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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Three Dots and a Dash, Chicago, IL (bar)
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Three Dots and a Dash, Chicago, IL (bar)
Ragbag Comics
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 24, 2009
Posts: 133
From: Chicago
Posted: 2013-07-02 3:00 pm   Permalink

Dang...

This place is one heckuva tease, ain't it?

--Pete


 
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Kill Devil
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 16, 2011
Posts: 255
From: Chicago
Posted: 2013-07-09 10:11 am   Permalink

Can anyone clarify how soon "soon" would be for the opening? I need to line up a sitter

 
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randomcha
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Dec 05, 2005
Posts: 35
From: Chicago
Posted: 2013-07-09 10:51 am   Permalink

Latest I've heard is "late July." I will be seeing Mr. McGee on Saturday and will ask him point-blank.

 
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RevBambooBen
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 12, 2002
Posts: 7454
From: Huntikington Beach
Posted: 2013-07-09 11:04 am   Permalink

At least Tiki Iniki is on an Island...!! ( Joking!!) It takes time to get em' right.
_________________


Bamboo Ben
Custom Tropical Decor
I build Tiki Rooms for you! Just ask around ;)
https://www.facebook.com/bamboo.ben


 
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Tipsy McStagger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3520
From: HELL
Posted: 2013-07-30 09:05 am   Permalink

okay- this wednesday night (tomorrow) is the pre party opening for friends and family of three dots and a dash.

I hope to have a full report for you all by thursday. It should be open to the public this weekend. Will find out for sure.





[ This Message was edited by: Tipsy McStagger 2013-07-30 09:05 ]


 
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Tipsy McStagger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3520
From: HELL
Posted: 2013-07-30 11:39 am   Permalink

i screwed that up- private party tonight for family and friends and i believe the grand opening is on wednesday.

 
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Kill Devil
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 16, 2011
Posts: 255
From: Chicago
Posted: 2013-07-31 06:33 am   Permalink

YES, can't wait to check this action! Let's throw some support their way asap, for we all know the perils of the Chicago Tiki life expectancy.

 
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randomcha
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Dec 05, 2005
Posts: 35
From: Chicago
Posted: 2013-07-31 06:54 am   Permalink

Holy smokes. I'm not old enough to have experienced Don the Beachcomber's old Chicago outpost on Walton. But Three Dots and a Dash easily measures up to the classic Palmer House location of Trader Vic's (RIP) and then ups the ante in a big way. Speaking of that Chicago Trader Vic's, Three Dots has salvaged a great many pieces and accents from that shuttered tiki shrine and incorporated them into the new establishment, including the carved host's stand, a number of stand-alone tikis, the barstools, carved wood panels, hanging colored glass lamps, and more.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Last night I was lucky enough to attend the friends and family "try out" night, so these impressions are based on that. You enter Three Dots via the rear alley. JUst past the entryway, the exposed brick walls morph into rounded stone blocks, and as you turn the corner you begin your descent to the basement level. The stairwell is bathed in a eerie blue light; above the stairs you see a pile of skulls. Wonderfully creepy. Once you reach the bottom of the stairs you walk down a hallway. On the right is a bamboo-screened room designed to accommodate private parties of 20-25. Leopard print banquettes, a black velvet painting of a topless native girl, and plenty of other tiki touches in evidence. At the end of the hallway is the carved host's stand (and behind it, the doors to the washrooms). The hostess greets you, picks up oversized Trader Vic's-sized menus (complete with charming illustrations and a short history of tiki), and leads you off to the left.

The main room is extremely large; the bar alone seats around 25, and the rest of the space is filled out with cozy booths, banquettes, low tables for 4, drink rails for standing customers. All told, between the main area, an "invite only" section in the back near the service bar, and the private Bamboo Room, Three Dots can accommodate around 240 people! Big!



The initial drink menu has about 20 drinks, divided into three categories: Classic, Modern, and For Sharing. I'll give a brief outline of those I sampled last night. Paul McGee's take on the classic Jet Pilot is lethal and absolutely delicious. Very spice-forward--it's even garnished with a fat cinnamon stick. (Oh, about those garnishes--they're insanely intricate. As served, each drink has at least three, and many have more. Included are many types of plants and flowers, all edible, various citrus shells carved into skulls or boats, and of course swizzle sticks.)



The Christmas in July is a sharable drink served in a giant shell; smooth, delicately spiced. Painkiller #3 is a dessert drink all the way, very sweet and creamy. A Lonely Island Lost in the Middle of a Foggy Sea (named after a line in the song "Bali Hai") is a very intriguing bittersweet coffee-noted drink with a dry finish. Rum River Mystic is a sort of Rum Manhattan/Old Fashioned variation, quite sweet, which improves as the lump of ice it's served with begins to melt. The Pago Pago is unashamedly herbal, lots of green Chartreuse and pineapple flavor, served in a coupe glass. Lastly, the Jungle Bird, with Campari, fruity but pleasantly bitter. The single-serve drinks are all $13, while the shared drinks (meant for between 3 and 12 people) are $50 and up. The big kahoona is a concoction known as Treasure Chest No. 1. Intended for about 10-12 people, it's served in a giant treasure chest filled with dry ice. It includes an entire bottle of Dom Perignon!

The food menu is obviously still being tweaked and tested. If the Crispy Tuna (tuna tartare which you scoop up with crispy fried wonton wrappers) and Luau Chips (served with pineapple guacamole) are less than enthralling, the insanely addictive Thai Fried Chicken makes up for it. Crispy chicken chunks tossed in a sweet/spicy glaze, it's phenomenal. Probably could have had 2 or 3 orders of it by myself. The Crab Rangoon, which comes with 4 different dipping sauces, is also really tasty.



Three Dots serves their drinks in a variety of different mugs, all Tiki Farm I believe, which can be purchased for $15 each. They'll give you a fresh mug, boxed and wrapped, so you don't have to worry about sticky liquids dripping all over you. There will also be several custom mugs designed just for Three Dots.

So, my first impressions? This is absolutely the tiki establishment that Chicago has been waiting for. Every drink I had was absolutely top-notch; the servers and bartenders were all knowledgeable and enthusiastic; the d�cor and atmosphere are spot on. Though it�s brand new, the level of overall quality already measures up comfortably to a benchmark like Smuggler�s Cove. I�m definitely looking forward to spending a great deal of elbow-bending time at Three Dots and a Dash.


[ This Message was edited by: randomcha 2013-07-31 08:01 ]


 
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croe67
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 05, 2003
Posts: 1079
From: Land of Cheese & Beer
Posted: 2013-07-31 07:00 am   Permalink

Looking forward to heading there next time I'm in town!

I did hear about the swizzles.....




The detail on the swizzles is EXQUISITE - some of the best I've ever seen, by far!

c'mon, guys, share more pictures....pretty pleeeeeease!!!


 
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randomcha
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Dec 05, 2005
Posts: 35
From: Chicago
Posted: 2013-07-31 6:12 pm   Permalink

Here's a link to a PDF of the menu: http://static.urbandaddy.com/uploads/assets/file/pdfs/fba638447564121630e8322d510b01b9.pdf?sp_mid=6658265&sp_rid=NTM0MDUyNjg2OTUS1

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tikilongbeach
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Aug 05, 2011
Posts: 1335
From: Long Beach, CA via Dallas, TX
Posted: 2013-07-31 8:49 pm   Permalink

Looks like a great place, very good reporting! I've always wanted to visit Chicago...
I think Cheeky Tiki designed some of the mugs too. They posted it on Facebook today.

[ This Message was edited by: tikilongbeach 2013-07-31 20:54 ]


 
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bigtikidude
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 8893
From: Anaheim,Ca.
Posted: 2013-07-31 10:02 pm   Permalink

Thanks for the review.
Sounds amazing.

Jeff btd


 
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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6063
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2013-07-31 10:55 pm   Permalink

Now this really sounds like a must visit.

 
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Kill Devil
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 16, 2011
Posts: 255
From: Chicago
Posted: 2013-08-01 08:29 am   Permalink

Whoa, this joints sounds awesome. Anyone want to meet up this weekend?

 
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Ragbag Comics
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 24, 2009
Posts: 133
From: Chicago
Posted: 2013-08-01 09:33 am   Permalink

This link on Urban Daddy has a fairly thorough amount of photos:

http://www.urbandaddy.com/chi/nightlife/25788/Three_Dots_and_a_Dash_The_Tiki_Playground_Under_Bub_City_Chicago_CHI_Bar

On the right hand side, there's a little box that says "extras" and "Three Dots
and a Dash Slideshow."

Mr. McGee is an absolute whiz with cocktails, so there's never been a doubt
in my mind those would be stellar. I was mostly curious how the decor would come together,
seeing as how his previous bar, The Whistler in Logan Square, suffers from an absolute lack
of atmosphere, in that it is a small, crowded, noisy white room with good cocktails.

It seems from these photos like he's managed to perfectly ride the line of other
haute-and-award-winning cocktail joints in Chicago (see the Aviary, Sable, Violet Hour,
the lower level of Barrelhouse Flat, Scofflaw, etc) while giving it a tiki twist-
NOT an easy thing to pull off!

I can't wait to check it out- I know the kind of "TiPSY" factor we all jones for,
and the overall "Tikiness" of the place may be fairly minimal in the classic "stuff
everywhere to look at" original-era Vic's or Don's sense, but with the right lighting
and the right music, this ought to be a helluva nice sleek, modern, Tiki-ish space to
have a kickass premium cocktail (which is something we've been severely lacking in Chicago
for a long while.)

I absolutely love Hala Kahiki and Chef Shangri-La, visit them often, and both are near
and dear to my heart, but in terms of cocktails vs. atmosphere, they're "all hat..."
fantastic places to spend hours hanging out in (HK arguably ranks among the best classic
atmosphere of any original-era Tiki bar anywhere), but if you're looking for a properly
prepared classic Mai Tai or a mind boggling rum selection, yer outta luck.

I'm just stoked to finally have a place I can get to on the CTA without having to get
in the car and schlep out to the 'burbs or up to Milwaukee...

We'd hoped to make it here for the opening last night, but had other plans. If the buzz
locally is any indication (I had six friends forward me stuff about this place opening in
the span of about two hours yesterday, my wife had four) it will be an absolute madhouse
this weekend. Early next week seems like the thing to do.

Of course, on first visit should I uncover anything earth-shattering that hasn't
already been reported here, I'll be sure to post.

--Pete


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