Editorial: Liquor license board should not mix business judgment with subjective morals

The Daily Northwestern

A local businessman’s plan to open a Tilted Kilt in Evanston has garnered opposition from residents of the local community. A petition asking that the liquor board, headed by Mayor Tisdahl, reject the Kilt’s request for a license would effectively prevent the restaurant/sports bar from opening. Controversy surrounding the restaurant stems from the waitress’s uniforms of short skirts and midriff-baring tops.

The Tilted Kilt, in its request to the liquor board, should be reviewed with the same scrutiny as any other restaurant requesting a license, regardless of the uniform required of its employees. The space the Tilted Kilt would occupy has been vacant for roughly a year. For a city whose budget concerns have forced cutbacks in various sectors, this new business venture has the potential to provide much needed revenue in the form of taxes as well as jobs.

The building’s owner, Ted Mavrakis, has operated a Giordano’s with a full operating liquor license without violation for 28 years. Given his record, Mavrakis has proven a valuable asset to the Evanston community. The aldermen and residents opposed to the institution do not cite the management capabilities of the franchise but rather its affront to community values.

It is neither the role of the city, nor The Daily for that matter, to discriminate against businesses based on a subjective ethics code. The eventual success or failure of the restaurant should not be contingent upon nebulous moral standards but rather Evanston residents’ choice to frequent the restaurant at all. If the restaurant truly offends the community good, the community will indicate this offense through its patronage – or lack thereof.