Tag Archives: Coachella

Southern California Event Business is Booming

8 Nov

The Southern California event business is really taking off as the economy heats up. There are actually more events than there are bartenders. When I first started doing this as my own business – the competition was fierce. I had to scrap for every event that I got. Now, it seems there are way more events coming up than there are bartenders to do them. 

I used to write a blog post about every event that I did. Now, I do so many events that it is hard to keep up with the blog posts. Shaken Not Stirred has provided bartending service recently at corporate events in West Hollywood recently, a fundraiser in Mid City LA, a huge Halloween party in San Bernardino, and a very nice wedding in Coachella. I will recap the bigger events here.

San Bernardino Halloween Party

Saturday, October 28th was probably the biggest party night of the whole year in Southern California. I had so many requests for Halloween parties, but this one I booked months in advance. The hosts of this party do it up big. They literally spend months decorating their workshop into a Halloween extravaganza. Guests come in from all over the country to attend.

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Shots!

This was the first year that the host hired professional bartenders, and I think he was quite pleased with us. We served all kinds of drinks and shots and managed the liquor inventory. Guests self served themselves beer and frozen margaritas, but we kept busy from 9pm until 4:30 am. Great party and I hope we are asked to return next year.

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Fellow bartender, Thomas

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More shots

Mid City LA Fundraiser

I was referred to the hosts of this event from another client, which is always nice. They wanted me to purchase all of the alcohol, and that is a service I provide in some cases. They were expecting 125 guests, so I recommended they have two bartenders, and I made a list of alcohol and supplies they would need.

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Live music at Gallery 38

The event was held at Gallery 38 on West Adams Boulevard, mid city. Gallery 38 is a somewhat small space and will not really accommodate 125 people. So, only about 75 showed up and that was just right. I felt bad that there was so much alcohol left over, but they can use that at another event.

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Friends gather for a drink

The fundraiser was to benefit Homeboy Industries, a nonprofit that helps former gang members transition back into society after serving time in prison. Artists donated art works to the cause and they were on display on the walls of Gallery 38. They also had poetry readings and live music. It was a fantastic event and I was happy to be present for it.

Coachella Wedding

This was my third wedding at the Corona Yacht Club in Coachella. It is a great venue on a secluded ranch just south of the ten freeway. This venue has everything a couple could want for a private wedding. The photo opportunities alone at the venue make it worthwhile.

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The wedding party

For this wedding, they had us set up a bar on the lawn near the ceremony for the cocktail hour. We served beer and wine to the guests for an hour or so, and then moved it to the main bar where we served cocktails for the rest of the night. I hired a bartender local to the area, and he worked out great helping me, and I will be sure to use him again.

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Newly married couple

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shots!

This weekend so far I have an eighties themed party in Studio City, and a birthday party in Porter Ranch scheduled. Please follow us on Instagram.

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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.

Shaken Not Stirred Teams With Goodfella’s Tacos for Two October Events

18 Oct
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Tables set up for dinner at Sacred Sands

Last weekend Shaken Not Stirred and Goodfella’s Tacos killed it at two wedding events in two fantastic Southern California locations. On Friday we combined our services for a rehearsal dinner at a beautiful San Marino home, and then on Saturday we traveled all the way to Joshua Tree for a memorable wedding. The clients at both events were extremely happy.

I have done several events with Goodfella’s Tacos and I highly recommend them. They have an extensive menu of options that goes way beyond just tacos. Scott is highly professional and has a great crew. I am happy to be associated with him. I only hope I can help him get more business as he has done for me.

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Desert flora at Sacred Sands

The Friday event in San Marino was one part of a three event wedding weekend. The groom was from Holland and many of his friends and relatives flew in from Holland and other global locations. I served pomegranate and citrus margaritas as mariachis performed for approximately 60 guests. I enjoyed talked to the European guests and told them about my friend from Holland, who is a very popular emerging musician there, Big Pete. He fronts a band called the Red Devils, and they toured across Europe last summer with ZZ Top. I was sorry that I was not able to bartend the wedding that was happening on Saturday night, and they had contracted another catering company and bartender.

Goodfella’s Tacos Catering Options

  • Tacos
  • Kabobs
  • Burgers
  • Breakfast
  • Taco Cart

The Joshua Tree event was at an incredible venue just a short distance from the Joshua Tree National Park, called Sacred Sands. It sits atop a hill overlooking the valley and you couldn’t ask for a more beautiful location. If the wedding would have been held in September it probably would have been scorching hot, but in mid October, the weather was just perfect. It even was a bit cold after the sun went down. I served standard mixed drinks to over 100 guests and I had a helper provided by the Goodfellas. The hosts and the venue owners were very happy with our service.

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Shots!

As the holidays approach I have been inundated with calls for corporate events. I have booked several events in November and a few in December. I am doing a corporate event in Woodland Hills today, and have three in West Hollywood next week. I also have an event in Newport Beach this weekend, a Halloween Party in San Bernardino next weekend, and a wedding in Coachella the weekend after that. Please follow us on Instagram.

Two Coachella Valley Events

28 Feb
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Beautiful Day in the Coachella Valley

 

This weekend, Shaken not Stirred provided bartending services at two Coachella Valley events. On Friday night, I traveled to Indio to bartend a wedding rehearsal dinner, and then on Saturday I bartended a backyard wedding in Palm Springs. I really like doing these parties in the Palm Springs area, because many of these rental houses have very nice backyard bars, and that was the case at both of these events.

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Guests mingling in Indio

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Self Serve Margarita station

The house in Indio was just blocks away from where the annual music festival at Coachella is held. It had a very nice backyard bar. I was serving to 150 people by myself. The way that was done is that I made a big batch of margaritas and set it out in a beverage dispenser, along with ice, limes, cups and oranges, and the guests self served. They also self served beer. I made a few other cocktails and it worked out great. I will remember that, when somebody wants one bartender for a large group like that.

The future groom was from Maine, and many of his family members had traveled all the way across the country to attend the wedding. For them, the weather in Palm Springs was a treat. It is always nice meeting people from different parts of the world and country. Everyone has their different tradtions when it comes to cocktails. In this case – the Maine Margarita featured tequila, margarita mix, fresh oranges, and Coors Light.

Coachella Valley Events

  • Palm Springs
  • Indio
  • Palm Desert
  • La Quinta
  • Indian Wells
  • Coachella
  • Cathedral City
  • Rancho Mirage

On Saturday, I went to a house in Palm Springs to bartend the backyard wedding. Many of these guests had either traveled from Phoenix or Oregon to attend. This was a smaller group of 60 people , which is the perfect size for one bartender. I made Moscow Mules, and Old Fashioneds.  Goodfella’s Tacos provided catering, and that was the second time in a month I ran in top them. I must say, their fish tacos are out of this world.  I have a new Palm Springs Yelp page and I need to get some reviews on there from my Coachella Valley events.

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Backyard wedding in Palm Springs

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Goodfella’s Tacos doing their thing

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The bride displays food and drink

Today the Academy Awards take place in Hollywood. I have bartended Oscar parties before, but have nothing booked for today. If something comes up last minute, I will do it. Next weekend I am going to Santa Clarita to bartend a 60th birthday party with a James Bond them, and then the following weekend will be doing two events in Santa Barbara.

Torrance and Coachella Wedding Parties

26 Oct
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Bride and Groom in Torrance

Last weekend Shaken Not Stirred was on hand to bartend to great wedding parties, in Torrance and Coachella. The Torrance party was held at a zumba studio on Carson Street, but it converted to an event venue quite nicely, and I even had a bar to work behind. The Coachella wedding party was held at the Corona Yacht Club, and that was second time I have worked that venue in two months.

I booked the Friday night party on Thursday night. Everything worked out fine on short notice. Most people book their wedding parties months in advance, but it doesn’t have to be doesn’t have to be done that was. I provided the host with a shopping list of what he needed to buy based on the number of people. He did that, and everything came off fine. The danger of booking last minute is that there won’t be anybody available. Fortunately, I was available, so it was a great deal for me, and the host.

The fathers share a drink

The fathers share a drink

The Coachella event was booked months in advance. It was actually booked by my associate bartender, Mia Martini, and it was the fifth of six events we have booked to together in the past two months. We will be doing another wedding party together on Halloween night in Northridge. At the Coachella event we served Mojitos, Moscow Mules, and Margaritas – the three M’s. Another successful party went down.

I finally booked a Halloween party for Friday in Marina Del Rey, and will be once again dressing as Loyd the bartender (from the Shining). It is not a big stretch for me.  Then on Saturday, Halloween, I will be bartending the wedding party in Northridge, and then on Sunday, I will be bartending a birthday party in Los Angeles. November is shaping up to be one of my busiest months every, and I already have many weekdays and Sundays booked, as well as all but one Saturday.

The lagoon in Coachella

The lagoon in Coachella

Culver City Wedding and Tarzana Baptism Celebration

19 Oct
Outside bar at Big Daddy's Antiques

Outside bar at Big Daddy’s Antiques

Shaken Not Stirred stayed close to home this weekend and worked a wedding party in Culver City Saturday night, and then on Sunday bartended a baptism party in Tarzana.  Both events went very well, and that was due to planning and preparation.  Once again, I was reminded that all kinds of problems can be avoided when I show up plenty early.

The wedding party in Culver City was held at Big Daddy’s Antiques. It is a real antique store that is full of all kinds of cool stuff. I bartended another event in Santa Barbara at a similar type of place. There are so many cool things there, but most of the items at Big Daddy’s are the huge and made of stone, so not easily breakable.  I had a crew with me – one more bartender and two bar backs. I’m sorry that I didn’t get many pictures I was so busy.

Nikki and Pia working the inside bar at Big Daddy's

Nikki and Pia working the inside bar at Big Daddy’s

When I arrived at Big Daddy’s I found out we would be working with two separate bars, which I was not previously aware of. That was not a problem, because I arrived early enough to call my other bartender to pick up some extra supplies that we needed. I brought 8 20 lb bags of ice, which we discovered as the party went on, that we needed more. I sent one of the barbacks out for 4 more bags, which was enough.

The bride and I had conversed several times planning the event. We made a specialty cocktail that was a hit. It is called the Flamingo, and it is made with muddled cucumber and mint, watermelon juice and vodka. My crew, Nikki, Pia, and Maria all did an excellent job and was proud of all of them. I think the bride and groom were very happy also.

On Sunday I traveled to the hills of Tarzana to bartend a baptism party. This is a second such party I have done recently. One very cool thing happened – I saw a photographer, Mark Cano,  working the party who I had seen at another party. It turns out he was hired because I had linked him to this blog.  I link caterers, Dj’s and all kinds of vendors to this blog, and this was the first time I heard about somebody being actually hired. Very cool.

The hills of Tarzana

The hills of Tarzana

I served Moscow Mules, which have become very popular lately, Mojitos, and variation of drinks. I poured a lot of shots, and the shot of choice was Pineapple Ciroc. They served traditional Filipino food that was excellent. It was a perfect day for a party as the weather has finally cooled down in the San Fernando Valley.

Shots on the assembly line

Shots on the assembly line

Shots!

Shots!

Next weekend I will travel back to Coachella to the Corona Yacht Club to bartend another wedding with my associate Mia Martini. I have already booked a New Year’s Eve party in Los Angeles, and have booked a few other holiday parties, but still have many dates available in December.

Two Weddings and a Labor Day Party

8 Sep
Corona Yacht Club

Corona Yacht Club

Labor Day Weekend was a big weekend for Shaken Not Stirred, as I bartended two big weddings and a very nice Labor Day party. The first wedding was Saturday night all the way in Coachella, 145 miles from Los Angeles. Then I returned to the San Fernando Valley to bartend a Sunday backyard wedding in Northridge. Finally, on Labor Day, I bartended a back yard pool party in Sherman Oaks, just a couple miles from my house.

The Coachella wedding was held at the Corona Yacht Club. I was wondering how there is a yacht club in the middle of the desert. As you drive up to entrance of the yacht club you realize it is a kind of desert oasis. It is situated on a 20 acre property and has a large lagoon in the middle of the property. When I arrived I was surprised that it wasn’t too hot for the desert in September. That changed as the day went on. It was blazing hot, even in the shade.

Classic bar at Corona Yacht Club

Classic bar at Corona Yacht Club

A couple of people even got sick and almost passed out from the heat. We served drinks to 120 guests and were plenty busy the entire night. We went through 400 pounds of ice, it was melting so fast in the extreme heat. CV BBQ of Cathedral City provided the catering. They had some of the best macaroni and cheese I have ever had, not to mention their excellent potato salad, and tri tip. I will be bartending another wedding at the Corona Yacht Club in October with my associate bartending service, Mia Martini.

On Sunday, I drove back to the San Fernando Valley to bartend a backyard wedding. I had booked the even so many months prior, I had forgotten it was a wedding, so I was surprised and felt foolish when I arrived and saw the whole wedding set up in the back yard. They had it set up very nice and the whole backyard looked as good as many expensive wedding venues I’ve worked.

I served about eighty guests and I served completely out of whiskey and vodka. I was serving a whiskey Arnold Palmer, which I deemed the John Daly. The drink was a big hit and contains equal parts bourbon, ice tea, and lemonade. Some of the guests had flown all the way from Korea to attend. Rib Ranch Barbecue of Woodland Hills provided catering, and once again I got to sample some excellent viddles, including ribs.

Back yard wedding in Northridge

Back yard wedding in Northridge

The last event of the weekend was a Labor Day pool party at a large estate in Sherman Oaks. A live 80’s cover band performed many great hits from the 80’s, including “Mustang Sally,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” and many others. This was the band’s debut in front of a live audience. I served Moscow Mules, Pina Colladas, and Mai Tais to the guests. It was a great was to round out the weekend. This coming weekend I have nothing scheduled, but am booked solid through October after that.

Back yard dance floor

Back yard dance floor