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Ach! The Tilted Kilt is a bonny fine bar

Vitals: 2571 Drew St., Clearwater. (727) 724-6177. Sunday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. www.tiltedkilt.com. A national chain, the Tilted Kilt is planning a Tampa location, too.

The spot: Combine Hooters and Wing House, add a pinch of class and you've got the Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery. This place boasts a cheerful, fun atmosphere. The walls are marked with Scottish sayings, flags, and the like, and the back wall is painted lime green to brighten up the dark wooden bars and tables. A large dining area feeds into a bar that seats people on both sides; then there's a larger O-shaped bar stocked with beer and liquor that sits half inside and half outside. A large opening turns into the outside bar and patio. In the corner there's a golf arcade, two dart boards, and pool table. The place was packed, but it didn't feel crowded, either. In every corner there are flat-screen TVs, placed so everyone has a view.

The crowd: Everyone I encountered at the Tilted Kilt was overly friendly. When I walked in, I was greeted by three servers. At the bar, some patrons struck up a conversation with me. And the bartender took the time to introduce himself and shake my hand. It was a mixed crowd, between the ages of 21 to 60, but you probably won't find sorority girls sipping Cosmos. People here dress casual and have a good time. Oh, and the female servers and male bartenders all wear kilts.

Juice: Yes, the Tilted Kilt has a full liquor bar, but it seems that most people come for the beer. There are more than 20 drafts — including Smithwick's Irish Ale, Killians Red, Harp, Blackthorn Cider, Rogue Dead Guy Ale, and Stella Artois. Even better, the Tilted Kilt offers some of its own brews, like Tilted Kilt Premium Lager — like a mix of Yuengling and Killians. A handful of wines are available, as are specialty drinks like the Dirty Girl Scout, Irish Candy and Celtic Crush. Happy Hour is 4 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Monday through Thursday there's also a late Happy Hour from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Music: There's no jukebox, but there's no need. The air is still filled with the Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam, Aerosmith, and the like. The patio had great sound, but inside the speakers could have been a bit louder.

Grub: The menu features pizzas, sandwiches, salads and a few entrees like Danny Boy's Shepherds Pie and Fat Bastard's Meatloaf. The French Dip — or as they call it, the Irish Dip — was awesome. It was large, the meat was juicy and the au jus was tasty and hot. Another bonus: The fries are served fresh and hot. Prices are moderate and start at $4.99.

Ach! The Tilted Kilt is a bonny fine bar 04/03/08 [Last modified: Thursday, April 3, 2008 10:42am]

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