Tag Archives: deposit

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.

Studio City Backyard Party

17 Aug

Last night I bartended a backyard party that served both as the host’s birthday party, and to celebrate the recent completion of landscaping to the backyard. It was another hot day in the San Fernando Valley and I couldn’t wait for the sun to go down as I set up my portable bar beside the pool. We were expecting around forty guests and I transferred the host’s liquor from his indoor bar to my portable bar by the pool. He had a pretty well staffed bar and we were able to cover almost all bases in the liquor department.

I made a batch of cucumber/mint syrup to try out at this party and it went over well. Several guests requested cucumber margarita over and over again. The cucumber syrup also mixes well with vodka and rum. It is very concentrated and I only put about an ounce of it into each drink. I can’t wait to try other concoctions, like peach, mango, and melon. Somebody else brought jalapeno syrup and I made her favorite drink with that. The second most popular drink of the night was the Malibu Bay Breeze.

The sun finally went down and there was some relief from the heat. Some of the guests brought their swimming trunks and dove into the pool, turning the backyard party into a pool party.  The host requested that I stay an hour longer than my scheduled time and I was glad to do it. I think it is foolish for a bartender to leave when a party is still going strong. I always stay later when requested and am glad to do so. When I schedule a party on a Saturday night, I have no other pressing business.

It was nice staying in my neighborhood doing parties for the last two weeks, but am going on the road again next weekend to do a wedding in Tehachapi. Then I have two more weddings to do the following weekend in Camarillo and El Monte. The wedding season obviously isn’t over because I have other weddings already booked in September and October.

People ask me how far in advance they should book me, and I say if you agree the price is right – do it now. About a week ago somebody was talking to me about a date in November and they said they would get back to me. The next day I booked a party on that same date and took a deposit. I always book with the first person who pays a deposit. Even if a better deal comes my way – I honor my agreements with those people who have paid me a deposit. You can follow me on Twitter here.

Portable bar on Studio City patio

Portable bar on Studio City patio

Guests mingling beside pool

Guests mingling beside pool

After sundown

After sundown

Cathedral City Wedding and Bermuda Dunes Oscar Night Party

3 Mar

I was fortunate to book two back to back parties in the Coachella Valley this weekend. I like visiting the Palm Springs area and usually stay at a hotel there when I do jobs in the area. It is always nice getting a Saturday night job and a Sunday job the next day in the same area. Rain threatened the Saturday wedding and even though we desperately need the rain in California, I was glad we were given a reprieve Saturday night. Heavy rain would have seriously ruined the wedding.

The wedding was held at the historic Cree Estate in Cathedral

Ominous clouds threaten wedding...

Ominous clouds threaten wedding…

Cree Estate Pool

Cree Estate Pool

Mingling at the Cree Estate

Mingling at the Cree Estate

The Red Carpet

The Red Carpet

Great bar for Academy Awards party

Great bar for Academy Awards party

City. It was a very nice spot for a wedding and they did this one up right. They had tents set up to cover the 150 guests as they were dining and over the bar areas, but those would not have hampered a heavy downpour, as we sometimes get. They hired a bartender from another company, and I supplied two servers. We had to set up quickly for a cocktail hour after the ceremony, and the move to another bar for the reception. We pulled that off no problem. It was a busy bar night and we were slinging drinks from 4:00 pm until midnight.

The server situation ended up kind of funny. I normally only get people to help me that I know and have used before, but this time I had a problem getting my regulars in the Palm Springs area because they were all working a tennis tournament. I brought Mia, who has worked with me several times and is incredible.  One girl recommended a friend and I talked to her and she sounded good and so I hired her. That girl called me last minute and said she couldn’t make it, and she recommended one of her friends. I talked to that person and she said she would definitely be there. The morning of I called her and she said she was getting ready to work that afternoon. Well, she was supposed to arrive at 5:30, but a forth woman arrived in her place who I had never heard of before. It all worked out, and as far as I could tell, and it seemed the forth woman did a good job. In the future, I will only use people I know. The wedding party was a rager and we went through countless bottles of tequila and Jameson whiskey. The DJ was very good, though I didn’t have time to get her name. The married couple looked nice together, and I’m sure they will have a great future ahead of them.

The next day I did an Oscar party at the Bermuda Dunes home of Dan and Sharie Bolhmann.  Sharie Hatchett Bohlmann is a fantastic artist and sells her paintings all over the world, and even has pieces hanging in the White House. She works with all kinds of mediums and artistic styles and her home is covered with her artwork, which you can also see on her website. The Oscar party is an annual event that they hold, and I was honored to be a part of it this year. They have a very nice home bar and I served around 80 guests. We went through a couple cases of wine and lots of whisky and vodka. I would say that scotch was the drink of choice.  The party was a great success and everyone went away happy.

I have many more parties and weddings scheduled throughout the summer all over Southern California. Book your party now, and remember, put up the deposit right away if you want to hire me. I have had situations recently where people have hesitated to put up the deposit, and then someone else swoops in and hires me, and then the first people come back wanting to put up their deposit. I have to book the first person who puts up a deposit for a specific date. I will honor that deposit no matter what. I have other bartenders I can send out, but I always book myself first.