Tag Archives: bartend

3 Day Corporate Event in Downtown LA

1 Feb
reef4

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

Los Angeles Loft Party

20 Jul
Bartender and hosts in Los Angeles loft

Bartender and hosts in Los Angeles loft

I was on vacation in Montana for a week and when I returned I had a birthday party to bartend in a Los Angeles loft overlooking MacArthur Park. I had contracted to bartend a different party months earlier, and the host had to cancel because she got very ill. I told her at the time, that when she was ready, I would apply her initial deposit for another party at a later date. She finally called me, was doing much better and scheduled the party for last Saturday.

I state on my website that deposits are nonrefundable, but I of course make exceptions. There are many reasons that hosts cancel parties that are beyond anyone’s control. I recently had a host cancel a pool party because a cold front with rain happened to roll in that day.  I require deposits for parties because it protects me somewhat if a party does cancel, but it also protects the host, insuring that I will hold that date for them.

Guests mingle in Los Angeles loft

Guests mingle in Los Angeles loft

Saturday’s party was held in an 11th story loft in the Cement Building overlooking MacArthur Park near downtown Los Angeles. The party was based around a “Kill Bill,” theme, and I developed a bar menu based on the different characters in “Kill Bill.” The guests arrived dressed in Kill Bill garb, and I congratulate the two hosts for their authentic costumes. I even wore a Japanese head scarf, and I looked like Christopher Walken in the “Deer Hunter.”

View of MacArthur Park from Cement Building

View of MacArthur Park from Cement Building

I wore the headdress down to the liquor store to buy ice. I went to a small liquor store a block away and was purposely bumped into by a gang member as I was walking out. I didn’t have time to deal with the egregious act of disrespect like I probably would have in the past and just kept going. When I got back to the building where the party was being held, the manager of the building told me it was probably a member of the notorious MS13 gang from El Salvador that controls the neighborhood.  “They aren’t too happy this neighborhood is being gentrified,” he told me.

MS 13 gang members

MS 13 gang members

Friday, I am off to Palm Springs to bartend a bachelorette party, then on Saturday, I am bartending a birthday party in Long Beach for a repeat customer.  After that, I have a wedding lined up in Malibu, and a birthday party in Marina Del Rey. The summer is flying by for Shaken Not Stirred.

Fourth of July Party in Villa Park

5 Jul
Shaking it up in Villa Park

Shaking it up in Villa Park

This year Independence Day fell on a Saturday and Shaken Not Stirred traveled to the community of Villa Park in Orange County to bartend a Fourth of July Party. I want to go on record by saying the Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. I love pool parties, hot weather, barbecues, and fireworks, and I especially love being an American and all that represents.  This party that I bartended in Villa Park was the classic fourth of July party, and there couldn’t have been a better day for it.

When I arrived, I was impressed by the home bar and pool area that the host informed me had just been completed after a lengthy renovation. I do many parties all over Southern California, and this had to be one of the finest home bars I have ever seen. Not one detail has been missed, including lighting, ice chest, 75” television, sound system, granite countertops, and liquor selection. They also had a grilling station just adjacent to the bar set up to feed an army. Behind the bar is a Bocci Ball court.

The pool was set to a temperature of 85 degrees, and the kids in attendance rarely left it. I served a variety of drinks including Cadillac Margaritas, Mojitos, Mai Tais, Pina Colladas, Cosmos, Dirty Martinis, Cuba Libres, wine, and beer. Lemon Drop Martinis proved to be the most popular drink of the day. We went through one and half 5 gallon kegs of Stella Artois, and a handle of Fireball. However, I didn’t see anyone over intoxicated. The host grilled genuine German Brauts from a local German Deli – we Americans can enjoy that!

Genuine German Brauts for Independence Day

Genuine German Brauts for Independence Day

Refined gentleman enjoys a Cosmo

Refined gentleman enjoys a Cosmo

It was a great party spot, and I hope the hosts call me to bartend again. Great hosts and guests – It was a true pleasure to bartend and spend my favorite holiday in good company.  I had a good discussion with a young man from Holland, and a woman who emigrated from England. They both knew more about the Declaration of Independence than most Americans do.  They realized why America is important and stands out as one of the greatest nations in the history of the world. Sadly, many native Americans don’t seem to realize or even think about that.  Personal fireworks were still allowed in Villa Park and fireworks rang out all over the neighborhood as soon as the sun went down. Freedom rang!

Guest enjoying Fourth of July

Guest enjoying Fourth of July

Next weekend I will be traveling to Montana to visit family and friends. I will also be doing a book signing for my novel, “Palm Avenue,”in my home town at Sheridan Stationery on July 11th. I will be doing my first Southern California book signing at Book Soup on the Sunset Strip on September 8th.  My next bartending event will be on July 18th in downtown Los Angeles.

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

Northridge 60th Birthday Party: Back to the 60’s

1 Mar
My portable bar set up in kitchen

My portable bar set up in kitchen

Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred traveled across the San Fernando Valley to Northridge to bartend a 60th birthday party.  I have bartended almost every landmark birthday party, from the 40th, the 50th, to 21st. I was the bartender at a lady’s 90th birthday party.  Her daughter hosted the party and hired a Hawaiian trio to play music and the birthday girl couldn’t have been happier. Last night, the birthday celebrant’s husband threw the 60th birthday party for his wife and the theme was back to the 60’s. Everyone dressed as either the mod, the square, or the hippie.  The host spent all afternoon painstakingly putting together a playlist from the 60’s and 70’s.

I had corresponding specialty drinks the mod was the Belvedere martini, with a twist or an olive. The square was the Old Fashioned, and the hippie was the Dark and Stormy. I made the Dark and Stormy with the finest ingredients:  Gosling’s Black Seal rum, with Gosling’s Ginger Beer, a dash of bitters, and fresh squeezed lime juice.  I never had that drink when I was drinking and it certainly looks interesting. It was a hit at the Northridge party.

The host had contracted me to make a shopping list and then do the shopping. That is a service I provide for an extra fee. Many times the people who hire me don’t have time to do the shopping themselves. This time I bought all of the liquor and wine on the Bevmo website. It was great, because when I went in to pick it up it was all ready and they had a specific person in charge of internet orders take care of me. I was in and out of there within five minutes. I buy everything else at Smart and Final, which has the best deals on cups, sodas, and everything else.

Two hippies in Northridge

Two hippies in Northridge

The party was a success, and I hope that they hire me again. February was kind of slow for me, but I have several events lined up this month. I have five events scheduled in Palm Springs in March, and all on weekdays, so I still have two Saturdays open. Next Friday I am doing a wedding rehearsal in Palm Springs, and then have a birthday party to bartend on Saturday night in Wilmington, in the South Bay.

I have other news that I want to share with my readers here. Last week I launched my first novel, Palm Avenue, and here is the blog for that, with a link to Facebook page. I am giving free books away for certain milestones on the Facebook page. Here is the link to buy the paperback book on Amazon. The ebook version will be available in near future.

The good stuff

The good stuff

Moroccan Themed Birthday Party in Glendora

8 Feb
DJ Benny Boom spins inside tent

DJ Benny Boom spins inside tent

Shaken Not Served traveled to Glendora on Saturday night to bartend a Moroccan themed birthday party. The hosts had a fantastic tent set up in their backyard that looked like something out of 1001 Arabian nights.  They also had a very nice backyard bar for me to work from. It was raining when I got there, but that’s what tents are for, right?  The rain subsided, and the guest started arriving. I think the party was a great success.

The host and I worked together on an extensive drink menu that included eight specialty drinks and just as many shot choices. The Moroccan Mint Martini, was the tip choice of the night. The drink includes, vodka, muddled mint leaves, simple syrup, fresh lime juice, and a splash of orange juice. It has a very nice color and looks good in the martini glass.  I also made Cosmo’s, Lemon Drops, Appletinis, and cucumber margaritas.

Shots lined up

Shots lined up

This party was all about shots. I started the trend by making different specialty shots and setting them out. The favorite one was the Woo Hoo, which had vodka, peach schnapps, and cranberry juice. The Washington Apple was popular, which has Crown Royal. Cranberry juice, and apple pucker. I also made Lemon drop shots, and by the end of the night, Monster & vodka shots. I served four handles of vodka.

Shots!

Shots!

The DJ was Benny Boom, of the San Gabriel Valley (909) 767-9291. He passed my DJ test and gets to appear on this blog. He didn’t play YMCA, Happy, or the Cupid Shuffle. I think many DJ’s lack imagination and just play the same mix at every party. This DJ was above average in that respect and he really got the party going. By the end of the night the dance floor was full. The shots also helped in that respect.

Shots 2!

Shots 2!

Next Saturday is Valentine’s Day and I will bartending a wedding in West Hills, and am taking two servers with me. I was looking at my schedule for next month, and I have three events in Palm Springs, and they are all on Fridays, so, I can book Saturday night events on those weekends. I also have a wedding in Santa Ynez, where I have never been before and am looking forward to it. In March, Shaken Not Stirred, the Southern California mobile bartending service will be logging a lot of miles.

Bartending Service for Downtown Los Angeles Reception

6 Jan
Architectural wonders in downtown LA

Architectural wonders in downtown LA

Monday, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for a downtown Los Angeles reception and party to celebrate the swearing in of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge, Teresa Magno. The reception was held in the lobby of luxury condominiums downtown, across from the courthouse. About 100 guests were in attendance, including incoming Los Angeles County Sheriff, Jim McDonnell, and several people from the district attorney’s office.

Judge Teresa Magno poses for a shot with me

Judge Teresa Magno poses for a shot with me

The event planner, April Easley, did an excellent job setting the stage for the reception and provided flower arrangements, candles, and all the little details that make for a memorable event. There were finger foods including barbeque beef sliders, tamales, turkey wraps, and various chips and salsa.  Paulina’s Catering brought the taco bar.

I served a standard assortment of drinks including Cape Cods, gin and tonics, margaritas, and Jameson whiskey. I helped the hosts with a shopping menu based on other parties I have done. As usual, there was much left over, that can be used at another party. I think it is better to load for bear, and if bears don’t show up, we were prepared any way. I can develop a drink menu for any budget. I would say the beverage shopping list for this particular was around $300. I always try to save hosts money when I make shopping lists.

January can be a slow month for a mobile bartending service, but it isn’t starting out slow. Sunday I will bartend my third event of 2015, right here in my own neighborhood of Valley Glen. I am providing bartending service for a baby shower/cocktail party. Then on January 17, I will be bartending a fundraiser in Koreatown. I have put bids out on several big weddings in the spring and hope to land some of those. I want to think all of my customers for supporting me in 2014.

Salud!

Salud!

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.

San Clemente Surprise Birthday Party

29 Jun

Saturday night I traveled south to Orange County to bartend a surprise birthday party in San Clemente. San Clemente is one of the true gems of Southern California right on the border of Orange/San Diego Counties. You really couldn’t find a nicer place to live anywhere in the country. The host had done extensive planning to pull off this event as a surprise and was quite successful – her husband was totally surprised.

I must say I was very impressed by how much the host had put into this event. She had photo shopped pictures of her husband with various celebrities and it had me fooled. I wondered who is this guy? She had made a surf/Hawaiian theme and the back yard looked incredible. I set up my portable bar on a little section of lawn and it fit just perfectly. They had artificial grass at this house, and I must say it looked very nice and was perfect to set up on.

The host and I did a lot of planning on the drink menu. I served Mojitos, Pom Martinis, Bellinis, Margaritas, blended Strawberry Margaritas, and Coors Light. The birthday boy was Coors Light man and the beer went fast. We ran out of beer before the party was over, but one of the guests came to the rescue and brought more.  Every crowd is different and it is hard to gauge what people are going to drink the most of.

SohoTaco

Hills of San Clemente

Hills of San Clemente

Portable bar with green trim

Portable bar with green trim

Sohotaco cart

Sohotaco cart

Shots!

Shots!

did the catering and they served up some awesome fish tacos and regular tacos. Overall it was a very nice event and a great group of people. I am tired after doing three events this week and only hope I will be this tired every week. Shaken Not Stirred as a business is really taking off and I am grateful. I hope to keep up the momentum.

Next week is Fourth of July weekend and I will be in Newport Beach for a Fourth of July party, and then have a big wedding to do with over 250 people in Santa Ana. Every Saturday is booked in July and I have four weddings in August. As they say where I come from – “make hay while the sun is still shining.”

Pasadena Triple Crown Party

8 Jun

Shaken Not Stirred was in Pasadena Saturday to bartend a Triple Crown viewing party and root on California Chrome. The favorite horse didn’t win, but the party guests had a great time it seemed. The house where the party was held was perfect for entertaining and the weather could not have been nicer. Around fifty guests gathered to watch the race, mingle and sip cocktails, and eat fried chicken.

The host told me that it was the first time they had hosted a party in four years, which is surprising because the house just seems built for having parties. They had a great outside bar beneath an overhang beside the pool. I had a refrigerator and sink and all the booze I needed. The drink of the day was the White Russian, followed by the Madras. Bourbon and Vernor’s Ginger ale was a favorite among horse racing aficionados.

They did not have a caterer, but instead served Kentucky Fried Chicken. I didn’t know that was what it was until I asked the host if he had made the chicken. I thought he had a great recipe! I hadn’t had KFC in a long time. The guests seemed to love it and it fit for this party.

The host had hired a server on Craigslist who called and cancelled just before the party. Had I known that they wanted a server I could have provided one. I have several good people who help me from time to time, males and females. It is amazing to me how many people advertise services and contract for services, and then flake out. Showing up is ninety percent of the gig!

Today I have an informal Bar Mitzvah to do in Calabasas. I will be making “mocktails” and using dry ice. I have never put dry ice in drinks before, so it should be interesting. Next week I have a 50th birthday party to do in Thousand Oaks on Friday. I am still open at this point on Saturday the 14th and hope to get an event. I have several more events scheduled for later this month.

Guests arrive in style

Guests arrive in style

Watching the race

Watching the race

Perfect party weather in Pasadena

Perfect party weather in Pasadena