For the third and final stop of the day in our Pre-Birthday Chicago Tiki Blitz, we headed back out to the suburbs to the Hala Kahiki in River Grove. (Part one was Tiki Terrace, and Part two took us to Trader Vic’s Chicago).
The bar had lots of lanterns and nautical touches, it was probably my favorite area of the Hala Kahiki. There was a group of folks there that seemed to be having happy hour after work, and several couples showed up later that seemed to have made special trips to check out the tiki temple.
They don’t muck about trying to serve anything edible (besides bowls of pretzels)—it’s strictly beverages only. The sheer amount of variations is impressive; there are classic martinis, several fruity incarnations of pina coladas and daiquiris, and even alcoholic ice cream floats.
This tiki bar is apparently pretty popular with the kids on the weekends (lines out the door, even), and there are several rooms to go get lost in.
Like Chef Shangri-La, there’s a nice collection of Witco wood carvings.
The patio had a bit of a tropical vibe with its fountain and hibiscus, but the Midwest summers are just too humid to sit outside. I also checked out the souvenir shop, which stocked tchotchkes, made-in-China Hawaiian-themed things (which you’ve already seen plenty of if you’ve been to Hawaii) and a Mai Tiki or two.
I had the Planter’s Punch (a blend of rum and fruit juices, per their menu) and it appeared to be half foam. It wasn’t bad, but I would go for something else. I’d had my eye on a different cocktail, I think it might have been the Hawaiian Caress, but I went with the punch as they said it was less alcoholic. (It’d been a long day of drinking!)
2834 River Rd.
River Grove, IL 60171