June 08, 2018

Burt Reynolds in Secret Milwaukee Cover-Up


A restaurant right out of James Bond 

David Ellis

THERE'S a restaurant and bar in America's Milwaukee whose ladies' room features a large picture of a reclining and starkly naked Burt Reynolds, with no more than a small red cardboard-cut-out heart over his, ah, more personal parts.

But pity any poor visiting patron who is not in the know – for if they touch that little heart for maybe a naughty peek, a siren blasts out across the restaurant outside so that as they leave to return to their table, they'll be greeted raucously by other patrons to be left red-faced for the remainder of the night.

Established 52 years ago, The SafeHouse as it is called is themed around international spying and espionage, including its very location being down a dimly-lit riverside alleyway, and the name over the door not mentioning being a restaurant or bar, but the alias International Exports Ltd.

And to get in you have to give a secret password, with a bit of prompting from Miss Moneypenny if you've no idea what it is, while inside dim-lit passageways lead to dining and drinking areas almost straight out of Hollywood, a Newsroom Pub and an Interpol Bar, and a Cloak and Dagger Room in which to leave your coat.

There's also a collection of gadgetry from many of the James Bond films, an authentic piece of the Berlin Wall in a glass case, and a mass of fascinating espionage paraphernalia.

David Baldwin who dubbed himself Agent OH-OH-Seven opened The SafeHouse in 1966, sold out to a fellow Milwaukee businessman in 2015, and died just three months later.

The SafeHouse is well worth a visit for a meal, a drink and a look around – but ladies remember, if you need to go to the washroom, and you are a little inquisitive about Agent Burt (as his picture is titled,) you have been warned.

[] LADIES be warned, if you need to go to the washroom in the bizarre SafeHouse Bar and Restaurant in Milwaukee, you'll be confronted by this picture of Agent Burt on the wall – and roving hands could see you red-faced for the remainder of your visit. (Pic: Audrey Nowakowski)

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