***** (5 stars)
I’ve always loved Tiki bars, since I grew up in Los Angeles, frequenting Trader Vic’s, Don the Beachcomber, the Islander, Beachbum Bert’s and many others. It’s sad that they’re all gone. But the good news is that Three Dots and a Dash tops them all.
From the moment you venture down the stairway full of skulls, Three Dots immerses you in perfectly themed kitsch. The lighting, soundtrack and set decoration are impeccable, and the drinks are potent and tasty.
The drink menu is divided between classic and modern sections. I had the signature drink, Three Dots and a Dash, which was not too sweet, and rendered exotic by the inclusion of allspice. It was invented at Don the Beachcomber in the 1940s. (Incidentally Three Dots and a Dash is Morse code for the letter “V” as in victory.)
Many of the drinks are for sharing, and each has its own unique presentation.
We stopped in before dinner, so we didn’t have a chance to try any of the food, but most of it is traditional Tiki menu fare, and it looked delicious.
With a place this cool, you’re going to have to wait in line unless you go at a weird time. We were able to walk in right after work, but the place quickly became packed; however we never felt rushed.
To find the door, look for the alley off of Hubbard and follow the neon stripe.
Three Dots and a Dash
435 N Clark St
Back alley on Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60654