Chicago's Top Tiki
Three Dots and a Dash
Follow a blue light down a darkened River North alley, then turn down a dim-lit staircase where the walls are lined with rows of skulls – sound ominous? It’s worth the scare, however, for what awaits on the other side of the door: Chicago’s long-anticipated new tiki bar from mixologist Paul McGee (formerly The Whistler), open but two months and already wooing residents with both immaculate cocktails and extravagant attention to detail.
McGee has built an authentic experience here, with décor purchased at auction from the original Palmer House Hotel’s Trader Vic’s, totem poles on the walls, and makeshift tiki hut thatched roof at the bar.
From said bar, a grand tiki god oversees the 150+ bottles of rum sourced from all over the world, and a list of cocktails runs the spectrum from classic to modern: the Tropical Itch with Trinidadian rum, Curacao and bourbon hails from Waikiki in 1957; while the McGee-concocted Rum River Mystic has aged Puerto Rican rum, Quinquina, and Benedictine.
The signature Three Dots and a Dash, dating back to 1940s California, is a must-try with aged Rhum Agricole, Guyanese rum, honey, lime, and allspice, though larger groups can opt for shareables like the Treasure Chest No.1 with Guatemalan rum, pineapple, and a side of Dom Perignon. Tiki time!