Morton Grove-area residents expressed a wide variety of opinions in response to a Patch article Wednesday about a Tilted Kilt bar-restaurant proposed for Dempster Street at Lehigh Street.
Patch conducted a poll on the topic, but the results are inconclusive.
In a lively online discussion, some said the low-cut, exposed-midriff, mini-skirt costumes the waitresses wear would lower community standards, while others said they are no big deal.
Melissa Albertson said, "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...."
However, "Palos Park Resident" said, "Love the Kilt, I bring my family there all the time in Joliet. If you have a TV with basic channels, you are getting more of a risque exposure than coming to a Tilted Kilt. The food is great, and love the atmosphere...It is not a strip joint, or a brothel....it is a pub."
Concerns over traffic, increased crime
Others brought up the fact the proposed bar could have an impact on traffic, crime and safety.
Jeanne Robbie said: "I am not concerned about scantily clad women nor am I an opponent of attracting businesses to our community to increase our tax revenue. What I am concerned about is late business hours, traffic routed down our residential streets and the potential increased crime incidents as documented in police reports in other communities where Tilted Kilt and other like businesses are located, any or all of which could impact the safety and well being of our residents and the feel of our Morton Grove community."
Would it succeed in that location?
Still others wondered whether a Tilted Kilt could be profitable in a quiet area of Dempster near the forest preserves. Sarah B noted: "...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...
"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?"
Poll shut down
Patch's poll, which went up on the site Wednesday morning, had about 120 votes by Wednesday night, and they were running about 60 percent in favor of the viewpoint "Yes. The costumes aren't that skimpy, and it will add to Morton Grove's tax base" and about 40 percent for "No. The costumes and atmosphere are not appropriate for a family-friendly community like Morton Grove."
However, Patch polls are not scientific, and by Thursday night, the poll had about 1,257 votes, of which about 95 percent took the "no" position. The poll has been shut down, and results are inconclusive.
My fellow Patch editor George Slefo in Skokie once responded this way to a similar occurrence with a Patch poll:
"There isn't a limit to how many straws you can take from a McDonald’s counter. There also isn’t a limit to how many Equals you take for your coffee.
"But we know taking all of them is wrong.
"The same holds true when voting."