In the two-and-a-half years Amy Bladow has been serving drinks in Milwaukee, her bar – BarNone – has become a staple on Water Street.
BarNone isn't Bladow's first rodeo, either. The Colorado native has spent plenty of time behind the bar in Madison, where she played volleyball at the University of Wisconsin.
Now, Milwaukee has become her home and she couldn't be happier. Bladow took a few minutes to chat with OnMilwaukee.com about her life behind the bar. If you want to know more, you can hit her up on Twitter, too.
OnMilwaukee.com: How long have you been tending bar?
Amy Bladow: I tended my way through college at Wisconsin and have been here at BarNone since we opened in October 2009.
OMC: How did you get started?
AB: It's what all the good-looking people were doing!
OMC: Is there a big difference between Milwaukee bars and Madison bars?
AB: Well, for one thing, everybody in Madison is a Badgers fan. But there's more diversity in Milwaukee bars when it comes to music, cocktail lounges, corner bars, dives and beer bars. Milwaukee really has something to offer everybody.
OMC: What's your preferred shift?
AB: I love my job. When you own your own place, you end up work a lot of different shifts but I would have to say happy hours and "Monday Fundays" are my favorites because I get to spend time with all of my best regulars.
OMC: Let's talk drinks: your favorite and least favorite to make, pour or serve?
AB: Favorite? Whiskey. Powers, if you want to get particular. I don't particularly enjoy mixing up a bloody at 1:30 a.m. on a Saturday. Come in Sunday morning, though, and I would love to do that for you.
OMC: Owning a bar is different than just punching the clock. What do you like most about it?
AB: I have truly loved the adventure and challenge of owning my own business. I've met some of the most amazing people and I'm thrilled to be here in Milwaukee. It's such an amazing place with a bar scene that is incomparable to anywhere else. What more could I ask for?
OMC: It can get pretty crazy in here. Ever find yourself in the middle of a fight or cleaning up puke?
AB: Surprisingly enough, dudes puke way more than girls! What's up with that? Yup, I've had to clean it up and it's gross every single time. Amateurs, please stay home ... this is Milwaukee!
OMC: Pick-up lines: worst one you've heard and do they ever work?
AB: They're mostly all horrible but sometimes, the effort is cute. One time a guy put his cell phone number in his own phone, handed it to me and told me to keep it. I wondered how he would have answered if I had decided to call him.
OMC: How do you decide when somebody has had one too many and what's your process for cutting them off?
AB: It's different for everybody but it's not too hard to tell when somebody has had too much. I try to get them some water and make sure they get home safe. I'd rather they get home in a cab and not in a Bell (Ambulance).
OMC: Do you drink when you're working?
AB: Why do you think I love my job so much?
OMC: What's a fair tip?
AB: I think a buck a drink is good or 20 percent on a tab is about standard.
OMC: When you're not working, and I know it's a lot, what do you like to do?
AB: I really like to explore the city I live in. I love finding new places to eat and drink. I'm a huge Brewers fan, too, so I'm at Miller Park a lot. Craig Counsell is my favorite.
OMC: Besides your own place, what's your favorite bar?
AB: Yikes, that's a tough one. Right now, I'm in love with The Hamilton (823 E. Hamilton St.). They do things with cocktails I can only dream about.
OMC: When you're on the other side of the bar, what's your poison?
AB: My standby is always good whiskey but my cocktail of choice is Effon Cucumber and water.
OMC: You're a Badger, living and working right in the middle of Marquette country. If Wisconsin and the Golden Eagles are playing at the same time, what's on the TV in your bar?
AB: I'm a proud Badger alumnus. I suppose it's a good thing I have more than one TV, but the crowd will in red and singing "Varsity." That's never a question in BarNone. Go big red!