Behind Bars: Quil at Bossy Grrls Pinup Joint

Erica Thompson

Bossy Grrl's Pinup Joint bartender Aethan Kail Seawright is a tattoo artist, model and expectant father. He modifies cars, and he started a hardcore pop-punk band called Inside the In Between just a couple months ago. He also has a bachelor's degree in fine arts from CCAD, which is where he earned his nickname, “Quil.”

“Every time I would do watercolor paintings, I would use a quill ink,” Quil said in an early-May interview on the patio of the Old North bar. “People just started calling me Quil because I always had a quill on me.”

Though Quil developed an interest in art as a child — his mother would draw for him and he wanted to emulate his older brother, who crafted Manga and anime-related pictures — he quickly became discouraged with his own ability. “I started drawing and I was terrible. I was so bad,” he said. “I picked it back up in high school … and I was like, ‘I love this. I love my art teacher. He really cares [and] he understands there are multiple styles.'”

As if Quil's background weren't impressive enough, he has also trained as a professional fighter. Though he's never had to utilize the specific moves of jiu-jitsu, which he studied, he did find himself face-to-face with a belligerent opponent who had been previously banned from the bar.

“He was like 6'4, probably around 280 [pounds] … [and] I'm tiny,” said Quil, who was in the midst of sweeping the floor when the offender began harassing another bartender.

“He was very intoxicated [and] I couldn't understand half of what he said, but the last word was ‘fag boy' and he pushed me in the chest,” Quil said. The bartender responded by attacking the man with an upright dustpan. “I was beating him with the dustpan portion rather than the pole because I didn't want it to hurtthat bad and it was like flapping [and] double-hitting him.”

The guy eventually backed off and left, and Quil called the police. He thought the bar owner, Mike Folker, would be upset with him. “Mike was like, ‘I can't even be mad because he's huge and that's just funny,'” Quil said. “So now it's a running joke. Every time I'm closing the bar, if there's a really creepy guy or someone hanging around that we think might be suspicious … [Mike's] like, ‘Here's your dustpan.'”

Proving his fighting prowess to Folker was easier than getting hired as a bartender; Quil spent a year and a half bar backing and doing different tasks before getting the position. Finally, Folker was convinced when he heard about Quil's stint helping out behind the bar on New Year's Eve at the now-closed Wall Street Nightclub.

“I was thrown to the wolves. The place was so utterly packed you couldn't walk around,” Quil recalled. “[But] I got through the night.”

It's just another example of Quil's stick-to-it-iveness, which is probably why he has mastered so many things.

“If you try hard enough at anything, you don't have to have a talent for it,” he said. “You just put the hours in and pay your dues [and] you'll be able to do it.”