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Food & Drink

Cosy Down At River North’s Tiki Speakeasy • Three Dots And A Dash

By Guy Parsons

Three Dots Dash Chicago

Swap November’s icy winds for a warm Pacific breeze at Chicago’s tiki speakeasy, Three Dots And A Dash.

As autumn gives way to winter, who among us can reject the pleasures of faux-Polynesia and a fortifying cocktail? Beneath the streets of River North, the Three Dots and A Dash team dish up exactly that.

Head down an alley off W. Illinois Street – keep an eye out for the tiki torches! – and tropical vibes await. Although, as with so many precious hidden treasures, you’ll have to first contend with a forbidding Wall of Skulls…

Three Dots Dash Cocktail Bar
A warm welcome. [Photo: @pben1son]
Worry not, though. Swoop right at the foot of the stairs to find the intimate Bamboo Room, a compact (maybe 16-seat?) bar offering its own menu of ‘simple yet refined’ rum creations. On inquiring into how one might recreate the (sublimely balanced) ‘Guided Jet Pilot’, we were politely informed that first of all, an industrial centrifuge would be required. Lesson learned.

Three dots and a dash Bamboo Room
Quite literally, do not bother trying this at home. Photo: threedotsandadash, Instagram

For a bigger stage to sip on, carry on down the hall to the main bar area, a larger and inviting space where you can sample the 28-cocktail-strong drinks menu at your leisure. Lovely.

Three Dots Dash Tiki Speakeasy
Photo: @russellpilfold

Out with friends? Your squad won’t want to miss the audacious shareable servings. We particularly appreciated  the look (and pun!) of the SHOTSTOPUS, laden with shots of 151 Demerara Rum,Tangerine and Passion Fruit upon each tentacle.

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Three dots dash Cocktails

Photo: @mother.of.ridgebacks via @brandalynnSingle-player drinks also come with all the tiki verve you might expect, while a plethora of Pacific snacks – Coconut shrimp, Thai fried chicken, spring rolls, etcetera – are also on the menu to stop you drifting entirely out to sea.

Cocktails River North Three Dots Dash
Photos: threedotsandadash, Instagram

So, this season, swap firs, pumpkins and Yuletide cheer for palm trees, pineapples and Hawaiian chill. If you don’t mind… we really must Dash.

Practical information

Sun-Fri, 4pm–2am; Sat, 2pm–3am
No cover charge. Cocktails are (mostly) $15 – $20.