If the pastors at St. John the Baptist Parish in Quincy have any say in it, the Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery -- known for its scantily dressed waitresses – will stay far out of their neighborhood.
Described as a “Hooters" restaurant with a Scottish theme, Tilted Kilt has been attempting to open up shop in the deserted Outback Steakhouse location on 227 Parkingway St. since early this year.
Waitresses wear short plaid kilts and matching plaid bras while serving pub food. The chain’s motto, “A Cold Beer Never Looked So Good,” plays off the concept of the attire.
Church officials are not so amused.
“Establishments such as these are not conducive to good family neighborhoods,” church members said in a weekly newsletter. “The parish will take active steps to oppose ‘Tilted Kilts.’ ”
Although the city’s Licensing Board has already unanimously approved the liquor license, church officials will have their say when the board rehears the proposal on Aug. 28.
The double hearing resulted from an initial oversight, Licensing Board Chairman and Town Clerk Joe Shea said.
The Arizona-based chain went through all the required notifications, filed an application with the city, and planned for a July 17 hearing.
Only one of the notified neighbors showed up to the hearing, and the proposal for a liquor license was approved in a 5-0 vote.
Shortly after the project was approved, however, Shea realized that although residents within 300 feet of the restaurant were given notices, and although the cemetery next to the church was notified, the church had never been told.
“There is another portion of ABCC law that says if there is a school, synagogue, hospital, or church within 500 feet, they should be notified in the same manner as abutters,” Shea said.
St. John’s, which lies 450 feet from the restaurant, falls under that classification. As a result, Quincy officials will re-do the process on Aug. 28, with more contentiousness expected this time.
All the other neighbors have also be notified again.
Edward Fleming, an attorney for the company, did not return calls seeking comment.
Church officials did not return calls for comment. But their newsletter described the issue as a “serious concern.”
'According to Shea, “The pastor is happy he has been notified. He is opposed to the [restaurant's] concept. He’s not opposed to alcohol or a restaurant there, which has been there for a long time.”
Shea said he was just grateful the city caught the oversight as soon as it did.
“It would have get caught anyway, but it may have been down the line after they were refurbishing, which would have made it more odious,” he said.
Although the previous vote was unanimous, Shea said he personally plans to hear both sides of the argument before voting again.
"Whether I will change my vote I don’t know, but I will listen to the facts,” Shea said.