The staff at the new Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery has been surprised by the rush of attention the Celtic-themed sports bar in Sterling Heights has received since it opened earlier this week.
An invitation-only soft opening on Jan. 10 brought a packed house and things haven’t slowed much since the doors formally opened to the public two days later.
“It’s been crazy,” says general manager Rick Barach. “The Chamber of Commerce said they received 50 emails asking when we were opening. On Monday, we ran out of high chairs because we had so many families in here.” Yes, the Tempe, Ariz.-based chain of upscale sports bars has gained something of a reputation as being part of the “breastaurant” movement of restaurants fronted by scantily clad female servers.
But if their early days are any indication, this place is more PG than risque thanks to the spacious room, friendly atmosphere, 56 TV monitors, and extensive menu featuring top-shelf versions of bar favorites such as wings, burgers and pizza.
Located in the spot formerly occupied by Cada’s Poker and Sports Grill and Roosevelts Billiards on Hayes Road at Hall Road, the 6,000-square-foot, 400-seat eatery is the third Tilted Kilt in southeast Michigan, following Novi and Canton.
Local owners Nathan Karrumi, a Sterling Heights chiropractor, and his brother, Nolan, a resident physician from Franklin, have created a comfortable space for sports viewing, dining or just hanging out.
Barach says the owners looked around Macomb County for about a year and “fell in love with Sterling Heights.”
“We feel Hall Road is a great street, just a great corridor for the market we’re looking at,” he says. “We plan to entrench ourselves in the community by sponsoring some baseball teams and getting involved.”
Tilted Kilt, which serves traditional Irish dishes such as shepherd’s pie, cooks up big, juicy burgers topped with crispy onion shoestrings, blackened chicken flatbread, unique grilled wings with several flavors, fish and chips, Irish stew and a whole bunch more.
The bar includes 48 draught beer handles and an extensive array of premium spirits, whiskey and cocktails.
For better or worse, the place will be best known for its “Kilt Girls,” the young servers whose midriff-bearing uniform is mini-kilts and plaid bras. At least the place treats all workers equally — male servers also proudly wear kilts.
It’s all part of the show, and the servers are an attraction, says Olimpia Szala, a corporate trainer. Some may be flair bartenders, skillfully tossing liquor bottles in the air, while others may whip out a magic trick or two.“We see our servers as entertainers,” Szala said. “We want them to make our guests feel comfortable. Their outfits are sexy but classy, sexy but cute.” The pub also has a rotating selection of games on the side, including pool, bubble hockey, darts and more, plus high chairs and crayons for the kids. Tilted Kilt is at 44935 Hayes, Sterling Heights. Hours are 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Saturday, and 11 a.m.-midnight Sunday. For more information, call 586-799-4135 or visit tiltedkilt.com.