Long-time Evanston businessman Ted Mavrakis deserves the chance to see whether the market will support his plans for a downtown sports bar where waitresses bare their midriffs.

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and the City Council should approve his request for a liquor license for the proposed Tilted Kilt franchise in the Fountain Square building.

If most or all the restaurants in town required their waitstaffs to be young, physically attractive and revealingly dressed, the opponents of the Kilt would have a legitimate beef that the businesses were denying the rest of us job opportunities.

But that clearly is not the case here.

Evanston is a diverse community. There’s room among our nearly 200 restaurants for an establishment that chooses to call its waitrons performers and for attractive young women who like showing off their assets to choose to work there.

It may not be my idea of a great work — or dining — environment, but that’s no reason to let the local burka brigade impose its standard of appropriate dress on everyone else.

Young people — male and female — are bombarded with sexually-tinged messages throughout our culture. A bar on Fountain Square will not measurably complicate their task of learning how to live lives as sexually responsible adults.

What’s your opinion?

Vote in our poll

Or, sign a petition:

FOR the Tilted Kilt

AGAINST the Tilted Kilt

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Thank you!

    Thank you, Bill. Let the market decide if this place will work in Evanston. If everyone is SO opposed to this restaurant, then it will not stay open very long. I happen to think this place will do very well and just think of all the free advertising it has gotten in the past couple weeks. Any publicity is good publicity. They will either want to go in to give it a shot or go in for curiosity.

    Once approved, Ted should thank all of the angry mob for putting his future restaurant in the headlines. 

  2. tempest in a teapot

    Bill – you should have included the ability to indicate age and sex in your poll on the TK. I wonder if you keep track of the number of comments per story and if the TK story might hold the record – it sure got folks talking and revealed some people have a great sense of humor – I haven't had such a good laugh in several weeks.

    Our economic system is built on sex as a come-on, because WE are built on it by Mother Nature. The sexuality may as direct as it is in pornography or so subtle that a psychologist/Freudian would be needed to spot the symbolism (please see 95% of advertising).

    We should ask ourselves what would happen if anything and everything that was not a danger to life and limb were allowed. Would society collapse? Would it be impossible to raise a child?

    My questions to any individual: What, actually, is the danger in allowing this thing or that thing in society? Are you being forced to engage in some kind of behavior you dislike? If you are a parent, what is the danger to children that your own influence over them is so helpless to counter? Suppose the entire world endorsed something that you do not. I would wager your child would still hold your opinion in high regard. Don't underestimate yourself or your child.

    Let's hear the horror stories from women who have worked at Hooter's. Are there any such stories? Let's hear testimonials from adults who can tell us their lives have gone to hell as a result of reading Playboy as a child (I "read" every copy I could get my hands on and I must have stared at the first issue I saw when I was 12 for literally hours – CONFESSION: I swiped it from the Linden El station)

    As for exposure of children to sex and the malign influence of scantily clad women, simply go to Jewel or Dominick's and stand in the checkout line to observe the magazines on display – have you ever seen so many scantily clad bodies in tinier bikinis…and these are all women's magazines! Where are the protesters? Where are the petitions to get this stuff off the racks? Those mags are there because women are buying them, reliably. So what?

    I close with a sincere request to young women – will you PLEASE get rid of those goofy boots you all seem to love and take up something more attractive? Ironically, bare midriffs seem to be falling out of favor on the street (no loss) even as we are getting into a sweat over them in restaurants.


  3. Will increase pedophilia? Get real.

      I actually read an objectors comment on the petition against this place that said "we don't want Evanston turning into a college town!"  I think if you dig deeper to the objectors, some objectors are only using the "kid" reason because it sounds more dramatic than "no bars."- 

             Look at these objectors in the pictures- Most are too old to actually be parents of young kids anymore.     Besides,  what little kid do you know that actually pays attention to what is happening in stores that they DON"T go in!!!  Kids shouldn't be in bars- don't take your kids to the Kilt, and don't talk about the place if you find it terrible….     Be responsible for your own kid's behavior!  But don't make the rest of us suffer because you can't stomach a birds and bees chat with your kid. 

       One commentor said that she thought this bar may increase pedophilia because the waitresses are dressed like school girls.  Seriously??   Find me any research article that says that sexy women, in any type of attire, increase pedophilia!! Pedophiles are mentally sick people.   Men (and other grown women) who like looking at sexy adult women are healthy and normal!       

         Many are protesting because they just don't want more bars, because people might get too rowdy.   Get Real!   This IS a college town!   

  4. Let’s Hope the Mayor and Council See It This Way

    Bill, this is the most well-reasoned perspective I have read on this topic.  This decision will reveal whether Evanston is truly open for business (and open-minded), or not.  This decision will send a strong and clear message one way or the other.  Thank you for giving forum to the discussion, and making sure the facts — and not just the froth — get a full public hearing.

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