Scantily Clad Servers In Morton Grove?

A proposal for a Tilted Kilt bar, which has waitresses in bare-midriff, low-cut costumes, is being discussed. Learn the history, vote in our poll on whether you approve.


If a bar that features sexily-dressed waitresses opens in Morton Grove, is that good for keeping the village's taxes lower or bad for its character as a family-friendly community?

Even before developer Ted Mavrakis, who owns the property on Dempster Street just east of Lincoln Avenue (site of the former Maxwell's Restaurant), has firmed up plans for a proposal to open a Tilted Kilt bar-restaurant, residents are debating the idea.

"I don't believe he's made up his mind yet (on whether to proceed with the Tilted Kilt idea)," said Ted Pirpiris, business manager of Mavrakis' Imagine Properties in Evanston. "We're working on a couple of other deals so it's a lower priority at this point."


Tilted Kilt is a franchised bar-restaurant which features waitresses in low cut red tartan plaid bras, covered by white camp shirts that reach only to the rib cage and leave the midriff bare. They also wear hip-hugger mini-skirts and knee-high socks. The chain has 11 outlets in the Chicagoland area, with the nearest ones in Schaumburg and Vernon Hills.

The chain has experienced controversy, with 19 women employees filing a sexual harassment lawsuit earlier this year at a Chicago location, the Huffington Post said. Evanston rejected Mavrakis' proposal to build a Tilted Kilt there last year, according to CBS Local, with 2,200 people signing a petition against it and Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl saying it did not meet community standards. 

The process has yet to begin in Morton Grove. 

"We haven't received any sort of applications at this point," noted the village's Director of Economic Development John Said Tuesday. "There has been discussion, but that's as far as it's gone."

A Chicago Tribune article found some residents who live near the parcel don't like the idea of creating a boozy, collegiate-type atmosphere so close to residences. 

One Morton Grove resident also e-mailed Patch to express concern about the prospect of scantily clad women running around at the proposed bar-restaurant. 

However, another Morton Grove reader expressed the opinion that the restaurant could expand the village's tax base, thus helping to lower residents' property taxes, and at least deserves a fair hearing.

Pirpiris said Mavrakis' company has not yet done any market research and doesn't know how to gauge community reaction at this point. 

"He does listen to community reaction," Pirpiris said.

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Mark R. June 21, 2012 at 05:02 AM
Note should be made of the police call to the Tilted Kilt in Schaumburg on 1.23.2012 where a suicide took place in the parking lot. (see post below). The Elgin Tilted Kilt is open Fri and Saturday until 3am. I feel sorry for the people living in the Toll Brothers townhouses if this location is developed as a Tilted Kilt. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/23/michael-cicci-death-at-ti_n_1223504.html
Mark R. June 21, 2012 at 10:42 AM
Apparently, the people of Evanston did their homework concerning the Tilted Kilt before overwhelmingly rejecting this concept restaurant from Las Vegas. Please view these YouTube videos before taking the poll (one video required you to sign in to view, due to adult content): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9bRaDFM_yY http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=jqVczUlcUHM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6uOPTe6qE8&feature=related
Dave Schleer June 21, 2012 at 01:17 PM
What's the big deal let them come in and let the people choose if they want to go to eat there.it's like porn you know it's out there but you don't have to look at it.
Natalie P. June 21, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Dave, people who live there kind of don't have a choice. It's not about the customers. It's about the family friendly (not anymore I assume) community. How would you like to live and raise a family next to a bar that's open till 3am?
Joe Ficek June 21, 2012 at 05:09 PM
The tilted kilt is on par with a Hooters. The Village could use the income and our taxes are hiogh enough. Bring them in....................
Sarah B June 21, 2012 at 08:51 PM
I agree with Jeanne on concerns regarding traffic, noise and safety. And furthermore, it seems highly unlikely that a Tilted Kilt will be profitable in that location, given that Crazy Jaws on Waukegan closed after less than a year and other Tilted Kilts (Elgin, Schaumburg) are in much higher-traffic commercial areas, with office parks, larger strip/shopping malls, hotel chains, etc. bringing in traffic. This one would be next to the forest preserve and park, in a pretty sleepy area of a community that pushes its "family-friendly" reputation. Naperville had a bitter and divisive fight over a "Show Me's" (same sort of chain); the place ended up going in over people's objections, was closed after 10 months, then was replaced by a "family-friendly" sports bar. Seems like Morton Grove is heading down the same path, unfortunately. The worst outcome would be that this turns into an ugly fight and the TK goes in over objections but then fails, leaving the village with yet another building sitting empty and not generating revenue. Can't we just skip the battle and put in a place that's suitable for all interested parties--something that would avoid the outrage over inappropriateness and generate the revenue that everyone wants?
Anon amous June 22, 2012 at 12:39 AM
I agree with Sarah B. I also think it is outrageous for Morton Grove to not hold a public hearing if this comes forward, given the close proximity to a large residential area. Many families believe and support the 'best place to raise kids' marketing. Is it just a marketing ploy? Does the city back that pledge up with action or sellout for tax revenue? I think many would praise the developer, should they consider a more appropriate venue for Morton Grove. Otherwise, I would expect this to be a loosing proposition, and informed may choose to stop backing other establishments in the city with ties to this developer, such as Giordano's. I would urge those concerned to let our village trustees understand the importance of this issue. Don't settle for "we don't really have a choice" statements. www.mortongroveil.org/government/VillageBoard.asp
Melissa Albertson June 22, 2012 at 01:46 AM
My son goes to park view elementary. Seems Morton Grove is bringing out one fabulous after school program after another. For a while now my son has gotten homework help at the hooka lounge, and now he'll be able to get after school milk and cookies, along with some attentive baby sitting. Way to go MG. What a way to demonstrate the town's values and moral fiber.... www.tiltedkilt.com/ http://www.tiltedkilt.com/kilt-girl-calendar/
sherwin dubren June 22, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Nice to see people speaking out against this Tilted Kilt. Kind of quashes all these comments that I am a lone indian and complainer. I have a letter in the Morton Grove Bugle this week where I direct the ball to President Staackman's and the trustee's court. The President cannot excuse himself for letting this project go forward. He issues the liquor licenses in the village and if he stops their license, they can forget about their sports bar. As for allowing a sports bar without the scantily clad women, I don't think that would be good for Morton Grove either. You can get drunk and roudy at any of these places. The site of the former Maxwell's restaurant is a prime and prominent location on Morton Groves main avenue. Putting a sports bar smack on the frontage of Dempster is going to change the image of the village as a family oriented place to live. Some local business men, like the owner of Giordanos on Dempster, are reportedly backing this Tilted Kilt. If so, they should have more concern for the image of Morton Grove and less on any profits they may make from this investment. I see many nice restaurants and businesses going into our neighboring suburbs of Skokie, Glenview, etc. Why can't we get some of them interested?
Greg Cieply June 22, 2012 at 03:10 PM
I would like to point out a few things. Firstly, Crazy Jaws had just as many scantily clad servers as the Tilted Kilt - albeit less numbers and possibly not as provocative. Essentially it was the same concept, but it failed. I think they were open just as late and I'm not certain, but isn't there a similar restaurant on Touhy in Niles - Brickhouse? I'm a Niles resident so I don't know if there were any similar discussions about Crazy Jaws when that opened, were there? Secondly, regarding the neighbors, I have to agree that this could be a problem, however thats the cost of living near a business location. You likely paid less to have a nice newer home in not the best location. Having owned a home next to a main street/business district, I can attest to the fact that your property value will be less for that reason - and you KNOW that when you buy there (I would also point out that in that location, there used to be 3 restaurants, one of them I remember was a late nite one) . While there weren't new homes there at the time, the ones on the east side of Maxwell's were still there. I have been to the Tilted Kilt in Chicago Ridge and I was surprised to see the number of families there. While it isn't appropriate for young children, that is a choice Mom and Dad need to make, not the state. The food, drink, service and value at the Tilted Kilt are top notch - even if the servers were fully covered from head to toe, it would still be a great place to go.
sherwin dubren June 22, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Greg is way off here in his comparisons. Crazy Jaws waitresses were not nearly as scantily clad as those in the Tilted Kilt. Families will bring their kids to all kinds of places. They were going to the Niles OTB. Some families have no regard for their children, in this respect, so their attendance is not an endorsement. Greg's town Niles seems to catch rejected projects like the Off Track Betting Parlor, so maybe they can take the Tilted Kilt, as well. There are something like nine Tilted Kilts in Chicago, so Greg does not have to go far to find one. This Sports Bar is pushing their franchises where ever they can go, maybe one on every street corner.
Alanna O. June 22, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Actually when those townhomes were purchased that entire site was re-zoned for residential and unfortunately for us and for Morton Grove the developer was foreclosed on and the site has been reverted back to commercial space and has sat empty for years. While it is understood that the site is now zoned for business the people that live closest to it would like to ensure that it is one that is safe for our community and one that will be financially viable in the location that it is in so that it can contribute tax dollars to Morton Grove well into the future.
Anon amous June 22, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Greg, many families who moved in near to this area and believed in the TIF district plan for this lot and the ability for Morton Grove to back this planned use, along with the tax incentive towards property owners. I dont know about others but this development would not be alligned with the TIF plan and if any TIF tax incentives are provided towards this proposed plan I know some who will bring a suite against Morton Grove for this.
Not impressed June 23, 2012 at 03:33 AM
We have a Tilted Kilt in Vernon Hills. The town council approved it thinking it was an upscale sports bar without ever fully understanding the theme. We used to have a Hooters, but it closed due to lack of business. I can only hope the same thing happens to the Tilted Kilt. It is NOT a family oriented place, but usually filled with middle aged men looking at the largest collection of Victoria's Secret Wonder Bras ever gathered in one place. The food is extremely lame (fish tacos: three fish sticks in a taco shell; Shepard's Pie: a ball of mashed potatoes floating in a bucket of greasy ground beef soup). The drinks are weak. At least the Playboy Club was honest when it represented itself. Tilted Kilt is just a pretense of a restaurant, a display of scantily clad, barely twenty-one waitresses with no other redeeming feature. I hope it follows Hooters out of town, at least Hooters had decent Buffalo shrimp. Morton Grove, if you want a place to eat and drink, you can do much better.
sherwin dubren June 23, 2012 at 07:36 AM
This is great. A local witness to a nearby Tilted Kilt has shattered any illusions about this being a family type establishment. Also, the food does not sound appetizing. Why else would one go there, if not to just oogle the scantily dressed waitresses?
Not impressed June 23, 2012 at 01:56 PM
I can go even further. Our Tilted Kilt is located in a shopping center across the street from a business park, so we do not have the neighborhood issues. However, immediately across the street is a very large nationally-known business in two buildings. Within a week of opening, it was announced to the employees that no expense reports with receipts from Tilted Kilt would be accepted for reimbursement. I know, I work there. Now, do you think this policy would be in force for a real, family-oriented restaurant? Evanston knew what it was doing.
Gail Simone June 24, 2012 at 12:42 PM
It was openly available for sale, maybe residents should have asked the Village to buy it. That would solve a lot of these problems. Of course that would mean tax payer money being used. If all of the people who are against this would each put in $5,000 to $10,000 maybe there would enough to buy it. There's no easier answers here. Are we really asking our local government to protect us from cleavage? I've seen worse on the cover of magazines in the check out line at the grocery store or at the pool across the street.
Karen Berger June 24, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Oh good heavens, doesn't anyone remember what took place in the 60s and 70s so that women could make their own decisions? I don't want my granddaughter working there, but it's her life and her decision and she will have to be over 21 to work there. The type of man that only wants to stare at your body will do so regardless of the name on the restaurant door.
John Byrne June 24, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Businesses have a right to fail. America = Free Choice = Free Market. A brand new restaurant is a brand new restaurant. If it fails in a year like Crazy Jaws, then we're left with a vacant building that's ready for the next restaurant. Now, I agree that a nice 2 acre field in front of my home would be preferable, but that's not realistic. Also, it sounds like the business is not and has not asked for any help from the Village. A self-sufficient business not being supported by the Village is a winner.
Bert June 24, 2012 at 03:05 PM
This is why I no longer live in Morton Grove, because it is run by a puritanical group of self absorbed busy bodies. Grow the eff up people, it's a restaurant. To hear these bible thumping idiots, you'd think they were opening a full frontal nudity strip joint. Somehow, I don't think the little children Park View Elementary school will be sneaking in to order lunch and oogle the waitresses. As I said, Morton Grove is run by over taxed Prudes.
sherwin dubren June 24, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Let's not be hyporcrites about this. If we welcome this trashy sports bar into Morton Grove, we should give back any awards for being a great place for families and stop bragging about it.
celeste loorden June 25, 2012 at 12:49 PM
When you open the door of opportunity to scandalously clad bars, you are opening up your entire life and everything you care about to it. Yeah one bar isn't bad, but it doesn't stop at just 1. Soon someone will want to open another then another soon you will have a serious problem. THe drunks,druggies come in soon crime rate raises, you have. Taxes butit will go towards trying to control the problems that come from this. All in all you let one scandalous bar in you will have to allow others. Befor you know it your property won't be worth anything it did, crimerate will chase off families then you will be left with nothing more then a drunkin, ghost town. Think this thru completely before opening your community up. I should know it happen to my hometown.
ACS June 27, 2012 at 02:12 AM
I can't beleive the ignorant comments posted. I am a resident of Verbon Hills, married, and an 11 month old daughter. We go to the Kilt relatively frequently. We Both like going (wife loves the garlic fries, for example). This is not a strip club, and you aren't going to see anything "out of the ordinary". The people that oppose a kilt moving in, do you have the same complaint if a public pool was planned? You'll see far more skin with everyone in their bathing suits. Also, last I checked, I haven't encountered a rowdy crowd leaving a sports bar en masse, disturbing the peace of the community they are in...and I've been to a LOT of places given my job has me accumulating over 250,000 airline miles - I have been all over and been to a lot of places and this would be the last of my concerns. My advice to Morton Grove would be to welcome new business and income and use it to fix up the dumpy looking town. Really...Dempster looks like you are living in a 3rd world country.
sherwin dubren June 27, 2012 at 03:14 AM
Interesting how people that differ in opinions with ACS are ignorant. I don't think so. Be patient ACS. When your daughter grows up, she can get a job at a Tilted Kilt. It is not a question of how much skin is shown. It's in the presentation. All the waitresses in the Tilted Kilt are well endowed and push up their boobs in a very provocative manner. These people are selling sex. Sex need not be just naked women or prostitutes. You seem like a real bar hopper. Does your wife appreciate that? I have not been to the Vernon Hills Tilted Kilt, but I believe it is in a shopping district, far removed from any residences. If they want to put their Tilted Kilt on Oakton, that would be ok with me. Let's have some respect for the privacy of people living near the proposed site. Noise and traffic will be a problem. It's just not a good place to build the sports bar.
Mark R. June 27, 2012 at 04:52 AM
I have read through each of the posted comments and did not see any mention of a bible. However, I read about concerns of ingress and egress, impact to a residential neighborhood, crimes and a suicide committed at other Tilted Kilts, and noise issues, to name some but not all concerns. The city leaders have stated that they were interested in hearing what the citizens who elected them into office have to say on this matter. We have an opportunity to get this building project right from the start. I would urge our leaders and the developer to do what is best for the citizens of Morton Grove.
Mark R. June 28, 2012 at 06:06 AM
Additional Google searches for Tilted Kilt. This headline is in the Sun Times and from Elgin (date not listed): Man charged with attempted murder for Tilted Kilt stabbings http://www.suntimes.com/news/crime/4053793-418/story.html Folks, this proposal for for a key piece of Morton Grove real estate is really beginning to stink.
sherwin dubren June 28, 2012 at 07:29 AM
Mark, I'm sure there are more stories like this one about the Tilted Kilt. For all the proponents of bars, they should look at what happened in a local bar recently: http://niles.patch.com/articles/three-attackers-beat-man-in-bar and I'm sure there is more of that too if one checks the police reports.
Jeff Olson July 06, 2012 at 06:42 PM
You know, I’ve been a resident of Morton Grove for well over 25 years. The proposed location for this ‘Sports Bar’ is at what I feel is the entrance of our town. I for one don’t want to have it be the definition of what our village is. I’ll be honest; I would love nothing better than to see a mid-range ‘family’ restaurant in that location; something that we could take our kids and friends to. In my humble opinion, Morton Grove has done a pretty good job of chasing out just about any place I would want to go to for something other than a quick burger or pancakes. I’ve been to the Kilt’s downtown location once. I was not impressed with the food, service or the clientele.
Pete July 23, 2012 at 06:20 AM
I also am a long time MG resident, an after years if listening to all the cry baby's in Morton grove. I to am moving. It's a restaurant folks. If u don't like it don't go there. Geeeeeez people


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