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3 Day Corporate Event in Downtown LA

1 Feb
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Interesting merchandise at The Reef

I bartended a 3 day corporate event in Downtown LA last week at the LA Mart, also known as The Reef. This is the third time I have been called back there, and it always nice to get repeat business. The Reef is a twelve story building in Downtown Los Angeles that is home to dozens of showrooms where distributors and importers show their wares to wholesale buyers. They have several shows a year that attract buyers from all over the country.

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The Reef in Downtown LA

The Reef sets up bars every day during the special markets to serve complimentary wine to the buyers. The idea of course is to get them in the mood to buy, buy, buy. These are always fun events and I end up talking to and serving hundreds of people during the three day period. On the final day, they had a reception for the buyers and sellers and we served wine and beer. It was a great way to cap off the three day event.

After the Saturday night event I was driving home and I took Broadway, which I quickly learned was a mistake. They were having a special “Bringing Back Broadway” event and thousands of people were walking along Broadway and standing in line outside the old theatres down there. It took me twenty minutes to drive one block. I finally got off of Broadway and onto Olive, and that was my second fatal mistake. Cars were jammed solid in every direction. It took me one hour to go a block and get off of Olive. It was a good thing I was not on my way to a job.  This is why I almost always leave two hours early to any job I do in Los Angeles.

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Bar setup at The Reef

Downtown LA Events

  • Grand Openings
  • Trade Shows
  • Conventions
  • Corporate Events
  • Client Appreciation
  • Retirement parties

Next week I will travel to Palm Springs to bartend an all day party on Saturday, and then am doing a repeat performance Super Bowl Party on Sunday in Glendora. I have two more wedding events going on in Palm Springs at the end of the month, and a Valentine’s Day wedding in South Bay on February 14. The month of March is still pretty open, so book you parties now.

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Buyers and sellers mingle at The Reef

December Bar Catering Begins

8 Dec
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Pastel sky above Rancho Mirage

December bar catering kicked of for Shaken Not Stirred last month with two big events in Rancho Mirage and Valley Village. On Thursday I traveled to one of my favorite places – Rancho Mirage to bartend a company holiday party at Desert Periodontics, and then on Saturday, I bartended a holiday party at a private home in Valley Village, only a mile and a half from my home. These were both repeat clients, which I love getting because I don’t have to work so hard to generate new business.

I have done several events for Desert Peridontics. They have ongoing education for other dentists in the area, and host events for dental products suppliers. They usually have food and host a bar. I set up my portable bar and table for a cocktail hour before the presentation. For this party I served spiked eggnog, White Russians, and Jalapeno Margaritas. It was a very mellow party and there were approximately 50 guests.

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Spiked eggnog

Bar Catering Duties

  • Plan drink menu and shopping list
    Develop cocktail ideas
    Setup and breakdown
    Portable bar
    Cleanup
    Light food service
    Make and serve cocktails
    Beer and wine service
    Non alcoholic drinks

On Saturday, I returned to a San Fernando Valley home in Valley Village for a repeat holiday party. I set up my portable bar and table in the back yard, just as I had a year prior. I remember last year it was much colder. This year, I served two specialty drinks, the Cranberry Old Fashioned, and the Moscow Mule. Those two drinks are perfect for Christmas parties. There 80 guests at the party, and everyone seemed to enjoy the drinks.

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Bar Supplies in Valley Village

Tomorrow, I will bartend a company holiday party in Hollywood for a television production company. This is another repeat client. I will be taking my daughter with me to help out, as there are supposed to be over 100 guests. This weekend I have two more parties scheduled – one in San Gabriel, and one in the Hollywood Hills. I still have Saturday, December 26th available, and several weekdays open for parties, if you have not yet booked someone.

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Guests mingle in Valley Village

Venice Beach Corporate Event

19 Nov
Corporate event before the madness

Corporate event before the madness

Wednesday Shaken Not Stirred provided bartenders for a large corporate event in Venice Beach. This was the first of many holiday company parties Shaken Not Stirred has contracted to do in the next month and a half. The Venice event required two bartenders and two barbacks to provide service for approximately 300 guests.  ‘

I worked extensively with the company party planner developing a drink menu and shopping list. She wanted Thanksgiving themed cocktails and chose a Cranberry Old Fashioned, an Apple Cider Moscow Mule, and an Apple Pie sparkler as a mocktail. Now, how to serve these moderately complex drinks to 300 people in three hours.

Guests mingle in Venice Beach

Guests mingle in Venice Beach

I normally don’t recommend serving drinks that require any muddling, fresh fruit, or four different ingredients to large crowds. We worked it out. Otto, a veteran Hollywood nightclub bartender was working with me and he showed me how to muddle fruit, sugar, and bitters in masses, so all we had to do was add a spoonful to each Old Fashioned and mix the drink.

Corporate Event Bartenders

  • Company holiday parties
  • Client appreciation
  • Grand Openings
  • Screenings
  • Product launches
  • Conferences

I had my barback putting ice into glasses and booze and then I mixed the drink. I saw the line circulating three or four times throughout the night. Only one bottle of whiskey was left at the end and about a case of wine. My shopping list was pretty accurate for 300 people for three hours.

Off the hook in Venice

Off the hook in Venice

On Saturday I will stay in the San Fernando Valley and bartend a birthday party in Reseda. On Monday I will bartend a cocktail party in Westwood, and then on Thursday I will spend Thanksgiving with my family. I had requests for bartending gigs on Thanksgiving, but I am sorry – I worked too many holidays when I worked in the restaurant industry. This Thanksgiving I will be with family.

Shaken Not Stirred Crew

Shaken Not Stirred Crew

 

Two Rancho Mirage Events

11 Oct
The desert in October

The desert in October

Shaken Not Stirred does events in Rancho Mirage and bartended two great parties this weekend.  On Thursday  I returned to Desert Periodontics  on Bob Hope Drive to help with a seminar for area dentists. This is the second time I have done events there, and am scheduled for another in December. Then on Saturday , I bartended a 30th birthday party at a private home in Rancho Mirage.

The corporate event at Desert Periodontics was typical for many corporate events I do.  I served beer, wine, soft drinks, and water. The guests usually drink one or two drinks. I am there to be of service, keep the area clean, and help serve food when needed. At this particular event they had a sit down dinner of 40 people and I helped with that. I will be returning in December to help with the company Christmas party.

Corporate event in Rancho Mirage

Corporate event in Rancho Mirage

I stayed in Palm Springs on Friday rather than drive back to LA. I stay at the Knight’s Inn in Palm Springs. The pictures online don’t make the place look very good, but it is really much nicer than the pictures.  It is reasonably priced and clean. The staff there is very nice and treat me great. I also get rewards points from the Wyndham Rewards Program. It is a very good program and covers several hotel chains. I highly recommend it.

On Saturday, I bartended a 30th birthday party at a Rancho Mirage home. There were about 40 guests in attendance, and the specialty drink was the Moscow mule. When I arrived, many of the guests were already there, so I had to set up on the fly. Once I got set up, it settled down and it was a very nice evening. The house had a sunken bar and guests sat at the bar like it was in a real bar or restaurant.

Shots!

Shots!

Today I am driving back toward LA, but am stopping in Diamond Bar to bartend a large wedding at the Diamond Bar Center. This is my second event at the Diamond Bar Center, and this is big one with 350 guests. I have two more bartenders joining me. Next weekend I have two events in Los Angeles, so I get to stay close to home.

Good friends in Rancho Mirage

Good friends in Rancho Mirage

OC Corporate Event and Hollywood Wedding

6 Oct
Fall colors in Newport Beach

Fall colors in Newport Beach

This past weekend Shaken Not Stirred worked two events – a grand opening corporate event in Newport Beach, and a wedding in Hollywood.  The corporate event I booked under Shaken Not Stirred, and the wedding in Hollywood was booked by my affiliate, Mia Martini. She and I are doing several events together this month and will be working together again this Sunday at the Diamond Bar Center.

I have done several parties in Newport Beach and it is a very affluent area. There are many nice homes, on the coast, on the islands, and further inland. There are also many corporate structures, business parks, and large hotels in the area.  I’m sure a private bartender could do quite well just doing events and parties in Newport Beach alone, not to mention Orange County.

The particular party I did this time in Newport was a the grand opening of a doctor’s office and we set up the party in the courtyard of the office building. I served Blue Hawaiians, Pineapple margaritas, Bay Breezes, and variations of those drinks to approximately forty guests. It was a short three hour event and everything went very well.

Pineapple Margarita

Pineapple Margarita

Blue Hawaiian

Blue Hawaiian

On Saturday, I traveled to the Lombardi House to help my affiliate company, Mia Martini bartend a wedding there. The Lombardi House is just north of Hollywood Boulevard on Bronson, but is a historic building in the area.  I brought 200 pounds of ice to the party and we used every single bit of it by the end of the night.

This wedding had real glassware, which is nice to use, but presents its own set of problems. All of the glassware has to be picked up, emptied and put back into the proper containers. Invariably glassware gets lost and broken. For a party of 130 people, they probably used 700 glasses.

Wedding guests at historic Lombardi House

Wedding guests at historic Lombardi House

We also had kegs for the beer. I try to discourage people from getting kegs, and this was a perfect example why. The kegs required a jockey box, CO2 regulator and taps. The deposit for those alone was $450. If the CO2 regulator is a little off the beer will keep pouring foamy. It is almost impossible to pour a beer. Pouring a tap beer takes up to one full minute, while uncapping a bottle beer and handing it to a guest takes five seconds. This means a lot when there is a big line at the bar. At the end of the night, both kegs were over half full. Don’t get kegs for your parties, people! It is not worth the extra expense, deposits, and hassle.

Sparkler gauntlet at the Lombardi House

Sparkler gauntlet at the Lombardi House

On Thursday I am driving out to Palm Springs to do another corporate event, and then have a birthday party to bartend on Saturday. So far, I have no event on Friday, but will take one in the Palm Springs area if I can. On Sunday I have a big wedding at the Diamond Bar Center with 350 guests.

Los Angeles Private Bartender Does 4 Events in 4 Days

10 Aug
Guests mingle at Hollywood event

Guests mingle at Hollywood event

The Los Angeles private bartender service, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending at four different events in LA last weekend. Thursday night there was a corporate event at a post production facility in Hollywood, then on Saturday, a 30th birthday party in Marina Dell Rey, and wrapping up the weekend was a surprise pool party in Culver City. This was a rare weekend when Shaken Not Stirred did not have to leave Los Angeles County.

I was hired by a party planner to do the corporate event in Hollywood.  They had some special requests and wanted me to make a Jicama Cucumber margarita mix, which I had never done before. They gave me the recipe and I got it done, and I think the drink was a hit at the party. If you have a special request for any kind of mixer like this, please ask me. I will try to accommodate you.

I have now done several special events for production companies, studio executives, and television productions her in the Los Angeles area. I am starting to run into some of the same people over and over again. Of course, this is good for me, because I now have many references within the film and television community. Of course, we all know, it is “who you know,” in that industry. In fact, I had to send one of my other bartenders out to bartend a screening party in Century City for one of my best clients that same night.

My daughter cocktailing

My daughter cocktailing

On Saturday, I traveled to Marina Del Rey to bartend a 30th birthday party. They had the party at the community room overlooking the pool at their apartment building. It was a excellent place to hold the party and the weather was perfect. I took my daughter to be may cocktail waitress/server and she did an excellent job. I was very proud of her and I think the hosts were very happy with her service. I hope to take her with me on many more events.

Shots!

Shots!

On Sunday, I was the Los Angeles private bartender hired to service a surprise birthday party in Culver City. The host held this party at the pool in her apartment complex. Once again, this worked out quite nicely, even though it was very windy while we were setting up. The host was throwing a party in honor of her girlfriend’s big success with her Youtube Channel. She reached over 200,000 subscribers.

Great location in Marina Del Rey

Great location in Marina Del Rey

Turning 30

Turning 30

The girlfriend was quite pleasantly surprised and it was a great little party with approximately 20 guests. I made Pisco Sours, and the Brazilian favorite, Caipirinha. It was my first time making both of those drinks and I think they were a hit with the limited number of guests.  Next weekend, so far I am only scheduled for Saturday night in the Inland Empire. I hope to pick up some corporate event, or perhaps a cocktail party on Friday night.

It's a tough job...

It’s a tough job…

Chillin' by the pool in Culver City

Chillin’ by the pool in Culver City

Los Angeles Corporate Event

20 May

Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles event bartending service was on hand at a corporate event in the Hancock Park area of LA. Shaken Not Stirred handled many aspects of the event including bar, table, and glassware rentals. Shaken Not Stirred also handled shopping services for all of the beverages, garnishes, and supplies.

I worked closely with the people putting on this event, making sure they got the right glassware, the types of table clothes, ect. We also made a drink menu and shopping list together, down to the wine selection. I made my special cucumber, and jalapeno margarita mixes for the specialty drinks. We served four different wines, including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Rose.

I estimated how much wine we would need based on the approximate number of people (65). It has been my experience that people tend to drink less at these corporate functions, as many people make a quick appearance, have one drink, and then leave. That was not the case at this party, as most of the guests were foreign clients, and they tended to stay longer and drink more. It was a good thing that the host at the last minute, had me by more wine. We ended up going through most of it.

In And Out caters event

In And Out caters event

My margaritas seemed to be a hit, and I used most of my mixes. It seemed to have been split 50/50 between the two types of margaritas. I make my jalapeno margarita mix by combing fresh lime juice, fresh lemon juice, agave syrup and then blending all that together with jalapenos. It is a little spicy, but not overwhelming. I used red pepper as a garnish, along with a lime and a salt rim.

Jalapeno margarita

Jalapeno margarita

In And Out performed catering services for the corporate event. This was the first time I had seen them at a function. They set up a tent in the backyard to serve the guests, and had a truck out on the street doing the cooking. I think that these guests truly appreciated it, because they don’t have In And Out, outside the USA. I enjoyed my burger, even though it was cold by the time I ate it. It even tasted better cold.

Tomorrow night, I will bartend another industry party in Beverly Hills, at the home of one of my best clients. Then, on Saturday night, I will travel to Castaic to bartend a graduation party. May has been a good month for me, and primarily due to repeat business and referrals. That makes it nice when I don’t have to fight for every job I get, though I will continue to keep my eye on the tiger.

Guests mingle during cocktail party

Guests mingle during cocktail party

Rancho Mirage Grand Opening Barbeque

27 Mar
Desert Periodontics

Desert Periodontics

Desert Periodontics of Rancho Mirage celebrated the grand opening of their dental education center and hosted a barbeque for approximately 60 people. Shaken Not Stirred was on hand to provide bartending service.  CV Barbeque of Palm Springs provided the catering and served tri tip and other goodies. Overall, I think it was a very nice event.

This kicked off the first event of three this weekend for Shaken Not Stirred. I will be bartending a wedding rehearsal dinner tonight at a hotel in Palm Springs, then traveling all the way to Santa Ynez, on the opposite end of Southern California to bartend at a wedding reception.  All three of these events  have required much advanced planning.

For last night’s event in Rancho Mirage, Pina Colladas were the number one drink o choice. I also served traditional margaritas, and pomegranate margaritas. It was a warm night in the desert and we went through two cases of Corona and Heineken as well. By the end the event we were almost out of everything, which worked out nicely. Less stuff for the hosts to pack home.

Typical day in the desert

Typical day in the desert

I wasn’t able to take any good pictures at the event, because unfortunately my phone died. This was the second event I have done for these clients and I hope to do many more. Their facility in Rancho Mirage is top notch, and I’m sure they will provide a great service to the community with their dental education center. I have recently undergone extensive dental work myself and finally realize how important good dental care is.

Tonight’s event is at the Korakia Pensione Hotel in Palm springs, and will be held poolside. I have heard great things about the hotel, and am excited to be working that venue. Let’s hope for another successful event for Shaken Not Stirred.  Preparation is the key to a successful event.

Special Corporate Project for Palm Desert Event

20 Mar
Premade drinks for special event

Premade drinks for special event

The marketing director of a corporation in San Francisco called me from this website and asked if I would be interested in doing a special project for a Palm Desert event. She wanted me to make and bottle 300 drinks for a conference that was scheduled to be held at a resort in Palm Desert. I told her that I had never done a project like that before, but agreed to do it.

The company in San Francisco shipped me all the bottles, caps, and special ingredients need. I purchased the liquor. I made 240 handmade sodas with their special syrups and seltzer water.  There was ginger ale and spicy cola. They tasted better than the average soda.

Handmade sodas

Handmade sodas

I also made two cocktails and bottled them in flasks. One was called the Desert Mule, and was a vodka based drink and it was really good. The other was a Margarita made with their special syrup and fresh squeezed lime juice. I then made some other drinks in large growler bottles.  The project was very labor intensive, but I got it done without any help.  I delivered the drinks to the hotel in Palm Desert as I was contracted to do. I was grateful to get the project, and to be trusted with such an undertaking. I will gladly do it again.

Flasks and growlers

Flasks and growlers

On Saturday, I will bartend at a wedding that one of my associates booked in Riverside. This will be the first event that I have done not under the Shaken Not Stirred banner in quite some time. I must admit, it is kind of nice to do one event that I am not entirely responsible for. That all changes next weekend, when I have one company party in Palm Springs, one rehearsal dinner the next night at a hotel in Palm Springs, and then a wedding on Saturday on the other side of Southern California in Santa Ynez. I am responsible for all of those events, and have done much planning over the past few months. In the mobile bartender and event business, preparation is everything.

Finished projects delivered

Finished projects delivered

Downtown Los Angeles Office Party

14 Nov
LA's tallest building

LA’s tallest building

Bartending downtown

Bartending downtown

Guests mingle in downtown Los Angeles

Guests mingle in downtown Los Angeles

View of downtown from office window

View of downtown from office window

Last night I bartended an office party in downtown Los Angeles for a top PR firm in the city. They were celebrating the opening of their new office on the tenth floor at a high rise downtown. Approximately 100 guests, including employees and clients attended the party and no expense was spared. They had an event photographer, sushi chefs, a DJ, and I brought my portable bar. Another bartender was also hired and I worked with him. We got along great and I will probably need his help again.

The office itself was very cool, and had an excellent view of the downtown area. There was a pool table in the center of the office and the employees were working on their pool shooting skills. It seems that the whole office is populated with women and there is only one male working there. He told me that he has a lot of fun working there. Everyone seemed so nice there, including the owner of the company.

We served Apothic Red wine, Sauvignon Blanc, Firestone IPA, and Stella, along with a signature drink – the Greyhound. Also known as a Salty Dog, the cocktail has vodka, grapefruit juice, and a salt rim. We went through almost three handles of vodka, so the drink was apparently popular. It was a quick three hour office party and I’m sure there will be many of these as the holiday season progresses. Tomorrow night I have a Quincinera in Cerritos scheduled.

I received an email last night with an inquiry for a December wedding. In Southern California, wedding season seems to last throughout the year, though most weddings are in the summer. I hope I get to bartend the December wedding, along with the many corporate events, office parties, and holiday parties that will take place in December. I also have birthday parties booked. I hope to do some repeat Christmas parties from last year. Some people have contacted me, but don’t have dates locked down yet.  If you want to hire Shaken Not Stirred in December, it is best to book your date now.