Gertrude SafeHouse Chicago Restaurant Advertising Putin 01


[UNCONFIRMED] – GERTRUDE Allegedly Brands SafeHouse

GERTRUDE INC. is rumored to have been assigned lead strategic and creative duties for [UNCONFIRMED] spy refuge, International Exports, Ltd.—aka SafeHouse, for its Chicago launch. GERTRUDE was tasked with re-crafting all aspects of branding, advertising, and on-site brand communications, to reflect the clandestine nature of this bar and restaurant specializing in encrypted bites, intel, and underground spy lore.

Secrets are hard to keep, even harder when you are a local landmark and cultural icon; an enigma wrapped in mystery is your history. Beginning in 1966, SafeHouse became an instant classic, located on Front Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, filled wall to wall with spy memorabilia collected by late founder David Baldwin. A spy-themed restaurant and bar, SafeHouse has been serving up undercover operatives who know the secret password for over 50 years.

News of the brand expansion to Chicago’s River North neighborhood has created quite a stir in the covert community, where agents have been eagerly awaiting a SafeHouse location in the Windy City. SafeHouse Chicago launches under the ownership of Marcus Hotels & Resorts, a division of The Marcus Corporation. In Chicago, Marcus Hotels recently opened the Escape House Chicago and manages the AC Hotel Chicago Downtown.

At its newest outpost, the historic hideaway is accessible via a door discreetly marked International Exports Ltd. (located at 60 E. Ontario St.) next to the AC Hotel, and purportedly opening very soon. SafeHouse will feature modernized design and accoutrements, conceptualized, from-scratch cuisine emphasizing locally sourced and fresh ingredients, craft cocktails, and engaging entertainment and missions that can only be experienced if incoming agents have the password to play… or else pass the test to enter.

Get a not-so-discreet look at the original SafeHouse at, and a sneak peek at the new branding created by GERTRUDE at