Tilted Kilt: Hot debate over sexy bar

A sports bar in the Fountain Square Building would threaten Evanston's moral standards. Or it would give a major boost to the downtown economy. Those were the clashing views heard by Evanston's liquor control board Tuesday night.

Cynthia Farenga, an attorney whose office is in the building, led the charge against the proposed Tilted Kilt franchise, organizing an online petition drive that she claims has gathered nearly 2,000 signatures.

Farenga says she'd rather see the space remain empty than have it house a business that would "objectify our daughters."

But attorney Carol Mengel, who's married to building owner Ted Mavrakis, said the bar would have a positive impact on the community, provide jobs for 150 adults and increase tax revenue.

She said Farenga's claims that Tilted Kilt is a "soft-core porn-type business" were offensive and irresponsible.

Carol Mengel, displaying a picture of a Tilted Kilt waitress in uniform.

She showed photos comparing the costumes of the restaurant's waitresses with outfits worn by cheerleaders for Chicago professional sports teams and said the the waitresses were much less revealingly dressed.

And she argued that opponents were condemning the business without ever having visited any of its several other franchise locations in the Chicago area.

Liz Reeves.

Liz Reeves, who said she's lived in Evansotn 28 years and once waited tables at a previous restaurant in the building, said she has two beautiful pre-teen daughters and doesn't want them to think that the Tilted Kilt represents what the world thinks they should become.

And Diane Thodos called Tilted Kilt "the boobie prize of restaurants." She said she sees no place for "sleazy sexism in a proud town like Evanston."

But several business owners said that with a large number of vacant storefronts, downtown needs a boost.

Kevin Pearson, a commercial real estate investor who lives and works in Evanston, said he's an investor in a building in Bollingbrook that now houses a Tilted Kilt.

"When we were first approached about it, we had exactly the same concerns," Pearson said. "I'm well aware of the dangers of sexism."

But after visiting other restaurants in the chain and investigating the business, he concluded that people's fears are exagerated.

Armen Manazian.

And Armen Manazian, an owner of Manazian Rug Company in Evanston, said the city "is lucky to have a gentleman like Mavrakis who's invested money in this town. I hope you will approve it."

Mavrakis, who said he now owns eight commercial buildings downtown and pays over $500,000 a year in  property taxes, noted that he's had a liquor license for his Giordano's restaurant franchise in Evanston without incident for nearly three decades.

He said he has his own office in the Fountain Square Building an that for the last two year's its been very hard to rent space here.

"I've become famous lately for being that 'Ted' who's name and phone number is on all the signs" listing retail space for rent, Mavrakis said.

He said he'd thoroughly researched the Tilted Kilt before deciding to invest what he said would be $1 million to renovate the space in the building.

"This is an upscale bar," he said, "people come to have a drink and watch sports." It's nothing like, he said, what opponents are claiming it would be.

Ted Mavrakis, right, with his wife and two representatives from the Tilted Kilt chain.

The Liquor Control Review Board serves only as an advisor to the mayor on granting a new license and took no vote on the issue Tuesday night.

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said she'd issue a written decision on the proposal next week.

If she approves a license for the bar, the City Council would then have to vote on whether to expand the number of liquor licenses in the city to accommodate the addition.

If she rejects the application, the City Council could override her decision if at least six of the nine aldermen favor it. 

Topic: 

Comments

Tilted Kilt

This is so not Evanston.   There will be other interested parties, do not cave to this sexist restaurant.  What about a Champs, sports TV and burgers, but no half naked women.  I can see the draw for restaurants like this near a huge busy office complex with lots of young men out for lunch or a drink after work, but not here.  Are young families going to go here for a family night out...I don't think so. Are NU profs going to take out of town groups and in town groups here for dinners and meetings?  Are business people going to plan to meet here to discuss. NO.  There is a market for a restaurant like this, but not in Evanston.

The pro-TK argument that the

The pro-TK argument that the TK servers will not be dressed as provocatively as professional sports cheerleaders is a nonsensical argument.  Are we measuring how many fewer millimeters of bosom are on display?  It's not about the alcohol, it's about the ethos of this restaurant -- and it absolutely is sexist.  If the Mayor doesn't care how Evanston raises money, as long as there's more money, then she'll approve this (or the alderman will if the Mayor does not approve it).  But why stop there?  If money is the primary rationale for making decisions, we could have all sorts of objectionable businesses, attracting a fine crowd of humanity that wouldn't know sexism if it saw it or care one whit about it.  But, if the Mayor and Aldermen feel the city of Evanston should place a higher priority on "respecting the dignity of human beings" than "making money," then this particular restaurant chain will not get the green light to open its doors here.

Almost right...

I think there IS room for a TK in this town.  I just don't think it's appropriate in our town square and in the middle of our war memorials.  You're telling me Mr. Mavrakis doesn't have plenty of other prime locations he could place this business just as successfully?

Commenter, have you been

Commenter, have you been anywhere near Buffalo Wild Wings? It doesn't even have sex appeal and the place is packed every time I walk past it.

I like these ideas that a restaurant with some skin visible inside of it is going to transform all of our children into sex slaves.

Oh no, it won't be other things, like the media or their peers, it'll be a bar that will do it.

'Family Friendly Evanston' - are you kidding?

Heaven forbid we worry about bringing in a new business (TK) in that same block as the jewelry store that was robbed this week  and attract more traffic (employees and customers) that might have seen what was going on and could have called 911. Oh yes, the new definition of 'family friendly': not feeling safe at a fast food restaurant (shooting at McDonald's), or going to a Spa for 'extra services' or walking downtown in mid day. Oh wait, the city is too worried about what type of bag we carry our groceries in - if this new 'family friendly' attitude of needing to carry a gun just to go to the store to protect ourselves is what is becoming Evanston, then perhaps we need to elect individuals that will worry about the bigger issues,

 

Vacant storefronts

I still think Evanston Now should investigate why Mavrakis owns long-vacant storefronts in several prime locations (He also has a row of storefronts at Chicago and Davis) while the surrounding properties are thriving.  He was also behind the equally poor adult daycare plan, which has not been implemented months after the city approved it.  Is he an ineffective landlord?

What?

You should be glad we have a businessman like him in Evanston who pays his fair share of property taxes unlike NU, the many churches and our two hospitals.  

In fact, in light of this, we all should be lucky if he stays in Evanston at all. 

This is perhaps the most inhospitable community for new business and frankly other communities are running circles around us.  What dysfunction.

Wise up and face reality, especially today. 

Let's investigate the building owner??

So let me get this straight-- we should investigate building owners who have vacant properties in Evanston during the worst economic downturn in most of our lifetimes?

We should investigate Mr. Mavrakis, who has had a spotless record with respect to liquor law violations in over several decades with Giordano's, because he wants to open another establishment that serves alcohol?

We should cast doubt on him as a major property owner, taxpayer) and businessman at the same time he is indicating he is willing to sink $1,000,000 of his own money (no city handouts for awnings, etc., requested) into renovating a space that is currently vacant (and becoming a haven for homeless)?

The Anti-Kilt brigade seems willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that our community lives in accordance with their view of the world.

Ineffective landlord

Amen to you!!! I, too, think you have a point! You should buy his properties. I'm sure you could be MUCH more successful than he is! It will only cost you a million dollars to rehab the space TK wants ... The Francis Willard Center would be a great addition to the plaza! I'll offer to paint the place for you so we can keep TK from corrupting the morals of our city!

I hope the Tilted Kilt

I hope the Tilted Kilt should move to Skokie.  Evanston is too PC for my tastes.  Having lived there and work there, they spend too much time of nonsense and not enough time on developing business.   They want all the social programs, pass off all their deficits to the homeowners and spend time arguing about plastic bags and leaf blowers. 

Market demand

If people want to go to TK they can; those that don't want to, won't. Let the market decide. But give TK a chance; don't give in to these WCTUers. Cojones, Mayor!!

Oh Get Real. They're

Oh Get Real. They're waitresses in a busy noisy sports bar. Big Deal. So they wear halter tops!

Have any of these uptight citizens noticed what young women on the streets of Evanston wear????

What exactly are their fears? (And they seem to have many)

That somehow this will signal that questionable "massage parlors" will be filling the vacant stores?

Or that scantily clad women will then be walking with sandwich boards all up and down Sherman, and Church?

Or that somehow these same women will then go to ETHS on career day and talk up their wonderful lives as waitresses and sex workers?

Sports bars are noisy boring places where guys go to eat greasy salty sweet food that is hardly heart healthy and drink beer and watch their favorite sports team play, during which they scream and yell at the multiple flat screen televsion sets.  Part of the adolescent sports fantasy is having attractive women in halter tops and shorts serving the above mentioned menu is part of the package.

That's all. 

Give the business a shot. Let's see if it makes money. 

And if you want a refined dining experience go somewhere else!

It's this or nothing?

Really? This is the only restaurant that would draw customers and create jobs? Wow, who knew that the very survival of our city depended on the lovely outfits of the Tilted Kilt waitresses? Interesting how we have no options. How about put a Trader Joe's in there and see what happens to downtown Evanston.

Great idea

Who do you know at Trader Joe's? Please make it happen.

Coin toss at Ryan Field

Coin toss, Saturday at Ryan Field at 11am to decide on Tilted Kilt in Evanston. Mayor Tisdahl does the toss,Ted Mavrakis calls the toss.

Parking ?

Given that there does not seem to be much parking by Fountain Square, it would seem that the audience is not people coming [back] to the downtown area after 6 or 7 PM, but as a gathering for people after work.  Given comments in the past about people not wanting to pay for parking [and tickets] for the theater and restaurants around there, I would assume they would feel same here. 

Granted Peter Millers, those places on Sherman from Grove south and the hotels face a parking issue, they do seem to be a bit closer to where parking is available.  Then again maybe downtown is so deserted after 6 PM that on street parking is not an issue.

There is a surplus of parking downtown

There is a serious surplus of parking downtown.  I don't believe that the Sherman Plaza lot has EVER been full.

Even if you had zero empty storefronts there would still be an excess of capacity.

This is not an issue.

maybe so

but street parking is terrible.

It's just a restaurant...

It’s just a restaurant.

If the place is truly hated by Evanstonians, then it will fail and go away, and the only person hurt will be the guy putting all the money up in the first place.

In a brutally difficult economic climate, you can't pick your perfect world to fill every storefront. Comments about how there will be other, better, interested parties for the space… or how other less prime locations are just as good for the business… illustrate a lack of understanding about how retail and restaurants operate. If either point were correct, we wouldn’t be having this conversation to begin with.

Look around this town-
• SE corner of Church and Chicago- Empty
• NE corner of Church and Sherman-Empty
• Fountain Square building- Empty
• Borders building at Church and Maple-Empty
• Evanston Plaza being sold at auction

Evanston is struggling, and this is a perfectly legal, successful business- being invested in by a successful local businessman. This town has A LOT of worse things going on in commercial space than the TK would be. All this energy should be focused on the real problems facing Evanston:
• The entire Dodge and Dempster intersection
• Property taxes that go up, despite home values plummeting
• The Keg- a bar rife with underage drinkers where a person was murdered a few years ago
• Drug trafficking and gang violence

And for the people whose argument against this place is that they "don't want their daughter growing up thinking this is what they should become".. then try talking to your daughter and telling her that. That's what I'll do.

I don’t think that walking past the TK is going to have more influence on my child’s views about women than all the websites, TV shows, magazines, and conversations with friends she’s experiencing.
And in the end none of that will impact her more than her parents will.

Afterall, it’s just a restaurant.

Give me a break

Great.  How about we end this conversation right now - open a TGIFridays, or a Cheesecake Factory, or an Applebee's, or, how about opening something unique to Evanston?  (OMG, what a novel idea!)  Seriously, if it's just another chain restaurant, why this chain restaurant?  The only notable difference Tilted Kilt has to offer is the waitresses required costume. (Or perhaps would the potential franchise owner consider an alternate costume, something more discreet?  Maybe even with a wintertime option for appropriately warm clothing?)

While I'm not sure that this particular waitress costume heralds the end of civilization as we know it, I don't think it's too much to ask not to have red plaid bras staring me in the face whenever I go downtown.  I also would prefer to avoid groups of the sorts of men who go out eagerly scouting for women who work in red plaid bras.

If the potential franchise owner had decided to open this place somewhere a little more off the beaten path, instead of smack in the middle of our town square where it can't be avoided without considerable difficulty, I'd have less of a problem.  However, this argument that it should be allowed because it's "just a restaurant" is just plain stupid.  

I'm not really following your

I'm not really following your argument - are you against this because it's a chain? Like Bravo, BW3's, Chilis? Because they are all right down the street. Retail stores are probably 50%+ chains as well. Yes, it would be great to have more stores/restaurants unique to Evanston. Ideal, in fact. But those places aren't coming here right now - just leaving.  And it's rude to call someone else's opinion stupid, in my stupid opinion.

The waitresses at Neven's wear mini skirts

And no one seems troubled by that. I agree with the comments that if you don't like it, don't go. Evanston businesses are FAR FROM thriving and that building is currently a total eyesore. Oh, and no one seems to have a problem with The Keg and it's underage drinking reputation. TK is just a restaurant.

Tilted Kilt

The comments and objections expressed by the opponents of Tilted Kilt remind of the arguments made decades ago to keep Evanston dry. As a native, I'm always amazed at the image some try to paint of Evanston as this pristine, loving community which is somehow isolated from the rest of the world and therefore immune from the issues and problems of any urban/suburban community.

I was born here in the late 40s, attended and graduated from Evanston public schools and my mother and aunts and uncles were born and grew up in Evanston as well. And while Evanston has many attractive qualities, it has a tainted past and present as well.

Let's wake up folks. There are many problems we have as a community more important than how the waitresses dress at a restaurant. One of those issues, believe it or not, is unemployment.  There are individuals in our beloved Evanston who could use one of those 150 jobs, believe it or not. We're not talking a nude bar here.

Some of you protestors, are you equally as outraged about the unemployed in Evanston, or the number of foreclosed homes,  the increase in juvenile crime, or increased property taxes??? What about the quality of the education??? Let's use our energy and time to focus on substantive, real issues. Not petty, narrow,personal distractions.

Business Development and our Daughters

Two overall thoughts on this matter: For those who think other businesses would be interested in this space I'd like to know what businesses they are talking about. There is an abundance of vacant business space in this town and not much development. I'd love a Trader Joe's too - how about the corner of Asbury and Oakton? Seems like the perfect location with it's own parking over the middle of downtown.

If you go through your daughter's closet I am sure she already has a few short plaid skirts. If mine ends up working as a waitress at TK, I hope she learns valuable life lessons and skills such as dealing with the public, cash handling, and the responsibilities of a job such as showing up on time, doing her best, respecting her boss, working with others. I hope she is friendly with the customers and gets good tips which she brings home in a plastic grocery bag, and then deposits half her earnings in her savings account. I hope she is proud of her job and does her best every day. Granted, she can do that at McDonalds too, but right now she might get shot working there.

Go to howard st.

If this is such a big deal than why are there hookers and crackheads off howard street still????

This restaurant would bring much needed tax revenue to this city which seems to be broke all the time let em build it.

Burlesque in Wilmette, Chastity belt in Evanston?

The Wilmette Theater, right in the middle of WIlmette,  occasionally offers live Burlesque shows at night.   Patrons over age 21 can drink liquor while watching scantily dressed ladies kick up their heels, expose their panties, and shake their breasts that hang out of their bras.

Wilmette has even offered a cross-dressing transvestite show. Carol Dibo, co-owner of the theater, was just named Wilmette's Citizen of the Year.

Wilmette has lower taxes, better park district services for kids, and far better services for special education than Evanston--many would argue better schools in general.

Welcome, TK!

Hear ye, hear ye! We the People of Evanston want: More Tilted Kilt! Less violence. Sincerely, Experienced Feminine Activist & Family (and Catholic, too!)

Evanston hypocrisy

The moral outrage against TK is absolutely ridiculous.  The arguments against TK seem incredibly weak in light of the current state of our community.  Gangs, drugs, and assaults are a daily occurrence on our streets.  Our children can view far more sexually provocative materials on television and the internet.  On a few occasions, I have seen sex acts occur in our parks.

How about directing the moral outrage against the sorry state of community? 

It plays in Peoria

From the Chicago Tribune article about the controversy:

"Tilted Kilt has locations in Peoria, Woodridge, Chicago, Chicago Ridge, Rockford, Elgin, Roselle, Oak Brook Terrace, and Vernon Hills, and is expected to open soon in Schaumburg."

This is the kind of restaurant that one would find in Vernon Hills, Oak Brook Terrace, Elgin, and Schaumburg?   But too risque for Evanston?

Enquiring minds would prefer that an IHOP be built at that location, but this Tilted Kilt seems very tame.

Thank You for the Say Yes Petition for The Tilted Kilt

Thank you for posting the online petition in favor of The Tilted Kilt.  It's a shame that so many are speaking out against this restaurant when most (if any) have never been inside one or spoken to any of its employees.  I have and I will tell you the women do not feel "objectified" in any way because of the restaurant's dress code.  They know what the dress code is before they are hired and they are working there simply to make an honest living.

I do hope the Mayor makes an educated decision based on whether the restaurant meets the liquor license criteria vs. one based on unsubstantiated assumptions and emotions.  If not, the City could have a lawsuit on its hands costing the taxpayers even more money should there be no legal reason for a denial.

For the people who don't approve of this type of restaurant, take your business elsewhere.  There are plenty of other restaurants you can choose from in downtown Evanston.  Let Mr. Mavrakis operate this business.  With the contributions he's made to the City of Evanston, he deserves a chance to continue his excellent track record.

 

Who will sign the petitions ?

In this case the petitons will be meaningless.

Those who will sign petitions against the Tilted Kilt wil outnumber those who would sign a petition for it simply because of adverse selection.  There will be a small number who will sign against but who will still be s very small fraction of the population and those gathering signatures will seek out those who they know would vote against it.

The majority of residents probably are neutral and given the need for business and lower taxes in Evanston more are for it for that reason than those against it but know those against it will probably publish names in order to 'shame' them so won't sign a petition for or seek out petitions.

Once again those who cause the biggest protest, probably would never go downtown anyway.  They would have their chauffeur drive them to Kenilworth for dining or the Gold Coast for shopping.

 

The appropriate message

The appropriate message to investors, inside and outside, should be one of non-interference.

Evanston is open for business, and won't get in the way beyond zoning and permits.

Morality-driven public meetings seems extrastatutory. Being pro-biz is a practice, and one that doesn't come easy to a lot of folks. But it starts from the top down.

Hopefully Tisdahl will have an epiphany (or see the vacancies and crime for what they are: decline) and deliver that message. I agree that TK it is likely to fail. But it should be given the opportunity to fail.

Are lifeguards or cheerleaders boobie prizes?

If some council members and others think young attractive women waiting tables in plaid mini-skirts is exploitative and demeaning then please enact an ordinance requiring lifeguards and cheerleaders not to wear two-piece swimsuits or miniskirts.

It's distracting to munch on an ice cream cone or hot dog when scantily clad lifeguards and others are roaming the sands of our beaches, revealing themselves. It clearly "objectifies our daughters," is "sleazy sexism" and can be likened to "soft-porn" activity that is "offensive" and "irresponsible."

Have you ever seen an overweight or over 40 lifeguard or cheerleader? Would Councilwoman Jane Grover "fit the profile."

Don't get me started on beauty pageants.

Too many Evanstonians do not

Too many Evanstonians do not frequent their own beaches and won't follow. So instead: perhaps the exploitation police should target evanston cable, to cleanse it of Telemundo, or any of the other fine (but frequently scantily-clad) Latino networks

Lifeguards and Cheerleaders

I find it ironic that in a city life Evanston, allegedly full of open minded, free spirited liberal, progressive thinking folks, that anyone has the right to judge what is or is not tasteful or appropriate for women who choose to work in a bar/restaurant such as the TK.  Who qualifies whom to make those judgments?  An 11 year old granddaughter of the mayor? The mayor's son in law?  

Stopping the liquor license isn't enough

Folks, let's face facts here. We are fighting for our survival against neocon-led multinationals and we are losing. Sure, we can deny the liquor license, but we need to go further than that because there is CURRENTLY NO LAW ON THE BOOKS preventing womyn from wearing those outfits in public. We need laws telling womyn what they should and shouldn't wear because without them, the multinational corporations will dictate clothing styles that will lead to the further objectification of womyn. I don't want to live in a world like that. Again, this is a deep pocketed multinational corporation, what will we do if they host a PR stunt whereby "the girls of Tilted Kilt" show up in our town square wearing those outfits? Now as long as I agree with what you're saying, I'm all for the First Amendment, but this is a situation in which we need to take action NOW (pun intended) to put a screeching halt to this objectification. If we don't stop this today, right now, what will the world look like when today's children become adults?

The whole "you see people

The whole "you see people dressed more provocatively on the beach" argument is incredibly weak.  The beach and a restaurant/bar are completely different environments, with completely different dress codes: one is a family-friendly place where no alcohol is served and everyone wears their swimsuits for swimming and sunning; the other is an establishment using sex as a means of profit, using kinkily costumed women to do so.  Just because people wear revealing swimsuits at the beach doesn't mean swimwear/lingerie is appropriate for a restaurant! They're COMPLETELY different types of places.

In terms of bringing revenue into the city; who knows? There's also the strong likelihood of families avoiding the area and doing their shopping and dining at Old Orchard or somewhere instead.

 

avoiding

"likelihood of families avoiding the area and doing their shopping and dining at Old Orchard or somewhere instead."  How can you not see that scenario already being played out?  Commercial vacancies are abundant.  Downtown shopping is lackluster.  Downtown dining is tired and stale.  People don't go downtown now - that is killing the fledgling community.

http://signon.org/sign/open-your-eyes-say-yes?source=c.em.cp&r_by=139341

I see this message board filled with the voice of frustration - and that collective voice is going unheard.  Sign this petition in support of The Tilted Kilt and Mr. Mavrakis.

Thanks Jen

I agree with your points about people not coming to Evanston if those womyn are dressed like that, and because we currently don't have a law on the books preventing it, these neocon multinationals could just start sending womyn here dressed like that if we don't act now to stop it, or worse yet, they could buy off ad space in fashion magazines and force girls to think that is an appropriate way to dress and then we'd be stuck with this sort of disgusting behavior in public. The womyn's suffrage and liberation movements were about giving womyn a voice so that we as a society could use government actions to stop destructive actions against womyn and now is the time to act to ensure that we protect everyone in our society and not moneyed fatcats like this greedy businessman. At some point neocons need to wise up and understand that the government knows what is best in terms of what people should and should not be allowed to do. As an aside, if there is open space in that building, I would like to see the City force the owner to open an internationally flavored vegan restaurant featuring vegan cuisine that draws on influences from all over the world to prepare top notch vegan cuisine. That is what people want, not another sports bar that objectifies womyn while a bunch of losers get drunk and watch the brutal activity of football.

Not the same situation

I have been to a TK so feel that I can comment honestly.  My sister, her fiance, and my father all frequent one on a weekly basis as a matter of fact.
I have to agree with the comments that it is not at all a fair comparison to put cheerleaders and beach-goers on the same platform as TK "waitresses" (they are hired as performers actually).  When you go to a sporting event, the cheerleaders are down on the field/court a long distance away.  At the beach, the same goes.  At the Tilted Kilt it is a very different story.  You will spend the evening with your face a mere foot or two away from your waitress who is standing there mostly naked.  It is this very close proximity which alters the situation greatly.  This is most definitely an adult establishment, and therefore not appropriate for a downtown square, the heart of the city (most TK's have an outdoor eating section, so the waitresses are visible to passer's by).
I would never take my teenage son, or a daughter if I had one.  While I was very pleasantly impressed with the absolute enforcement of zero tolerance on sexual harassment and apparent support that these girls have from the managment, the fact that you need bouncers to keep the clientele in check on a regular basis is evidence enough that this type of establishment is pandering to our basest forms of entertainment.
It saddens me that the young women of today's society feel that the only way they can exist in this day and age is by being beautiful, skinny, and mostly naked.  Examples: the overabundance of sexting, social network panty poses, and now even the work environment (bikini baristas, peak-a-boob restaurants, "reality" tv shows where females are paid to be completely classless and trashy, etc). 
A restaurant should be confident enough in it's food, service, and atmosphere that they don't feel the need to draw customers in with the promise of near-nudity table side.  I personally found it a bit unappetizing and a disadvantage to the restaurant that my thoughts were more focused on pondering the personal hygiene regiment that must be needed by my waitress whose tiny skirt hung so low that she obviously needed to frequently get a bikini wax.  I don't know about most people, but I really don't want to think about a complete stranger's need to wax their pubic hair just so I don't see it while I am eating.

Let's Boycott the Tilted Kilt - and Giordano's

The owner of the Fountain Square Building who is leasing to the Tilted Kilt also owns Giordano's Pizza.  I suggest we organize a boycott of both establishments including picketing on Friday nights – a big night for a pizza place.  Furthermore, we should also approach other residents of the Fountain Square Building to not renew their lease.  If Mr. Mavrakis desires to promote establishments such as the Tilted Kilt he will learn that it may be to the detriment of his other ventures.

Allow me to...

Allow me to STRONGLY criticize this poster's suggestion to boycott Giordano's Pizza and the TK and try to influence neighboring lease holders not to renew.

Why... Because it is malicious.  Simple as that.

It is clear that your intention is not to offer dissenting opinion or debate (as this forum serves well).

Rather your intention is designed to inflict harm on someone else, their business, their employees and frankly downtown Evanston (unintended consequence?).

Childish, thuggish and simply not productive in an already struggling downtown environment. 

Grow up.

Can we talk?

Hi Pro and Con TK Evanston neighbors,

I call us "neighbors" because that's what we are. We're people trying to live together and figure out how to tackle a difficult issue that affects our shared home -- respectfully.

How about we don't cast Pro TKers as sex-starved scumbags, and we don't cast Con TKers as prudes, business-haters, or freedom annihilators. I will put my own opinion out there--which is against having TK in Fountain Square--just so you know my own personal preference. I hope you will read on rather than dismiss me on those grounds alone.

There is no doubt that Evanston is in need of economic development, but we, as a community and as individuals, have some decisions to make about how to address that issue, and whether this venue is the right choice for the good of the entire community, of men, women, children. As much as I want that space filled, and jobs provided, I feel very concerned that we, as a culture and perhaps as a local community, provide so few places where sexuality is not treated as a commodity, and people, especially the bodies of attractive young women, are not used as a marketing tool for the pleasure of many and the profit of a few. 

Please hear me. I have no issue with how people as individuals dress. That is none of my business. But how a corporate entity presents itself in my community does matter to me. It is precisely because there are so many other places and marketing outlets for  accessible sexuality that I would argue that we try to preserve a central space in our community which does not rely on that particular marketing tool. If you feel this venue elevates our community and our shared values, then we will, respectfully, disagree. But I hope those in favor of TK's placement will consider the many families and young people who are trying to keep their heads on straight in the midst of a very confusing, highly market-driven culture, which sometimes sacrifices value for money.

This is really the heart of the matter

Thanks, Nancy.  I think that your points really get to the heart of the matter and what is the primary concern of most of the people who are opposed to opening a business like the TK in the middle of our town.

I've never before felt so strongly about the proposal of a business in our town.  And while people have posted about opposition to businesses like the TK in other towns, those were not Evanston.  My point is that I've lived in Evanston for 33 years and I don't recall ever anyone opposing a business based on the sexual nature of the business... That alone, I think, is a good reason for everyone to take a step back and consider why this is so controversial.  Why is it, really, that people are opposing this establishment?  I think the heart of the matter is what Nancy has posted.

Most everyone who lives here, loves this city.  We all care about its future.  We all want to see businesses come here and be successful - we all know that without successful business we wont have a successful city.  It's precisely in these situations of economic difficulty, where we are feeling the most challenged, that the choices we make will come to define us.  So, please, let's look to find solutions to these challenges that do not at the same time compromise our character as a town and community.

And I would like to repeat what Nancy said because I do think it's so aptly gets to the real center of the objection and in a respectful way:

"Please hear me. I have no issue with how people as individuals dress. That is none of my business. But how a corporate entity presents itself in my community does matter to me. It is precisely because there are so many other places and marketing outlets for  accessible sexuality that I would argue that we try to preserve a central space in our community which does not rely on that particular marketing tool. If you feel this venue elevates our community and our shared values, then we will, respectfully, disagree. But I hope those in favor of TK's placement will consider the many families and young people who are trying to keep their heads on straight in the midst of a very confusing, highly market-driven culture, which sometimes sacrifices value for money."

This is really the heart of the matter

Thanks, Nancy.  I think that your points really get to the heart of the matter and what is the primary concern of most of the people who are opposed to opening a business like the TK in the middle of our town.

I've never before felt so strongly about the proposal of a business in our town.  And while people have posted about opposition to businesses like the TK in other towns, those were not Evanston.  My point is that I've lived in Evanston for 33 years and I don't recall ever anyone opposing a business based on the sexual nature of the business... That alone, I think, is a good reason for everyone to take a step back and consider why this is so controversial.  Why is it, really, that people are opposing this establishment?  I think the heart of the matter is what Nancy has posted.

Most everyone who lives here, loves this city.  We all care about its future.  We all want to see businesses come here and be successful - we all know that without successful business we wont have a successful city.  It's precisely in these situations of economic difficulty, where we are feeling the most challenged, that the choices we make will come to define us.  So, please, let's look to find solutions to these challenges that do not at the same time compromise our character as a town and community.

And I would like to repeat what Nancy said because I do think it's so aptly gets to the real center of the objection and in a respectful way:

"Please hear me. I have no issue with how people as individuals dress. That is none of my business. But how a corporate entity presents itself in my community does matter to me. It is precisely because there are so many other places and marketing outlets for  accessible sexuality that I would argue that we try to preserve a central space in our community which does not rely on that particular marketing tool. If you feel this venue elevates our community and our shared values, then we will, respectfully, disagree. But I hope those in favor of TK's placement will consider the many families and young people who are trying to keep their heads on straight in the midst of a very confusing, highly market-driven culture, which sometimes sacrifices value for money."

I agree wholeheartedly.

And another point, having nothing to do with the above - if the business and building owner is the good citizen he claims to be, why are the windows on his property boarded up, and why is it covered with graffiti?

order Gdo's pizza

Next time I order pizza, definitely ordering from Giordano's!  In fact Giordano's will now be my go to pizza place.  Every time from now until the Kilt opens. 

Anybody Hear of Hooters??

The same hew and cry went on when Hooters was going into some towns .... I think every one has survived and is doing OK.  I don't think anyone's daughter ran off to join Hooters .... good grief, get real ... Evanston needs the money!

Yes, but where is there a

Yes, but where is there a Hooters as the centerpiece business of the town?  You're right, we need the money, but I can guarantee that money would keep pouring into our (andMr. Mavrakis') pockets if he built it someplace other than the town square.

Tilted Kilt in Evanston

I was at the meeting and spoke in favor of the proposal. I did that because my business partner and I recently signed a lease for a Tilted Kilt in Bolingbrook and we did so only after thoroughly investigating every aspect of the company, visiting existing locations and talking to  other cities staff about any problems they might have had with either the restaurants operation or its clientele.

We found little to be concerned about and certainly did not see, nor come across the legions of outraged citizens that marked the evanston hearing. 

I found it particular fascinating that several speakers seemed to think that just walking their children past the Tilted Kilt was the equivalent of a stroll through Times square before it was cleaned up. Nothing could be further from the truth. The outside of each bar simply has a Tilted Kilt sign, there are no pictures of  kilt wearing waitresses and no hordes of drunken sexual predators lounging around outside ( or inside).

Each Tilted has very high quality furnishings and the girls are there to serve food and nothing else. It is a sports bar not a strip club.

Speaking of food, several commentators have compared it to Hooters which is totally wrong. The food at the Tilted is very good ( unlike Hooters) and believe me, as an Englishman I know what bad food is like.

Listening to the indignation being voiced by those objecting I wondered how many had actually visited a Tilted to form an opinion rather then just giving a knee jerk reaction by signing a petition that claimed it would corrupt their children. I rather thought the flames of objections had been carefully fanned by those who lean towards imposing their own puritanical views on the rest of us. By using language such as porn peddlers they  misrepresented and exaggerated the situation in order to scare up signatures.

I agree with the other speaker who wished that such energy could be directed to deal with the very real problems the city faces. On the other hand though, I am delighted to live in a city where concerns like this (even if misplaced ) are debated in public and in a democratic manner.

I feel for the mayor though, she has to make a decision that on one hand could provide employment and an investment in a downtown that is sadly needed whilst on the other side she could alienate  the "mob opinion leaders" who seemed to quite enjoy sharing and spreading their indignation.

Its a tough job and I do not envy her role. She's got my vote next time just for trying to deal with all this.

Tilted Kilt - how many people have actually been to one ?

I was at the meeting and spoke in favor of the proposal. I did that because my business partner and I recently signed a lease for a Tilted Kilt in Bolingbrook and we did so only after thoroughly investigating every aspect of the company, visiting existing locations and talking to  other cities staff about any problems they might have had with either the restaurants operation or its clientele.

We found little to be concerned about and certainly did not see, nor come across the legions of outraged citizens that marked the evanston hearing.

I found it particular fascinating that several speakers seemed to think that just walking their children past the Tilted Kilt was the equivalent of a stroll through Times square before it was cleaned up. Nothing could be further from the truth. The outside of each bar simply has a Tilted Kilt sign, there are no pictures of  kilt wearing waitresses and no hordes of drunken sexual predators lounging around outside ( or inside).

Each Tilted has very high quality furnishings and the girls are there to serve food and nothing else. It is a sports bar not a strip club.

Speaking of food, several commentators have compared it to Hooters which is totally wrong. The food at the Tilted is very good ( unlike Hooters) and believe me, as an Englishman I know what bad food is like.

Listening to the indignation being voiced by those objecting I wondered how many had actually visited a Tilted to form an opinion rather then just giving a knee jerk reaction by signing a petition that claimed it would corrupt their children. I rather thought the flames of objections had been carefully fanned by those who lean towards imposing their own puritanical views on the rest of us. By using language such as porn peddlers they  misrepresented and exaggerated the situation in order to scare up signatures.

I agree with the other speaker who wished that such energy could be directed to deal with the very real problems the city faces. On the other hand though, I am delighted to live in a city where concerns like this (even if misplaced ) are debated in public and in a democratic manner.

I feel for the mayor though, she has to make a decision that on one hand could provide employment and an investment in a downtown that is sadly needed whilst on the other side she could alienate  the "mob opinion leaders" who seemed to quite enjoy sharing and spreading their indignation.

Its a tough job and I do not envy her role. She's got my vote next time just for trying to deal with all this.

Will they show European soccer?

Hey Kevin,

Great to hear that you actually know about the Tilted Kilt. 

A quick question:  with the Scottish theme do the franchises play European soccer games on the TVs?  Do franchisees have a lot of autonomy over that sort of stuff (i.e. what the TVs show).  I ask because many franchise agreements are pretty restrictive.

Evanston totally needs a soccer bar--or at least a bar that is soccer-friendly.  It would be great to have a place to congregate to watch European games as well as maybe a Chicago Fire bar.  There are a few in the city, but Evanston would be a really good market for this.

If the TK made itself the home for soccer fans in Evanston they would do great!

yes they do

They were showing a premier league game last time I visited their Woodbridge location but I am not certain that this is official policy. I will ask my tenant about it and come back to you on the question of individual policy and how much autonomy each location has.

 

 

Yes soccer too !

Spoken to my contact and it is down to the individual locations management in terms of choosing what sports to feature on the 30/40 screens they have in each. So if the demand is there we will have European soccer being shown.

Soccer Emphasis would do well in Evanston

Thanks for the info Kevin. I know that you aren't running the Evanston branch, but if Mr. Markakis is looking at these threads, he should SERIOUSLY consider being deliberately soccer-friendly. 

There are some problems with the fact that some European games start early in the morning--but if he hooked up with the Chicago Fire supporters group, Section 8 and played all of the post-11am games on the weekends, it would do very well here, I am sure.

Soccer fans are usually quite loyal and the multicultural and educated nature of Evanston suggests that it would be a good niche to carve out.  It actually takes no additional investment--maybe some emphasis on the web site or inclusion in advertising.  Word-of-mouth would take it from there.

Good luck.

Type of people complaining about a restaurant.

The type of people complaining about a restaurant with skirts and bikini tops are the old, non sexy or the over weight individuals.  Go to any of the meetings and that is what you'll see there.  There are plenty of other restaurants and strip clubs, so why are they upset about a place where girls serve food in skirts and bikini tops?  Go down to Florida and you'll find it everywhere.   These insecure people are the ones with their own personal issues of the human body and with their own body.  They don't like to shows theirs off because they are either to old or ugly or fat to do so.  People should have the freedom to wear the clothing they want to wear.  If you don't like to eat in those types of restaurants then don't go to it.  These insecure men & or women are busy being worried about their husbands or boyfriends going to these places and that's why they want to keep it away from their town.  'To all the insecure Men and Women get over it --really.

Well... maybe

I would not go as far as critiquing their physical appearances, etc. 

But I will say that they used moveon.org to create their campaign and petition.

For me, that is enough said.

The Liquor Control Board should be eliminated

The most disturbing thing about the whole issue of whether the Tilted Kilt restaurant/bar should have been allowed in Evanston or not was about how this decision was made.  My understanding is that according to the Zoning in the proposed location of Fountain Square, a restaurant/bar is allowed.  So what exactly IS the “Liquor Control Board” basing their decision on?  What are their standards? If they are “recommending” to the Mayor, her decision needs to be specifically in regards to the rules for conducting a liquor establishment (i.e. no criminal record, etc.).  She stated that she ‘saw their business card and it was the final straw’.   That sounds like a moral decision and not a reason that should be contained in any standards of the "Liquor Control Board".  The mayor should have to base her decision according to the rules – not the morality of the place. 

Someone should investigate this so-called “board” and their guiding principles.  Something doesn’t seem right about this process when the zoning rules allow it but a single person can deny it for what is clearly (based on the comments on Evanston Now) questionable and debatable reasons.  The bigger question becomes: Why do we need a “control” board?   There should just be rules that get checked off a list (i.e.: no criminal record for selling liquor to minors, etc.) by a staff member in the zoning Department – or the police department before a license is issued.  Period.  

It’s clearly time to change this very ambiguous “moral judgment” situation.
 

Take it out of her pay!

I'm tired of all the prudes taking on the "Morality" issue. What's wrong with you Mayor? I say we take any tax revenue that would have been generated by TK out of the Mayor's salary and benefits. Think twice before you raise my taxes again. Looks like the mayor won't be returning for a second term!!

TK employee here..

To proudly say that all these accusations of us being sleezy little girls is just absolutely ridiculous. I have been with my company since the day it has opened the doors, and while evey city in America is struggling through economic difficulties .. This IS still just another restaurant. Someone already did state, nobody ever made this big of a fuss about hooters. Also stated, Florida .. I'm assuming most of you con TKers have never been there or even Texas. I have family that live in both and not once have I visited and not noticed a sports bar with girls in cowboys boots and bikinis, skirts, small bras etc. I do slightly agree that most people opposing TKs are "baby boomers". My mother was born in 1955 and she wasn't too thrilled when I told her I was working there either. Though, what she did say, was reassuring.. At least your not whoring yourself for drugs or dancing naked on a pole, because afterall she isn't going to pay my bills!! Before applying at my location I worked as a server in a four star restaurant.. Thinking the "value" of it's name would end all my monetary struggles. Proud to say after working at TK for some time now, I have paid off my car, house and most of my school loans, Even my medical debt. Granted yes there may be some people that dont have the best intentions wandering into the building... Nobody is stopping them from walking around my streets all night either. So what's the difference? Don't get me wrong I have never been to your city, I don't know the economic crisis your downtown is enduring.. However I will say, and I'll say it Again.. This IS just a sports bar/restaurant -- if you do not feel comfortable with our outfits, our title and/or environment, then don't visit! We'll spend an hour or two catering to you, serving you to the best of our ability.. And you'll still misjudge, point fingers and probably stiff me anyway. I go to work everyday just like anyone else.. We all have bills to pay and need to support our lifestyles. Dont ruin a girls day just because she's sittin at your table, less than dressed.. Go to Applebee's, Red Lobster .. Max & Ermas or even the little hotdog joint down the street. We aren't here to criticize you, so please have the same respect!! GO TILTED KILT EVANSTON !!!

Well Said

Well Said!  I supported TK in Evanston.