’ll need it to buy a secret code that lets you out the lesser-known back alley exit (it’s in the phone booth, but you didn’t hear it from me). Tip: This option is a bit dark and scary for really little kids.

Also, if you geocache, ask the bartender for Covert Cache container (it’s our favorite hidden container in all of Milwaukee).

Covert Cahe

A safe place to stash trackables and other geoswag.

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SafeHousePinHappy trails!

The Safe House

779 North Front St.
Milwaukee, WI

About the Author

Julie Henning
Julie Henning is a freelance writer and journalist based out of Eugene, Oregon. She is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and owner of the family-travel website She is a recent past member of the Midwest Travel Writers Association and the Association for Great Lakes Outdoor Writers. Julie is the Oregon Coast destination specialist for Bindu Media, an itinerary-focused website launching in Spring 2016 and featuring the work of 200+ professional, indie travel writers. Julie has been published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin State Journal, The Daily Journal (Kankakee, Illinois), the Rochester Post Bulletin, Wisconsin Natural Resources (DNR) Magazine, Sustainable Chicago Magazine, Group Tour Magazine, Student Group Tour Magazine, Silent Sports Magazine, Intercom Magazine,, and FTF Geocacher Magazine. Julie has appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio, Ohio Public Radio, and KCBX FM Central Coast Radio and is an affiliate producer with the Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, a National Public Radio travel podcast. She has blogged for, Travel Oregon, and VISIT Milwaukee. Julie travels with her three kids and black lab as much as possible and lives by the motto, "Not all who wander are lost." Check out some of her best work at