By Andy Tarnoff Publisher Published Apr 08, 2011 at 1:08 PM

It's not unusual to hear of Wisconsinites who up and move to Florida, just for a change of pace. You don't hear the reverse too often, but Jennine Paoli is one example of a Milwaukee area import who exchanged palm trees for the charms of Brookfield -- and hasn't looked back.

The 12-year veteran bartender works at the Saloon On Calhoun, a Brookfield sports bar, as she earns her nursing degree. Sarcastic and unafraid to speak her mind to her regulars at the bar at 17000 W. Capitol Dr., she's fitting right in here in her adopted state. I've gotta ask, what are you doing here?

Jennine Paoli: I needed a change from Florida. My best friend moved from Wisconsin to Florida, and we always talked about her coming back and me coming up. I fell in love with her little brother. I didn't move just for a man, but he was a big part of it.

OMC: What are the differences between bartending in Florida and Brookfield?

JP: They're drastic. We don't have bar dice (in Florida), and people made fun of me when I first got here for not knowing the rules. People leave their money on the bar here; that's not wise to do in Florida. At first, I thought people kept just tipping me $5 for each round.

OMC: So, do you like it here?

JP: I love it. I will never move back to Florida. I love the people here, the opportunities.

OMC: What's the vibe in this bar?

JP: It's awesome. It's a fun sports bar with a very diverse group of people. Everyone gets along well.

OMC: Have you ever had to break up a bar fight?

JP: Yes, in Florida. Here, it wasn't really a fight. Just two boys, so I got in their face.

OMC: What's your specialty drink?

JP: I like to make Skittles shots. I brought it from Florida. It's vodkas: orange, grape, cherry, cranberry and a splash of Red Bull.

OMC: Do you drink when you tend bar?

JP: Yeah, we're allowed to. I have a couple drinks, but I never drink too much. I've been doing this too long to abuse it. My liver hated me years ago, so I've learned to respect it.

OMC: Do pickup lines work in bars?

JP: Never.

OMC: Ever?

JP: Never.

OMC: Then how do you suggest breaking the ice?

JP: We have 30-proof whipped cream, and it's pretty good. We put it in mini ice cream cones. There was a couple that came in here and looked uncomfortable, presumably on a blind date. I could see them pointing at the liquor rack, so I called out the elephant in the room and asked them if they were pointing at the whipped cream. It worked, and I got them to try some. I think it broke the ice.

OMC: What do you do when you're not bartending?

JP: I'm a full-time nursing student and a paramedic. I study excessively, more than the average bear.

OMC: So you could save the life of someone if they have a mishap at the bar?

JP: Nope, I'm off duty. Just kidding.

Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.

Before launching in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.

Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.