If nothing else, SafeHouse (60 E. Ontario St., River North) deserves points for really leaning into its spy-hideaway theme. There is Bond-level kitsch everywhere. You have to know a password to get in. Every single staffer will refer to you as “Agent.” A low-key corner bar this is not.
In the wrong hands, this kind of shtick could come off as grating, but the sense of playfulness is very much alive here. If you don’t know the password, you’ll have to do some kind of stunt to gain entry to the bar, which will be broadcast to everyone who’s already made it inside. (Want to find out the password? It’s written multiple times inside the bar, but staffers were tight-lipped.) There are clues sprinkled throughout for mini-challenges to complete as you drink. On Saturday, the crowd was mostly local—and there were even a few kids there, though the spot stops letting the under-21 crowd in at 10 p.m.
Here’s what we saw when we stopped in.