Amid concerns about sexism and traffic congestion, Evanston’s Liquor Control Board Friday postponed action on a license request for a proposed Tilted Kilt bar and restaurant in the Fountain Square Building downtown.

Building owner Ted Mavrakis said he would be the franchisee for the bar, adding that he’s operated a Giordano’s restaurant with a full liquor license in downtown Evanston for 28 years “with not one single violation.”

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, the city’s liquor commissioner, told Mavrakis, “Your character is absolutely wonderful, and I appreciate all the business you’ve done in Evanston.”

“But the Tilted Kilt is a different kind of restaurant than what Evanston has had,” she added.

The chain features burgers and other pub food in a decor meant to resemble an Irish or Scottish pub, with waitresses the company calls “cast members” who follow a dress code exemplified by the picture here, from the company’s website.

Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, said her only knowledge of the business came from looking at its website.

“But from what I see on the website, I would probably not take my family there,” Grover said.

She said it appears the business exploits young women, and only hires women who fit a certain physical type for its waitstaff.

She suggested that her young sons couldn’t get a job there, and “I couldn’t get a job there either, because I don’t fit the profile.”

But Mavrakis said that Tilted Kilt has gotten a welcoming reception from other communities and that the mayor of Morton Grove is offering him a free lot to put a Tilted Kilt in that community.

He said he’s been trying to rent the vacant first-floor space in the Fountain Square building, one of about eight buildings he owns downtown, for over a year — but he’s gotten offers from restaurateurs who want to pay just $10 a square foot in rent — which wouldn’t even let him pay the $217,000 a year in property taxes owed on the building each year.

By contrast, he said, a new Tilted Kilt in Woodridge is bringing in $4.5 million a year in revenue in a 10,000 square-foot space. And he believes a Tilted Kilt in the 5,200 square foot space in the Fountain Square Building could generate as much as $2 million annually.

Hank Goldman, who lives across the street in the Sherman Plaza condo tower, said he was concerned about traffic congestion created by people who he expected would cruise the block looking for a parking space rather than parking in the city garage just a block away.

“We can use more business to fill the vacant storefronts,” Goldman said, but he argued a Tilted Kilt wasn’t the right new business for the location.

Liquor board member Marion Kelly said any new business would create congestion, and it doesn’t make sense to leave the building vacant.

And board member Dick Peach said, “I’ve lived here all my life, and I don’t know of a time when people haven’t been cruising the street looking for parking on Sherman Avenue.”

“This probably is not my first choice for something in the Fountain Square Building, maybe its not even on my top 10,” Peach said, but he said he’s talked to a lot of young restaurant owners who tell him Tilted Kilt is the hot item in the restaurant field today and that they’re thrilled to learn one may be coming to Evanston because of the spin-off business it could create for other downtown restaurants.

Board member Byron Wilson said he favored the proposal because the building has been vacant a year. “If it’s run properly and conforms to the laws of the city, I’d say have it there. Sure, it might be better to have it in some other place, but from a business standpoint, I’d say ‘yes.’”

But board member Patrick Hughes said he’d asked his 11-year-old daughter about the business and she said she felt it was inappropriate. “I’m going to have a hard time with it right now, from what I’m hearing of it,” Hughes added.

City Attorney Grant Farrar suggested the board postpone action until it’s received more details about the proposed design for the site and possibly a traffic study, and until open issues about insurance and site management have been resolved.

Tisdahl said Mavrakis should also get in touch with Alderman Judy Fiske, whose 1st Ward includes the Fountain Square Building, who she said “is very concerned with whether this is in keeping with what we want to have downtown.”

Related story

‘Hooters’ clone planned for Fountain Square

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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53 Comments

  1. Evanston needs more businesses not judgemental micromanagers

    Oh this is getting ridiculous.

    Is there dress code now required for wait staff in Evanston? Are Tisdahl and Grover a couple of Puritans? 

    I mean the message I get from these elected officials are mixed. On one hand, they seem concerned that too many churches are renting otherwise vacant storefronts and yet now they seem to be shocked about a proposed pub with sexy waitstaff. 

    Who does Grover think she is to say the Tilted Kilt "exploits" women. Has she talked to any Tilted Kilt waitresses? Have any of them filed a class action lawsuit for explotation?  And yes, I wouldn’t take my family there. But hey, maybe me and the boys might want to go out and have a few drinks and watch a game. 

    This is just another example of a growing list of anti-business sentiment coming from Evanston staff and elected officials.

    And I get a hoot (ers) when board member Patrick Hughes has to ask his 11-year-old daughter what she thinks. The fate of a business and a potential $2 million in tax revenue rests on an 11-year-old pre-teen.

    Priceless.

  2. jeez, evanston…

    ok fine, everyone is a little scared of sexuality and ‘think’ it wouldn’t be appropriate.

    how about you go visit one of the other tilted kilt locations? document the staff on hand, male and female, front of house and back.  don’t you think that would give you an actual idea of what is going on?  interview a few staff members, male and female, waitstaff and management.  talk to the customers, even.

    also, go to existing bars in evanston, and look toward the female waitstaff and their apparel.  analyze exactly how different it is, and then talk to them.

    also, consider that most community members couldn’t get a job there more due to inability to be on their feet and do the physical work of waiting tables.  everyone seems to be making huge assumptions and generalities again.

    ah, evanston.

  3. Suggestion

    In order to match the spirit of this town, we should work towards attracting a hybrid Thai-food restaurant/nail salon to occupy that space. We should then open a Whole foods in the mens restroom and a Starbucks in the ladies restroom.

    1. Sold!

      Swap out the restroom Wholefoods (2 in town is quite enough, thank you) for a Trader Joe’s in the broom closet and you’ve got my support, Eric!

  4. Ask a veteran…

    …if this is what they want in the background during Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day ceremonies in Fountain Square. I’m not a veteran, so maybe they would love it–but maybe they’re who needs to be asked.

    Maybe the Tilted Kilt gals can use the menorrah as stripper pole during the tree-lighting events?

    Prudishness aside, there are better options both for alternative businessed and/or locations for a Tilted Kilt. The old Borders Books location in that same block on Orrington would be far more appropriate for this sort of business, as well as providing a far less cramped dining environment.

    Or how about trying to entice a "Ram" or "Rock Bottom" restaurant/brew-pub to move into either of these locations? I can bet that they would be just as strong money-makers as a Tilted Kilt, without the slap-in-the-face culture war. Also, as someone already mentioned, we already have 2 independent Irish-themed restaurants (Nevins & Celtic Knot)–why damage these businesses by bringing in a tacky faux-Scottish monster chain.

    Tilted Kilt in the Dempster-Dodge Plaza? Sure, why not! Build one by the new gas station and storage place on Oakton and McCormick? Absolutely. How about as an anchor restaurant on the new arts marina on the lakefront? Maybe not.

    Now, at the very least, Tilted Kilt, like Hooters, does not disguise what they’re really about. Unlike my stop into the Brick House Tavern + Tap in Niles by the Walmart–from the outside, it looks like a typical "Ruby Tuesday" or "Lonestar Steakhouse" type of chain eatery. I was surprised by the waitresses "uniforms" of short-short cutoff jeans and midrif-baring half shirts. Not that I have a problem with it, but it might have been embarrassing to accidentally take my 80-year old mother-in-law there for lunch.

    1. Too many fake Irish and Scottish restaurants

       I agree, there are too many fake Irish and Scottish themed restaurants in Evanston, that serve bland food and beer…but I guess that is what the people want.  I also don’t care for  Lord of the Dance  or Celtic Thunder on PBS Pledge drives, but I guess that there are people who like that kind of stuff.

      I think that Fountain Square should have a restaurant that is truly International,  a place where you can take the whole family for breakfast after going to church downstairs, but also a good place for students to study after midnight with a bottomless pot of coffee, and a place where breakfast items from around the world are served.

      1. Flapjacks

        Pancakes!  Now you’re talking!  You’ve got my vote for that one, doctor.  As a downtown resident without a car, my only late-night dining option is walking over to Burger King–that or a really long bike ride down to Steak ‘n Shake, not really much of an improvement.  Pancakes at 2 AM right after work would be a blessing.

  5. Probably laughing

    Probably laughing hysterically over all this nonsense: young women. The (so-called) helplessly impressionable. This sounds like classic old school feminist / post-fem disconnect.

    Somebody needs to tell these 1970s transports, they are WAY too late to take stand against sexual exploitation whatever that is. Painted on jeans/bodytards, very high boots, lowrider+thong combos, plunging tops, 3-4 inch heels, tatooed makeup (and tatts in general)…. I could go on and on with everyday fashion choices (THEIR choices) made by younger women these days. Even bookish northwestern. It makes these tilted kilt outfits quite ordinary, really.

    As someone else pointed out, it would be a challenge to get a job waitressing these days in ANY bar without tight attire, a figure, and some level of fitness. No law is being broken here. Stop picking business winners and losers on a whim, and stop telling young women what they should wear.

    1. Not their choices

      True, young women’s fashion is ludicrous. And they are hobbled by it, gamely trying to go about their day in constricting outfits, slathered-on accessories and stilettoes simply not fit for walking … all this they flash and flaunt while wearing the grimmest of attitudinal game faces. So attractive.

      But it’s not their fault. They are victims. They’ve gotten the message loud and clear that this is how they must look. And the Tilted Kilt concept is among the ways that message is signaled to them.

    2. Fleeting Fashion

      While a tattoo and nose ring may help one to get a job in the circus, these fashion choices will likely prevent a young woman from being taken seriously enough to become a doctor, lawyer, corporate leader or President of the United States.

      The fact that President Obama is in the White House doesn’t mean the "post-racial" time is right to go back to "whites only" drinking fountains and "coloreds only" bathrooms.  If young women don’t know the history of gender inequality, if they can’t remember the time when the only jobs open to women were low-paid schoolteacher or nurse, that is no reason to perpetuate the old stereotypes in an "amusement" like the Tilted Kilt.  Your "post-feminist" argument holds no water.

      Women’s fashions and the images of women in mass culture are largely concocted by men, both straight and gay.  And fashion often has more to do with commerce–what can be sold this season as opposed to what was "in" last year–rather than enabling the empowerment of women.

      The Liquor Control Commission made a wise, informed choice and should be congratulated.  Now the Tilted Kilt can easily open up shop in another nearby North Shore community if they like, say Kenilworth or Lake Forest, though I wouldn’t bet on their being welcomed there either.

  6. We are beggars people, stop being ridiculous

    I cannot believe that people are angry about this! It’s just a restaurant and probably a close to proven winner. Do people think that there is a long line of businesses clamoring to come into Evanston? If they think that is the case, they should walk around downtown and take a long look at all of the empty retail space. Sherman Plaza went up 4ish years ago and it still has a lot of open space (remember Pier One).

    People, we are beggars and we really can’t be as choosy as we would like. I never hear of Au Bon Pain, Corner Bakery, or any of those places wanting to come to Evanston. Also, Borders and Barnes & Noble may merge, so guess what, even less money from retailers, more from residents.

    If parents are offended by it, don’t walk on that side of the street. There really is no reason to come that way anyway. But, if these same parents want to be judgmental, then please save that for the many teenagers walking the downtown streets in the later evenings without adult supervision.

  7. Omg, I thought this was a

    Omg, I thought this was a ‘liberal’ city! Go to Tilted Kilt downtown, it’s a sports bar, get over yourselves already.

  8. NIMBY

    First, the rich guy who owns this building should have to pay the taxes out of his own pocket, he’s obviously rich if he owns the building and with the destructive Bush tax cuts being extended, he should have plenty of money to pay those property taxes without a tenant.

    Second, the City Council needs to make the decisions of what is appropriate attire in all establishments in Evanston. The young women who work in these places and who earn tips are being exploited but they don’t know it, so I stand behind the City Council in its attempts to restrict the "freedom" that the right wingers always talk about to exploit young women. I was once in a bar in Chicago called the "Boss Bar" (not drinking, just meeting friends there since it was close to their office) and after an inquiry as to why the young women were wearing tight, low cut shirts and pants, the bartender told us they make more money when they do that. Disgusting. And then to top it off, they didn’t have any veggie burgers available.

  9. Kilts are for men

    Personally I don’t think food and half-naked servers are a healthy combination, but I think this place could probably do $4M in revenue instead of $2M if they had sexy MEN in kilts instead of women–or at least half women, half men!

    I just think the city should consider imposing a vomit levy on this place if it goes in because I am anticipating the amount of vomit splatter on downtown sidewalks will skyrocket.

    1. Seems last time I was in a

      Seems last time I was in a Hooters they had a number of women customers spending $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  10. History lesson

     There was a time, not long ago, when it was deemed inappropriate, yea, illegal to sell or serve alcohol in the City of Evanston.  We’ve come a long way, baby, however slowly.

  11. The Village of Northfield weighs in

    I was attending a board meeting in Northfield on Friday when a Northfielder exclaimed: "Guess what’s coming to Northfield…a McDonald’s."

    I responded: "Well, let me tell you what’s coming to Evanston."

    They were positively green with envy!

  12. An alternate suggestion for a themed bar

    In the interest of making everyone happy on this issue, I propose an alternate themed establishment. Instead of worrying if women will be offended by these scantily clad women and evils of "the drink", I propose a Frances Willard Bar and Grill. The temperance theme will be upheld …. root beer will be served along with lemonaide …. Here is a picture of the proposed uniforms for the ladies …. A gold mine for Evanston!!!!

    1. Willard Bar and Grill

      This is a good idea…but not on Fountain Square.   I think that the Fountain Square building should be rezoned as HP   (House of Pancakes ).   How about putting it in Frannie’s useless old house on Chicago Ave.?  It seems to be empty most of the time…turn it into a restaurant…it already has the Frances Willard theme decor..there is a nearby City of Evanston parking garage too.

      Of course, that house is a little too small for a restaurant.  How about Chuckie Dawes’ place?  

       

      1. Location for the proposed bar and grill

         How about the Main library?  They will be needing money now that they have to fend for themselves.  Or having them share space with a branch?

    2. That is really funny

      That is really funny, i.e., the Frances Willard  puritanical connection! I doubt if I would frequent this establishment but it seems rather harmless.  It is not as if this is a strip joint.  Alderman Grover may not take her family there but I would not be surprised if they went without her . . .

  13. I’m sort of amazed the the

    I’m sort of amazed the the Tilted Quilt actually thinks that there is room for another "sports bar" within the radius of downtown. There are multiple venues within walking distance of the proposed restaurant that have a similar menu, a loud atmosphere with large flat screen TV’s blaring, and people shouting to be heard. These other restaurant/bars may not call themselves "sports bars" but functionally, they are.

    I still don’t quite understand why anyone would pay money for food that is not much more than an expensive side step from McDonald’s in an atmosphere that can only be appreciated by people whose level of awareness has been deadened by alcohol. 

    As for women wearing short skirts and bare midriffs…big deal.

    Sort of low brow, yes. Offensive? No.  

     

    1. I was thinking the same thing

      I’m basically agnostic on the proposal because I don’t think Tilted Kilt will succeed anyway. We already have a generic chain sports bar (BW3’s) and pseudo-Irish bars (Nevin’s, Celtic Knot) so where does a pseudo-Irish, generic chain sports bar fit in? Plus, several other bars (Bar Louie, Pete Miller’s, and Praire Moon) are nearby. Good luck to Tilted Kilt, if they get the opportunity.

  14. What’s the alternative?

     Hank Goldman, who lives across the street in the Sherman Plaza condo tower, said he was concerned about traffic congestion created by people who he expected would cruise the block looking for a parking space rather than parking in the city garage just a block away.

    "We can use more business to fill the vacant storefronts," Goldman said, but he argued a Tilted Kilt wasn’t the right new business for the location.
     

    So we know what Hank  doesn’t want…no restaurant of any kind (because his objection could be  made against any successful restaurant).   

    What sort of business does he want?  Something that won’t attract many customers who drive?

    1. TILTED KILT

       While Evanston certainly has a very diverse restaurant scene( fast food to upscale), this location could certainly use another type of retail outlet.  There is no question that in this economy, cities can’t be choosey about what types of retail establishments want to come to their town, the city and it’s residents should have some say.  There would be nothing wrong with a mid range restaurant in that location as the type of congestion, traffic issues, noise, etc., would be far different than a bar/pub.  There would be a lot more lingering outside of a bar/pub, as those who choose to smoke would have to go outside.  I don’t think Mr. Goldman is opposed to another type of restaurant, nor am I.  In fact, a place like the Tilted Kilt may be good for Evanston, just not in this location.  This is the core of downtown, the place where families congregate during the warmer months,and  where we honor veterans.  There are certainly many vacant retail spaces in Evanston where the Tilted Kilt would be better suited for.

  15. Say Yes to The Tilted Kilt

    In this economy, I can’t believe people are opposing a new potential $2M revenue-generating business coming to downtown Evanston.  If you look at the Tilted Kilt’s website and some of their new locations opening up (South Bend, IN; Columbus, OH; etc.) you can see one of the demographics they seem to cater to is students in university towns.  I would assume that is part of the appeal of Evanston with Northwestern University.

    Speaking as a female and a downtown Evanston resident, I don’t think the Liquor Control Board should pass judgment on whether they feel the Tilted Kilt’s female staff is dressed appropriately or assume they are exploited.  As long as the restaurant is not breaking any laws then I say let the patrons decide whether they want to frequent the place.  I think it would offer some added evening entertainment to that part of downtown Evanston which could help other nearby businesses.

    Also, a traffic study should not be necessary.  All sorts of traffic goes through downtown Evanston and a restaurant of this type is not going to jam the roads.  If anything, it may generate some additional parking revenue if we’re lucky.

    Give it a try!  Let’s quit saying "no" to money-making opportunities.  If you’re offended by this type of restaurant, don’t go there.  As others have mentioned, there are other Irish-themed restaurants in the area.  Personally, I make my dining decisions more on the food served and the service delivered vs. what the waitstaff is wearing.

  16. Tilted kilts for seniors?

    I think this is the same landlord who wanted to rent (in a different location) to a senior citizen daycare or activities center and was denied the option. Nay sayers said that a senior activities center wouldn’t generate business or tax revenue for the city. I guess a sports bar with lots of skin showing will generate said revenue. Give the landlord a break, he’s trying to please the City and serve the needs of the citizenry.

  17. I am shocked that in this

    I am shocked that in this economy we are even considering not giving Tilted Kilt a liquor license. This would bring in money downtown and make it a bit less stuffy and boring. The students who live here will love it and it will provide jobs for women and men – the Tilted Kilt downtown has male cooks and bartenders. 

  18. Typical….

     Typical Evanston… you would rather have empty store fronts, boarded up windows than businesses. What is wrong with you people??? I currently blame the author of this story for the way they have depicted this business. I can tell you right now if you wouldn’t have called it what you have, I bet the backlash on this website wouldn’t have been more than a whisper. 

    It’s just disappointing to hear people say they would rather have an empty building than a business that would bring in money to the downtown. Who cares one bit of about the theme or format??? I personally am very tired of walking around our great downtown and looking at empty store fronts. You can put as many pictures in those windows as you want but it’s still empty. Those pictures don’t pay rent!!!!!

    The board needs to wake up and try to get people to being businesses here, not make them want to jump ship. Stories and reaction like this do not help the image problem we have here. NOT IN MY BACKYARD, no matter how bad our city needs the money…. idiots…

  19. Groundless opposition

    For every waitstaff position the kilt offers I bet there will be dozens applying for each and every job opening. 

    Can’t say I love the kilt idea and probably would never go there.  But I have yet seen a valid reason posted to deny their opening a business that legally falls within all current laws and zoning.

    What would happen if an existing Evanston business decided to change their server uniforms into something more ‘Kiltish"  Would the city have the right to come and shut them down?  Highly doubtful for the obvious reason such action would be biased, overreaching and groundless.

    Much like the current opposition to the kilt proposal.

  20. Evanston needs more traffic, not less

    I echo the comments of others who are exasperated that the Tilted Kilt would be denied a license.

    Are we as a City in a position to be picking and choosing among the businesses that would locate downtown?

    Are we embarrassed by the wealth of commercial tenants all vying for limited space in our exceedingly healthy downtown?

    Are we in a position to turn down what would likely be a successful and vibrant business because of its impact on traffic?  No! No! No!  What downtown Evanston needs is MORE traffic. 

    1. Yes they pick “winners”

      Remember all the "gifts" the Concil made to business, some who did not even ask.  The $10,000 to Borders to help with the move.  The fence around the resturant across the street.  The money to the proposed grocery store on Asbury and many many more the public never hears of.

      If taxes were kept lower, business was encouraged and not harrassed, maybe we would still have a shopping area that actually meets the residents needs [and attracts customers from outside Evanston] and retain some of the intellectual talent that at best stays only as long as they can be in the "incubator."   Perhaps then the Tilted Kilt would not even be an issue since all the downtown property would be occupied by non-resturant business.

      Won’t happen.   If fact the Tilted Kilt like so many other businesses that apply, will be killed by shear exhaustion from the zoning and other committees that will debatte it to death.  If that fails the "ladies to restore Evanston to the 1890s" will get it killed to protect the "pure" reputation of Evanston.

    2. It’s always about traffic

      Are we in a position to turn down what would likely be a successful and vibrant business because of its impact on traffic?  No! No! No!  What downtown Evanston needs is MORE traffic.

      They ALWAYS bring up traffic, no matter what the issue is.

  21. City Finance Position Decided By 11 Year Old

    " board member Patrick Hughes has to ask his 11-year-old daughter what she thinks. The fate of a business and a potential $2 million in tax revenue rests on an 11-year-old pre-teen"

    Anonymous Al, I could not agree with you more!  This type of thing makes Evanston a laughingstock!  Hoot[er]s and jeers abound when our surrounding neighbors read of such nonsense coming from the mouths of our officials. 

    Further, I could not possibly care less if young women scantily clad themselves while waiting tables.  I too dressed scantily (and enjoyed doing so) when I was a young 20-something and I find it hard to believe kids today are incensed by fashion they either chose to purchase or a uniform at a job they chose to apply for.  What difference does it make if I’m seeing cleavage or upper thigh because of an outfit purchased in a retail store or if it is a uniform at a restaurant?  (Although I am in favor of seeing guys in kilts as well!)  Have we truly forgotten what it is to be young?

    E-gads!  I thought this town was liberal!  Turns out we are heavy on old badgers.

    1. Guys in kilts

      yes, I might go if guys were in kilts. But they would have to have the requisite legs to do so.

    2. Spot on and one part in

      Spot on and one part in particular, which the local Upstanding Womens Brigade will never get: young women (many) just want to dress and feel sexy.

      Not a value judgement, just fact. They see nothing particularly unusual or wrong about it, nor should they. Face it: in a nation of 80/35 population (overweight/obese), and widespread crapfood/fat-acceptance culture, you SHOULD be proud of yourself if you still have normal BMI and tone, and can pull off this kilt look. It speaks volumes about your discipline.

      These moralizers also incorrectly portray sexy attire/fashion as vast male conspiracy. Wrong- younger generations dress largely for themselves or other women. It ain’t about men any more, older ladies, unfathomable as that may be to you. (This is a HUGE generational divide.)

      From many a young US woman’s POV, the man is accessory, not necessity. (And men will continue to be structurally and institutionally marginalized, as they have been for 10-15 years now. But that is off topic.)

  22. Tilted Kilt

    I have a problem with this because it's tacky and low brow. I wonder how men would feel if roles were reversed. Would you want to go to a restaurant where well endowed men wore tight outfits to show off their "package"?

  23. Evanston needs more thriving

    Evanston needs more thriving businesses and fewer empty storefronts. The Borders is closing. Are we so frightened of foot traffic and women in skirts that we're willing to forego the revenue and tax dollars? This is the dining capital of the Northshore?

    As for the people living across the street – what did you expect, living downtown? Would any restaurant be a problem for you? Shall we close Nevins and Pete Millers, too? Or are we as a community devoted only to stodgy restaurants. Perhaps an Olive Garden, Baker's Square or a TGIFridays would be more our style. You know, utterly bland and featureless establishments serving food reheated in microwaves.

    As in so many things, this looks like another case of the Evanston decision makers cutting off their nose to spite their face. We'll avoid the horrors of a vaguely risque bar/restaurant bringing visitors and tax dollars to our community and instead look with contentment and pride at our controversy-free downtown, filled with vacancies that offend no one and ensure quiet, almost empty streets.

    1. Evanston needs more thriving Businesses

      Seems every day you walk around downtown Evanston and find more empty store fronts.  One Alderman wants empty store fronts on Howard Street. Then you get to Main Street and find barber a shops and nail spas being added. Nothing wrong with those kind of businesses but do you want thme all in same block.

      New restaurant wants to come in and you consider blocking it cause you don't like employees dress without finding out what kind of problems other locations may or may not have had.

      Drive around and look at the empty store fronts.  Old Osco at Asbury and Oakton been vacant for how long now?

      1. So action on the license was ‘postponed’ four months ago

        Has there been any more action on this matter, or did 'postpone' mean 'killed'?

        I found myself on Wabash in the Loop a few weeks ago, and there on the second floor of a building next to the El was one of the scourges of Western society, a Tilted Kilt.  Having read all of the comments from Evanstonians about how installing a franchise at Fountain Square would result in moral collapse, I just had to go in for a beer.

        Review:  The place was crowded, carefully branded (kitschy stuff on the wall, appropriate lighting, etc.), noisy and the service was slow.  The beer was served in an oversized pint and was cold and fresh.  I came, I saw, I drank, I left.  Would I return?  Probably not– not my kind of place.  But anyone who would in any way assume that depravity would ensue if the potentially $2-million/year business came to town has no idea what they are talking about.

  24. No to Tilted Kilt

    I am willing to bet many of the comments which are dismissive of concerns about the nature of this franchise have been left here by men.  

    As a longtime resident of Evanston, both having been born here myself and as a parent of a 22-year-old young woman who went through Districts 65 and 202, I strongly feel this is not an appropriate establishment for our community.  To equate it with other bars and restaurants is disingenuous.

    The position of this property makes the idea even more offensive.  When we have Veteran's events or the lighting of the Menorah or Holiday tree, this restaurant will be only yards away?

    I am no prude, but anyone with common sense knows this is not the appropriate location for this establishment.  These places do well in bigger cities or in strip malls where parking and access is less of an issue.

    The tone of these places does not set the right example for our young people.  In addition, valid points have already been made about the hiring practices, where only young women of a particular body type are eligible.  Anecdotally, I know of one young woman who worked in such a place.  She had suffered an emotional crisis and ended up leaving school.  I do not blame Tilted Kilt for this, I am simply pointing out that when young women turn to this kind of work it is rarely a healthy sign.  People can rationalize and apologize for this stuff as being a "sign of the times", but it doesn't make it a positive phenomenon.  We as adults must be willing to step in and make decisions on behalf of our children, don't we? 

    This restaurant does not reflect the atmosphere of our town, sorry.  At some point principles must trump monetary motivations.  

    Mr. Kavrakis, keep looking.  A Cheesecake Factory or something similar would be far more suitable, and I think everyone knows it.

    1. Those residents concerned

      Those residents concerned that Tilted Kilt will sully our beloved Heartlandesque Fountain Square – do you ever go there, other than Veterans Day or holiday-lighting? Those of us who live downtown and go through or around it daily are all too aware that the area has been grotesquely sullied by the in-residence homeless and the defiant, attitudinal skateboarders. They pretty much take over the place from late April through October. It's a regular homeless carnival most days. I'm not in favor of Tilted Kilt, but to oppose it in the name of Fountain Square's hallowedness is laughable.

      1. skateboarding is not a crime

        skateboarding is not a crime on the public streets of Evanston.  

        Please quit hating on the skate boarders who are practicing their sport in a town with NO facilities for them.  Try saying "nice trick" instead of scowling when you walk by and you might see a difference.

        I tell my kids to be nice and leave a place if someone asks them to but to also know that they are not criminals because of the sport they enjoy.  Treating everyone who likes this sport like criminals and lumping them all together is part of the problem.

        If they really bug you, consider supporting a skate park in our city.

        1. Oh but skateboarding IS a crime

          In the area under discussion here – Fountain Square – skateboarding is indeed a crime. A City of Evanston sign of prohibition, including a $100 fine, is posted quite noticeably in the center of the little plaza. The middle school and high school 'athletes' practicing their 'sport' do so in defiance of the law. Watch how quickly they snatch up their boards and stroll nonchalantly away when a police car slips into view.

      2. Tilted Kilt is TACKY!

        I'm not sure if  "heartlandesque" is an accurate description of our mini-city.  I think of Evanston as a suburb that is way more 'Urb' than 'Sub'.  Our downtown has a very different vibe than trashtastic.  The Tilted Kilt belongs in a stripmall near the airport.  For me (though I am a mom) it's less about creating a specifically family-friendly feel (we would have moved to a real suburb if we wanted our kids to have that experience) and more about building on the boutique-y, laid back, urban feel that downtown currently has.

    2. The gift that keeps on giving—

      a seemingly endless string of hilarious comments from people who truly seem to believe that a Tilted Kilt opening in Evanston would be the end of civilization as we know it.  Don't you people have other, possibly  more important, things to worry about?  We have 11 year olds weighing in with their opinions, stories of waitresses having psychological breakdowns (apparently because of the inherent depravity of the place), concerns about the fact that the proposed site has windows (lest we be able to see the awful things that go on in there…), and on and on.  Really folks, it's just a restaurant/bar.  I've actually gone in the one on Wabash in the Loop, and as I indicated previously, while it's not a place I would frequent (or even go to a second time), it is hardly worth the hysterical reactions that are being posted here. 

      Instead of enumerating all of the potential ills that will befall us if a Tilted Kilt were to open up for business at Fountain Square, I'd like to see just one poster actually set foot in one and report on how what they saw, and then elaborate on why leaving the space vacant is a preferable alternative. 

      1. There is a bigger picture and people are so self involved

        Okay, this is a big issue. It is about time at least someone stood up for not only what is right for the town, but also, for what is right for society. Women are sexualized enough. Everywhere we go men want to have sex with us. They use foul language and poor behavior, think it okay to act inappropiately, and go to these places to mentally cheat on their girlfriends. In addition, the tilted kilt is not appropriate for children; it is an introduction into the world of stripping and sexual fantasy. Little girls want to mimic it and boys become expectant of girls to look and act like this, in addition, they expect their girlfriends to put up with their perverted and lusting ways of viewing and gauking girls.

        This is the school girl fantasy and is disturbing to see everywhere I go. For those who are self involved and sexually pleased by this, those who don't care what their boyfriend is thinking about or what he is doing while he is with you, for young people who do not know what is going on in the criminal world against little girls, tweens, and adult women, this may seem like no big deal, but it is. BRAVO men, women love to sexualize themselves and the only thing that matters is money, money, money.. SOCIETY loses, because even if I don't go and I don't bring my kids, or I don't watch T.V. and I avoid everything,(like everyone likes to say, if you don't like it don't do it) many are doing it and it is all around and you cannot avoid it and everyone suffers for our misused constitutional rights.

        Seems to me women have no rights. I'm attractive, why don't I walk around the town in this outfit and offend everyone and show the girls what they are born to be in life. Some man little fantasy. Morals have left this country and many others. How about we bring our kids to the pub with shirtless men in boxer briefs and see what everyone says then. There are very few decent people left in this world. SEX! SEX! SEX! WTF IS NEXT!!! THANKS PEOPLE WHO APPLIED THE CONSTITUTION WRONG, FOR TAKING CHILDREN's AND WOMEN"S VOICES AWAY!!! DEVIENCE WINS!!! 

        I just wonder, how many of you Tilted Kilt fans are porn addicts or get kicks from sleeping around. Do You know what is like to have people approach you and look at you for the one thing they expect from a girl? Do you know what is like to be violated with movies and teen boys in the theater making dirty talk while you sit with your boyfriend? do you know what is liked to be raped of sexually violated? Have you ever caught your loved one looking up naked men and indulging themselves in finding sex on the internet? Have you ever caught one of the millions of people in this world watching child porn? Do you know that the sex registry is only a list of a small handful of people caught and they, including others get away with it most times?

        Do you know that there are date rape drugs? Do you know sexual preditors manipulate little ones, tweens, and teens into thinking this behavior is normal and okay? Did you know girls don't know any better, they are just trying to fit in and compete with what the world tells them? Did you know places like Tilted Kilt and all media outlets groom them now, before the predator does? I say, why don't you just F..me, that is all I am here for anyway; that is why I was born.

        It is a mental and physical sickening for people that have and know these things. Grow-up stop thinking of just you and gain reality knowledge. Sexual predators (of all sorts, even the one's who use girls when they are drunk, or sleep with many women, or sleep with underaged teens using manipulation and love, not just rapist and pedophiles) feed on this as acceptable and normal and it is a form of justification and rationalization. EVERYTHING changes our ways of thinking and poses a threat to society.

        We need more who stand up for human rights as opposed to the cash flow and greed. Didn't anyone ever here the saying that "Money is the root of all evil." That was considered a common  saying at one time. We are no different then some other countries we down. This place allows women to bust their buts to maybe be lucky to get anywhere in life, but while working hard, I must watch the kids, keep my figure, nip and tuck where needed, stay young, bend over, act happy, be sexual, and stay beautiful. I must also expect nothing much in return from most people, because I am the one competing not them. My spouse can do whatever. When I leave him, I have to worry about the next freak. We are sexualized, you are over sexed. That is the new stereo-type. It is hard for decent men or women to trust each other. Most people do not have the perfect wonderful relationships some of you claim you have. We stay, because we are afraid of what else we are going to run into.

         

        1. Thank you for deciding for the rest of us what is appropriate

          Meanwhile, more than a year later the building continues to sit empty, a continuing blight in an area of downtown that deperately needs a economic boost.

    3. Cheesecake Factory?

      I find it ironic that your suggestion for a "suitable" establishment is Cheesecake Factory.  That restaurant is notorious for the damage it can do to one's health due to portion size and caloric content.  It is routinely named as one of the worst restaurants in America.  Interesting to see where people's priorities lie; in the waitstaff's uniforms as opposed to quality of the food.

  25. Evanston…the Radiator Springs of 2011

    This is great! My visits to "Downtown" Evanston were nothing short of depressing. Using the veto of the Tilted Kilt liquor license as a soapbox, the Mayor triumphantly regurgitates her mother’s post-feminist values while standing idly by as her town slowly withers away as business'  flock to more progressively thinking towns. Never mind that you can see more skin on an 80 yo's bathing suit at the pool then on a Tilted Kilt Server. Disregard the fact that every job at the Kilt would have multiple applicants. Ignore the fact that the bulk of the staff would be working/holding down jobs while in college. Deny the fact that the flow of traffic would help generate more money for downtown businesses. What dying downtown area needs tax dollars anyway?

    As a man, I may not personally patronize a bar with men in Kilts…..wait…err….the men wear kilts at Tilted Kilt so I guess I do. I guess at the end of the day I do see the Mayors point; the Tilted Kilt would certainly come to town, force both employees and patrons into the Kilt at knife point and tarnish Evanston's spectacular reputation. Good job Mayor, way to take your town back to the fifties! After all, in this economy, who needs new jobs at respected, flourishing concepts. Maybe if they lower the price on gas in Evanston, I will stop there on my way to a town not so misguided, appreciates my choice as a consumer and strives for the money I will spend.

    Side note: Does anybody know how to delete a town from your GPS?

     

  26. Harmless!

    I work for Tilted Kilt Woodridge and may I say majority of you have the concept all wrong. A cold beer served by beautiful women with a smile. What's wrong with that? Our establishment is not dirty nor inappropriate in any way. What we do over at the Kilt is simply embrace the human body, it's a wonderful thing. Face it, Tilted Kilt is America's #1 pub. Definitely a benefit to any community seeing as we bring in lots of money daily. If you feel as if the Tilted Kilt is inappropriate you're wrong, you think the uniforms are inappropriate (understandable) it is not in any way shape or form harmful to those of the community. Nor is it a bad influence. If you don't want your daughters exposed to TK, then simply don't bring them there. Easy as that. Come visit TK Woodridge! <3

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