With dreams of one day playing Princess Jasmine at Walt Disney World, Maria Arvelo uses her job at The Tilted Kilt as an opportunity to get into character. Arvelo is one of the many bar girls in the Charlotte area who makes nightlife a little more enjoyable and a whole lot sexier.
Creative Loafing: How did you get your start in the nightlife scene?
Maria Arvelo: Believe it or not, I used to be very mousy and quiet. My first job was actually at Chuck E. Cheese! Needless to say, I've come a long way since then. Last summer I saw pictures of the Kilt girls at a Charlotte Checkers game and thought their outfits were really cute. So when my friend Grier Baker told me that I should apply, I decided to give it a shot.
What is your favorite thing about working at The Tilted Kilt?
Working here has definitely brought my confidence level up, so now instead of being the quiet girl that people never really noticed, I have no problem walking up to someone I've never even met and starting up a conversation. I love that about my job.
Your costumes are pretty sexy; how does that play into your work environment and how often do you get hit on?
There are a lot of comments made about our outfits. People do glance at our chests and some girls get more stares than others, but I'm fortunate that my long hair covers mine up. I try to maintain eye contact with patrons, and I think that helps. I've never been touched or grabbed or anything, but I have gotten a few numbers. The girls and I tell guys it's company policy that we're not allowed to give out our numbers and that prevents awkward experiences.
What's one of the most interesting experiences you've had with a patron?
Once, we were really busy and I had some people skip out on their tab. I was pretty upset, and one of our regulars noticed and asked what was wrong. I didn't want to show that I was sad, but he could tell and told me to come back over to where he was sitting in a few minutes. I hesitated to go back because I didn't want him feeling sorry for me, but finally did walk back over. When I did, he handed me a note and inside was a message that said, "There are still some good people left in this world" and $100. I still have that little note on my wall and read it every single day.