What Killed Houston’s Tilted Kilt?

The sole Houston location of The Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery, on Hwy. 6 between Westheimer and Briar Forest Dr., has closed. A reader, who writes that the popular breastaurant “always had a full parking lot whenever I drove by,” wants to know why. Sadly, the folks at the company’s Las Vegas HQ haven’t answered any of our questions directly. Instead, Swamplot readers, here’s your vague but perhaps carefully worded statement, purporting to give the lowdown on just how tough it is to run a little Vegas-style beer, wings, and skimpy costumes show out there in West Oaks:


The Tilted Kilt prides itself on extraordinary efforts to uphold the integrity of our brand in every single market. Often restaurants close because of circumstances that are difficult to control. For example, because of ongoing area development, a site that might have seemed ideal when a restaurant first opened can become a less desirable location, due to changes in traffic flow, nearby construction, neighborhood deterioration, or even a shift in the primary commercial areas of a community. We are looking to grow the Tilted Kilt brand with forward-thinking, seasoned developers that share a bright vision for our future and have passion for our brand.

Gosh, what could the folks from Las Vegas be saying about Houston’s own little strip on Hwy. 6?

Photos: Swamplot inbox (top) and Aaron Carpenter

18 Comment

  • “Breastaurant”

    Eww. Please let’s not perpetuate this term into the popular lexicon.

  • The spectacle of someone from the Tilted Kilt talking about their brand integrity is pretty awesome, though.

  • I went there several times, but despite the hooters like dresses, it just wasn’t what that part of Houston was looking for. The food was meh and really Hooters held to higher standards (not that there’s anything wrong with TK’s standards for me). Really, it didn’t have enough TV’s to be a good sports bar, its food was not good enough to make it worth going to for the food, and its beer selection was just OK.

    And it didn’t help that it wasn’t around anything.

  • Hwy 6? Who the hell goes out there? Try putting it somewhere in civilization and give it another go.

  • There is a place in Austin called Bag Pipes with a similar “business model”.

    Maybe there’s only room for one Scottish themed Hooters rip-off?

  • There’s nothing wanting in your take, Lost In Translation; I think you nailed it.
    I’ve got to say that frumpy, ole Steak’n’Ale dressed gals pretty sexy in the ’70s, with low necklines, laced bodices, and white bloomers under a very short skirt. That was when breastploitation – and drinking at lunchtime – was pretty much the norm.

  • A bad economy causes low testosterone levels so it’s not surprising low-grade breastaurnteurs are suffering. The only thing up is the stock market and that’s only because the Fed is gobbling viagra, which will wear off any quarter now.

  • It’s a matter of rooftops in the area. Highway 6 is a retail mirage. All that traffic seems to make it a slam dunk. Look at an aerial photo though, and you’ll see that almost everything west of here is vacant land (Addicks Reservoir). Most of that traffic is just driving right by, not stopping to shop. May have had parking issues too, but I don’t know about that. Never went there.

  • Heh. Per your sidebar Facebook widget, “666 people like Swamplot.com.”

  • Location, location, location. And TK didn’t have it. Went there quite a bit after it opened. Heck it was the only place to watch MNF after Ike rpped thru Clear Lake. But over time the intrest waned. They cut back on the wait staff and thus there was a resulting reduction in it’s mostly male clientele. Put a TK in Clear Lake and it will make a killing ala Twin Peaks.

  • Ha! We stopped at Bag Pipes in Austin once whilst skipping out on a mid-afternoon mid-week biz meeting.
    Waitresses dressed up like Catholic schoolgirls. Shameful.

  • YES people do live out (their)
    and yes its still civillization not everyone can live inside the loop or i guess in the montrose don’t be such a small minded snob.

  • I heard it was the low quality lady staff.. then the drugs..then cover up attempts..then cops.. then bye bye restaurant..

  • I really don’t understand all of you people. They had better food than hooters and the girls were better looking and not snobs. I never had a problem with the place and neither did my friends. As a person who has worked in many bars and restaurants the kilt was high on the list for service. My friends and I made it a point to hit up the kilt at least once a week.

  • Having just watched the Undercover Boss episode with the CEO, I think I know exactly why the restaurant failed in the West Oaks area- that area isn’t what it was 15-20 years ago. It’s the same reason Alamo Drafthouse went away.
    They don’t work on the volume of a mass-feeder or multi-plex. They work off a model of a slightly higher price for a better experience. There are a dozen spots in Houston that’d better fit the Tilted Kilt set-up (Midtown, Upper Kirby/Montrose, Galleria, Westchase, Sugar Land, Pearland, Clear Lake, Galveston (with all the tourist traffic), Kingwood/Humble, Woodlands, Willowbrook, Copperfield, Katy- just to name a dozen)… and many of these are spots where there isn’t already a Hooters or Twin Peaks or other giggle-factor restaurant.
    So, if it was a franchise, the franchisee should have known better and not just thought about the amount of traffic passing by and thought about who is in those cars driving by and what their situation is. The perfect set-up is to have a large population of young, middle class men who love to get together with buddies.

  • Upper Kirby already has both a Hooters and a twin peaks across the freeway from each other. We don’t need a Tilted Kilt too.

  • Is it only me who expects a ‘Tilted Kilt’ to afford a ballsy view? not a breasty one.

  • This is not a PG 13 resturant. I don’t want to see boobs hanging out and would not like to see my daughter working here. Button up please!