Paradise in Chicago: Three Dots and a Dash

This speakeasy is a hidden piece of paradise. You can easily breeze right past it if you don’t realize it’s there. Three Dots and a Dash is a tiki bar tucked away in Chicago’s River North. If you glance down the alley way at Clark and Hubbard, you’ll likely see a blue light and a ridiculously long line – since everyone and their mom now knows about it – but let’s get back to that blue light. It takes you into a door and down a series of steps where you will be greeted by these welcoming faces.

Three dots skulls

After walking down the steps, you’ll be welcomed into a buried paradise. The drinks are handcrafted and deceivingly strong. They are prepared with the utmost detail – from the fruity concoctions to the garnishes. The name Three Dots and a Dash is morse code for the letter V, which was used to symbolize victory in World War II. This code was used at the end of World War II when the soldiers were heading home. To celebrate the victory, Don the Beachcomber created a drink called Three Dots and a Dash, consisting of rum, honey, allspice, and bitters.

Three Dots and a DashThree Dots and a Dash

Above we have the Three Dots and a Dash, Painkiller No. 109, & the “Cacchen” Some Rays. You can see the Three Dots and a Dash is pictured twice – as it is my personal favorite. Remember how I said the drinks were detailed? It’s a bit hard to see in these photos, but the garnish on the Three Dots and a Dash is meant to reflect just that – the pineapple is a dash following three cherry dots.

I would highly recommend making a trip out to Three Dots, just expect to wait – I wasn’t kidding about the ridiculously long line. If you are visiting on a Sunday-Thursday, I suggest making a reservation online. Fridays and Saturdays are first come, first serve. While the block-long line might scare you at first, it moves fairly quickly and is well worth the wait.

Have you been to Three Dots and a Dash? What’s your favorite tropical cocktail there? Share in the comments!


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