Denver’s Tilted Kilt finds "comely barmaids sell suds"
Friday’s lunch rush was in full swing at the Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery, a new Scots-themed establishment in downtown Denver, and Kelly Bentley was bustling in a tartan costume that covered about as much skin as a plaid bikini.”How’s the burger?” Bentley, a striking brunette, asked a businessman dining at her packed bar.”Who cares?” he replied. His gaze wasn’t fixed on her eyes.The Tilted Kilt is coming on strong, with plans to open seven more regional outlets in the next three years.That’s serious trend-bucking in an economy that has slammed casual-dining chains. Bennigan’s filed for bankruptcy; Steak & Ale threw in the dish towel. Others have frantically revamped menus and slashed prices. Whenthe New York-based NPD Group, a market research company, released its mid-2009 report, it showed 4,000 fewer restaurants nationwide from a year ago.But business at the Tilted Kilt, whose motto is “A cold beer never looked so good,” is booming like a set of bagpipes. The lesson is straight out of a 16th-century Edinburgh alehouse: Comely barmaids sell suds.”From a business opportunity standpoint, the last two years have been brutal,” said franchisee Mark Voss, who opened the Kilt with his wife, Lisa, three weeks ago. “But this concept has grown in spite of that economic environment. I think it’s one of the few casual-dining concepts that’s working.”Read the rest at http://www.denverpost.com/ci_13895705