classic

Hala Kahiki

River Grove, IL
Bar & Store
48
pictures
Visited?
Rate
Comment
Add Pics
2834 River Rd
River Grove, IL
Opened in 1966
Mon-Tue 6pm-2am
Wed-Fri 4pm-2am
Sat 4pm-3am
Sun 4pm-2am
(708) 456-3222

Critiki ratings

Hala Kahiki

8.5

Overall

by 118 people

1

10

Detail
Everyone You
Decor 9.9
Drink Quality 6.4
Drink Selection 8.8
Mood 9.4
Music 8.2
Product Quality 8.5
Product Selection 8.6
Service 7.8
Tikiness 9.7
Tilt 8.6
Vibe 7.7

Upcoming Visits

Regulars & Visitors

View all 95 Hala Kahiki regulars & visitors

Humuhumu’s description

Hala Kahiki was opened in 1966 by Stanley and Rose Sacharski when they decided they wanted to get out of the funeral home business, and is still run by their family. Tucked away in a quiet suburb, Hala Kahiki is a beautiful classic tiki bar. The layout is sprawling but feels subdued and intimate. Witco carvings are featured heavily throughout the dimly-lit bar. The extensive drink menu tends toward the sweet and low-octane... consider bringing a flask to perk your drinks up a bit. The gift shop is large and includes a section of vintage clothing. Hala Kahiki was one of the stops during Exotica 2003, where Sven Kirsten gave a presentation on the art of Witco.

How to find it

2

Comments

View all 10 comments
Upcoming Visits
Regulars & Visitors
  • skyrule
  • Ragbag Comics
  • BitnerDesign
  • elliepritts
  • ted tiki
  • hala bullhiki
  • Deecaffs
  • Tiki Kahiki
View all 95 Hala Kahiki regulars & visitors
Comments
Tiare
Tiare has visited Hala Kahiki.
July 3, 2016, 10:50 AM
I always stop into the Hala Kahiki when I am visiting my parents in Chicagoland. Massive drink menu though not the most authentic but I always seem to pick something good. Think I had a cherry drink on my last visit. The place is pretty large and love the decor. The service is meh. The gift shop has very restricted hours so plan ahead if you have your heart set on going. I always mean to go to the hot dog place next door, Gene and Jude's but haven't made it it yet. I hear it's great. They have no food at the Hala Kahiki so would be a good stop to soak up the booze.
monkeyman
monkeyman is a semi-regular at Hala Kahiki.
January 22, 2016, 8:57 AM
Went back a month ago and talked to the owner. He is the grandson of the people who first opened the place and he is working on sprucing it up (not changing the style). He has cleaned up the garden and is even bringing a few new drinks to the menu. Had a great conversation with him. Also had a great and fun chat with the bartender and wait staff. (it was a slow night) I grew up in Chicago and always loved this place. It was fantastic to go back and I still love the place.
Bad Shirt Good Times
Bad Shirt Good Times is a semi-regular at Hala Kahiki.
May 21, 2014, 9:37 AM
We go here once or twice a year, so probably have been a dozen times now. It's a tiki classic! Now with the Des Plaines Rivers casino nearby (quite nice) may get here even more often!

A few people here really hit the nail on the head... it *IS* a genuine tiki classic! Without a doubt, it's what a tiki bar should be decor-wise. That cluttered, tiki stuff everywhere feeling that you could spot new things around, behind and above the bar with each visit. The place seem intimate in each room, but there are many pockets and all decorated to the hilt. I love it for THAT reason alone.

Unfortunately, the music is terrible; a jukebox filled with everything from classic rock to classic rock. A few Elvis tunes, and a scant few oldies and Hawaiiany classics (meh, not enough). Sometimes too loud, sometimes too quiet.

I like the drinks okay and they definitely look authentic and tiki, but a bit weak, as others stated. The Scorpion, however, wowza. Packs a punch!

The service, for us at least, has been decent on our best day and beyond terrible on other visits. Slow, rude and downright absent. They have no food here and as busy as they may get, it's still relatively small? It is hard to navigate through a crowded, tight spaces, but still takes a really long time to get drinks on most weekend nights so order early is what we've learned.

Why do we come back? Simple: TIKI in abundance! It's all about that. Knowing their shortcomings we have learned to roll with it... it WILL be tough to a get a table on a weekend night. It will be a wait to get your drinks. It may not come with much of a smile. Bring CASH for the jukebox and program it with the right stuff (I spotted Andy Williams 'Blue Hawaii'!). I can't help it, we still love this place despite the negatives and will be back!

I hear they added a tiny bit of food now (been about a year, i think?).
View all 10 comments