Good pubs, Good Beer, Good People

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Beneath the Tilted Kilt

A cancelled Amtrak train required that I drive the missus to Allentown, PA late Friday so she could keep a commitment to our eldest son. As I got back on I-78, I passed a pub called The Tilted Kilt. Always interested in new pubs, I made a mental note to check it out, perhaps on a future motorcycle ride out PA way. Lo and behold, when I got back to NJ, I learned that there's a Tilted Kilt right here in East Brunswick. So, with the weather a balmy 60+ degrees, I hopped on the Blue Eagle after a three-week weather/power outage hiatus and found the place in the Brunswick Square mall on Rt. 18.

 Packed it was, on a football Sunday afternoon, and bustling it was with very bonnie lassies (like Christina, L.) bedecked in very short plaid skirts, Mary Jane shoes and all scurrying about delivering food and beverage to the the hungry, thirsty, boisterous clientele. Most of those eyes, when not gawking at the lassies, were fixed on one of the many TV's which had various NFL games in progress, including the Giants. And every one of those lassies had rather ample cleavage busting out all over. The server laddies are also required to wear kilts, albeit black ones. But nobody was looking at them.

It's no secret that men like cleavage, and the Tilted Kilt is obviously market-savvy in that area. But cleavage alone does not a gold mine make. Good food, good beer, friendly efficient service and a man-cave type ambience all combine to make the cash registers sing. It's a formula that  worked wonderfully for places like The Brick House Tavern and Tap for two years--until, that is, corporate decided to go "family-friendly" at that fine establishment, with a concomitant drop-off of big-eyed male patrons. Happily, The Tilted Kilt has no plans to alter the original success formula at their place.

A plethora of fine beers, what seems to be very palatable food (according to the two random diners I interviewed), a delightful ambience--with an outdoor seating area that peers into the bar, and eye candy combine to make an enjoyable experience. The layout and business model would seem to project a fine future for yet another Irish-style pub, and I heard talk of plans to enclose and heat the outside seating area in time for the Super Bowl.

As fate would have it, I met kilt-clad, big Mike (Soupy) Campbell (L.), who leads the Middlesex County Fife and Drum Corps at the annual January Jimmy D bash at the Harvest Moon brewpub in New Brunswick. If you've never heard Big Mike's stirring introductions at that event, you haven't lived.

The PubScout's guess is that the Tilted Kilt, open just six weeks, not counting a five-day power outage shutdown, will be a magnet for pub-goers. Cozy, it's not. But Happening, it is. And definitely worth the trip.

And if you wear a kilt the proper way (sans gotchies), they might have a special seat designed for you. (L.)

I'll add to this story after tomorrow, when I complete my interview with the principals. Yes, I'll just have to go back. The weather looks promising for another MC ride, and when you're committed to sound reporting, you do what you have to do.

More pics here.

No comments: