Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery is scheduled to open at Westfield Mall in Joliet in late January.
The chain restaurant is moving into the 5,000-square-foot space left vacant by Bishop’s Buffet more than a decade ago. The eatery will be among the largest Tilted Kilts pubs in the county and the 12th location in the Chicago area, said Wendi Howard, a spokeswoman for the Tilted Kilt in Joliet.
A Tilted Kilt in Bolingbrook opened less than a month ago.
About 120 full-time and 80 part-time employees are expected to be hired at the Joliet location. Training for the staff is slated to begin in the next 10 days, Howard said. (The restaurant is still hiring for all positions. For more information, email email@example.com.)
“They are just really excited to be part of Joliet,” she said. “We think it’s going to be great for the mall and the people in that area.”
Jill Madison, a Westfield Mall spokeswoman, said the mall is very happy to find tenants for the large restaurant space that faces Plainfield Road.
“We’re really excited that they’re coming,” Madison said. “I think it will be a good addition to the variety of businesses in Joliet.”
The Tilted Kilt, which offers some Celtic-inspired dishes as well as traditional American food, will join Panera Bread and T.G.I. Friday’s as mall offerings.
The venue will also host a March of Dimes cocktail hour on Feb. 9 to help the organization kick off its fundraising campaign.
Local officials point to jobs as the reason why they unanimously approved a liquor license for the restaurant in August. Mayor Tom Giarrante has said that the restaurant has been described as an upscale Hooters and noted that the city already has a Hooters.
Proposals to open Tilted Kilts in other communities have drawn criticism because of the scantily-clad waitresses in short skirts and tops that show their midrift. In Evanston, the mayor rejected a request by the Tilted Kilt for a liquor license in 2010.
Howard said the Tilted Kilt has a professional and classy atmosphere and that the eatery is family-friendly, even offering a kid’s menu.
“We encourage people to just come in and see for themselves about what we are about and make the decision for themselves,” Howard said.
No opposition appeared at the Joliet Liquor Commission hearing or City Council meetings. One resident did submit a letter, officials said.
The chain has 11 locations in the Chicago area in Elgin, Schaumburg, Vernon Hills, Woodridge, Chicago, Chicago Heights, Roselle, Oakbrook Terrace, Merrillville, Ind., Rockford and Bolingbrook.
The restaurant is still hiring for all positions. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.