Tag Archives: bartending

10 Person 50th Birthday Party at Northridge Women’s Club

12 Mar

Banquet Hall before the party

Last Saturday Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for a multi-person 50th birthday party at the Northridge Women’s Club. Ten guys who went to high school together teamed up to have a big celebration of their mid century milestone, and invited 300 guests. My son helped me and we were busy the entire time. I didn’t get many good photos for that reason.

Portable Bar outside

Some of the guys who put on the party met with me months in advance to plan the event. I helped them make a shopping list and I guess I missed the mark, because we ran out of booze two hours before the party was over (we still had beer). The hosts went out and bought more vodka and tequila. Vodka is what usually runs out first if anything does.

50th Birthday Party in progress

Lorraine’s Catering of Sylmar did the food and it was excellent. I met Lorraine and her husband Joe at an event years ago and I have done many events for them, and they have referred me to many, as they did this one. I hope to return the favor. Lorraine and Joe and some of their kids showed up at 5pm, set up in the kitchen, served 200 people and were cleaned up and out of there by 8pm. That’s how efficient they are. The Northridge Women’s club has a large, well equipped kitchen, which makes it easy.

50th Birthday Party Ideas

  • Plan a multi person birthday party
  • Hire a bartender
  • Invite a diverse mix of people
  • Serve great food
  • Rent a hall

My son and I set up out portable bar outside, but it got cold and dark out there, so after the caterer left we moved into the kitchen, which also easily serves as a bar. We went through at least 15 cases of beer, and many handles of vodka and tequila. The security guard from the Northridge Women’s Club came and told us at 11pm that we would have to stop serving at 11:45pm sharp. Some kind of fight broke out outside at 11:15, so that ended the party prematurely. Unfortunately, there are usually one or two troublemakers at every event.
This week I will be bartending at a Residential center in Huntington Beach on Thursday, and then doing a cocktail party in Redondo Beach the next day. So far I am still open for Saturday night. Later this month I will be doing a wedding in Desert Hot Springs, and a pool party in Palm Springs. I’m hoping I will get to see the wildflower bloom in the desert. Please follow us on Instagram.

Santa Monica Showcase and Mountain View Retreat Wedding

26 Mar
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Back to the Future car at Virtual Reality showcase.

Shaken Not Stirred had another busy weekend – first bartending a showcase event in Santa Monica on Friday, and then doing a wedding at the Mountain View Retreat in La Quinta on Saturday. I made hundreds of drinks at the two events and served several cases of alcohol. I guess I got my practice in, because I’m gearing up for a three day wedding event I have this coming weekend in Palm Springs.

The showcase event was held at a historic building in Santa Monica which is now home to The Gateway Virtual Reality Showroom. They showcase new forms of virtual reality there. I was too busy to check out any of their demonstrations, but it all looked very cool. I brought another bartender with me and we worked two separate bars, serving over 200 people.

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Guests mingle in back lot

Karma Tequila provided the tequila for the event and we also served the new light beer from Corona – Corona Premier, with only 90 calories. Guests said it was pretty good. They had a couple of food trucks pulls into the back parking lot to serve the grub, and they had a DJ on the scene. We served completely out of tequila and most of the beer by the time the night was through.

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Shots!

The next morning I had to get up bright and early and head out to La Quinta, 120 miles away. I was not only bartending a wedding that night, but I had to do all the shopping too. It is an extra service I provide and charge extra for, but in some cases the host wants that convenience. I preordered most of the alcohol from Bevmo, and it was all waiting for me in La Quinta when I got there. The rest of the supplies I bought at Smart and Final, including the ice.

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Wedding ceremony at Mountain View Retreat

The wedding was held at the Mountain View Retreat, where I have bartended before. I set up my portable bar and table under a veranda beside the pool. The ceremony was very nice and then the cocktail hour began. I handled 75 guests by myself just fine, though the line got long at times. I served spicy jalapeno margaritas, and a lot of vodka drinks. We ran out of vodka and bourbon  toward the end and the wedding planner went and bought more.

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Guests mingle by the pool

This coming weekend I am returning the Palm Springs to bartend a three day weddding event. Thursday is the rehearsal dinner, Friday the wedding, and then there is a pool party on Saturday. I will be bartending all three events, so it should be a fun weekend. Please follow us on Instagram if you haven’t already.

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Shots!

Newport Beach Post Wedding Reception

25 Oct
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View from Newport Beach Clubhouse

Last Saturday Shaken Not Stirred traveled to Newport Beach to bartend a post wedding reception at a condo association club house. The couple was married earlier in Hawaii and most of their family and friends couldn’t be there, so they held a reception in Newport Beach for that reason.

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8 year old bar flies

Many of these condo communities and apartment complexes have club houses where the residents can hold parties. This particular club house was very nice and it overlooked Newport Beach with an ocean view. It had a kitchen and a built in bar. The reception was Hawaiian themed and I served Pina Coladas and Mai Tais. They catered in Hawaiian food.  

Like any wedding reception, family member and friends made speeches. One of the groom’s sons made a memorable speech when he said something to the effect that “his dad seems much happier since he met his new wife.” I talked to the groom and he said he had been single for 15 years since his last divorce, and never thought he would be married again. I guess there is hope for me too. I think everyone had fun at the reception and I served a bunch of shots.

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Shots!

Corporate Events

I have done a bunch of corporate events recently. I did a grand opening at a warehouse in Santa Fe Springs where they demonstrated new new products. I served beer and they hired a caterer to grill steaks. I talked quite a bit to the caterer and hope to work with him again. He has lived and worked all over the world and is a master at many different cuisines. I hope to work with him again. He is Christopher at First Place Cuisine.

Tomorrow I will be doing two corporate events at retail stores on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, and then again on Friday. On Saturday I will be bartending an all night Halloween party in San Bernardino. Next week I have events scheduled in mid city Los Angeles, Westlake Village, and Coachella. Follow us on Instagram.

Three Labor Day Weekend Events For Shaken Not Stirred

5 Sep
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Pre Wedding Party in Winnetka

Labor Day Weekend was a busy for Shaken Not Stirred, as I did three great events around Los Angeles. On Friday I bartended a pre-wedding party in Winnetka, on Saturday did a rehearsal dinner in Hancock Park, and then wrapped up the weekend with 40th birthday party in Valley Village. I served hundreds of drinks and met hundreds of new people.

The pre-wedding party in Winnetka was a traditional Lebanese affair, and they have a name for it, but I can’t remember what it is. The groom’s family was of Lebanese descent and they had a DJ play Lebanese music. I set up my portable bar in the backyard and served drinks to nearly 100 guests. The Mediterranean Bistro of Porter Ranch catered the event and they served a fantastic variety of Mediterranean favorites. I love Mediterranean food, and particularly Lebanese food and two of my favorite restaurants in LA are Lebanese.

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105 degrees in Hollywood Labor Day Weekend

Shaken Not Stirred in LA

  • Top Pro on Thumbtack: 91 5 star reviews
  • Established, December 2013
  • 15 five star reviews on Yelp
  • Top performer on Gig Salad
  • Done over 400 events

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    Guests mingle at Hancock Park Rehearsal Dinner

On Saturday it was deathly hot in Los Angeles. It was at least 105 in the SFV, and I thought it would be cooler in Hancock Park. I was wrong. When I arrived to set up, I instantly was soaked with sweat when I got out of the car. There was no breeze at all and it was like a sauna even in the shade. As the sun went down it eventually cooled off a little. I served margaritas and other drinks to a crowd of 60 people. The party took place in the backyard of a very nice Hancock Park home.

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Guests enjoy home movie in Valley Village

On Sunday, the day before Labor Day, I drove only five minutes away to a home in Valley Village to bartend a 40th birthday party. The host had told me her friends were heavy drinkers. She told me how much alcohol she had purchased and I thought it would be enough. I was wrong. We ran almost completely out an hour and a half before the end of the party. Some of the guests ran out to get more. DJ Richie Rich provided the jams.

This coming weekend I have a wedding scheduled in Fillmore, and nothing lese so fa, but that will probably change. I have events scheduled in San Diego, Valley Village, Culver City, La Verne, Villa Park, and Burbank. Please follow Shaken Not Stirred on Instagram.  

July is Wedding Season for Shaken Not Stirred

10 Jul
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Wedding ceremony on backyard deck

Shaken Not Stirred started the July Wedding season with two memorable weddings last weekend. On Friday I traveled to San Diego and did a fantastic backyard wedding at a private home in the University Heights neighborhood. On Saturday I returned to Los Angeles and bartended a wedding at the Reptacular Ranch in the hills above Sylmar. It was a very hot weekend temperature wise, so I had my challenges.

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Groom and groomsmen waiting to proceed..

I don’t do many events in San Diego, but I do a few a year when they are worthwhile, and the University Heights wedding was one of those. The house where the wedding was held sits on quiet street that overlooks Mission Valley and the 8 freeway. They had the backyard decorated very nicely and chairs set up on a deck for the ceremony. I setup my portable bar in a corner of the yard and the hosts were kind enough to provide me with an umbrella. It was pretty hot for San Diego, but there was an ocean breeze.

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Kicks Band perform at wedding

After the ceremony ended, the guests and wedding participants filed up to the bar and I served a variety of mixed drinks – the most popular being the Long Island Ice Tea. Long Island Ice Teas are a labor intensive drink when you are making them one at a time, so I always make big batches of them when people are drinking them. Old Town Catering provided the food and they did a very good job. Kicks Band provided live music, and they were very good. The hosts asked me to stay two extra hours and I was happy to do so.

Wedding Season in Southern California

  • April Until October
  • Hire a bartender
  • Book early
  • Consider a backyard wedding
  • Make it memorable

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    Wedding party at Reptacular Ranch

I had a quick turnaround time and to hustle back to LA to do the wedding at Reptacular Ranch. The ranch is in the hills above Sylmar and is quite isolated from everything. You have to drive a good ten minutes off any main road up a winding canyon road to reach the ranch. The temperature was well over 100 and I brought 200 lbs of ice to last the night – it only lasted an hour and a half. I had another bartender, Matt, with me, so I drove back down the hill and got another 140 lbs of ice, which ended up being just enough to finish the night out.

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Bouquet toss

There were 125 guests at the wedding, so Matt and I stayed pretty busy slinging drinks until 11 pm. I didn’t have a chance to get the caterer’s info, but the food was pretty good, and DJ did a great job. This week I am in Montana visiting family, but have another wedding scheduled in Eagle rock when I return, and a corporate event in Burbank. Follow Shaken Not Stirred on Instagram.

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Shots!

 

Rolling Hills Fourth of July Party

5 Jul
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My first customers at the bar

Yesterday I bartended a Fourth of July party in Rolling Hills on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. I was excited to do this party because the host told me they had a great view of the whole Long Beach and San Pedro area from their backyard and could see several fireworks shows from there. I love Independence Day – it is my favorite holiday, and I love fireworks, and I love bartending.

I got this job from another job I did last month in Rolling Hills. There is nothing better than getting a referral, or getting a job from handing out a business card. That is the best kind of business for me, because I have to pay for leads and advertising for everything else. I had to start my business from scratch, and now after four years, I am getting a lot of repeat business and referrals.

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Me at Bukowski’s grave

I got down to area early and had some time to kill. I was right by the Green Hills Cemetery and I remembered that Charles Bukowski,one of my favorite writers is buried there. People often visit his grave and pour bottles of beer and whiskey into the ground as a tribute. I figured it shouldn’t be too hard to find the gravesite. I walked into the cemetery and quickly realized it would be like finding a needle in a haystack. I saw a cemetery employee driving a golf cart and I stopped her and asked he where the grave site was. She was kind enough to drive me right to it. It had some beer bottles on it and cigarettes. I was unprepared and had nothing to offer. I hope I am not jinxed!

The party went very well and I served Mojitos. Old Fashioneds, beer, and wine to approximately 50 guests. It was a very nice relaxed party with a great group of people. When the sun went down the fireworks started and they lit up the whole harbor area and Southbay. I think that this year there were way more “illegal” fireworks than I have ever seen before. Even as I was driving home on the 405 they were lighting up the sky at midnight. I love it – allow us our freedom once a year!

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Guests enjoying great food and view of Harbor area

Friday I am bartending a wedding in San Diego, and then on Sunday I am doing a wedding at an exotic animal ranch in Sylmar. On Monday I leave for Montana and Wyoming for a week. The summer will be gone before we know it.

Off the Hook: Southbay 30th Birthday Celebration

11 May

I returned to the Southbay last night to bartend a 30th birthday party in Torrance. The house where the party was held used to be a bachelor’s “party house,” where three or four guys used to live together and have wild parties all the time, and then life happened, including wives and kids. It’s hard growing up, believe me, I know from experience! Anyway, this place had the best garage bar I have ever seen – it was almost as good as Pat’s II, with a real full length bar and beer refrigerator. It reminded me of that old country song – “I’d like to Hire a Wino to Decorate Our Home.”

The occasion was a one of the former bachelor’s 30th birthday party. It was the second 30th birthday party I have done in two weeks, and it is an important milestone. I think people really have some kind of expectation and are especially hard on themselves when they are turning 30. I know I was. The birthday boy’s family turned out en masse for the celebration and there were a lot of them because he has 12 brothers and sisters and their families.

The family catered their own event and the food was excellent. I will have to say that was some of the best salsa I have ever tasted. After everybody ate and some of the families with small children went home, the core crew and group of friends really cut loose. They had a cigar sampling and I served Strawberry Margaritas, Cosmos, and a whole bunch of Jack Daniels. Jack seems to be a favorite at almost every party I do, and I almost always run out of it.  Some of the guests brought a bottle of Ron Zacapa 23 year old Guatemalan rum and I served chilled shots of that.  I finally returned from the Southbay after one AM, and it was another successful party for Shaken Not Stirred.

Last week was kind of a tough week for me with the business of bartending. I had some cancellations, and people drop out that I had been working hard to book parties with. It just seemed that everything was going wrong. I know that will change. I have been very lucky with this bartending business so far and have had nothing but good experiences with the jobs I have done. I have another party back in the Southbay

Torrance garage bar

Torrance garage bar

Well stocked beer refrigerator

Well stocked beer refrigerator

Smoking is allowed!

Smoking is allowed!

in Palos Verdes next week, and a wedding in Filmore later this month. I am still available on the the May 31, and hope to get event for that date.