Tag Archives: Halloween party

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.

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.

La Bartender in Orange County for Two Parties

31 Oct
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Metropolis themed Halloween party in Orange

Shaken Not Stirred, the LA bartender service was in Orange County last weekend to service two big parties. This was Halloween weekend for most people in Southern California and most of the Halloween parties were held Saturday night. I can’t tell you how many calls I had from people wanting bartenders at the last moment. My client was smart and booked me months ago.

The Halloween party in the city of Orange I guess is an annual event, but this was my first time doing it. They had the house decorated very nicely with a Metropolis, speakeasy type theme. I was nervous and arrived plenty early to get things set up. My motto for bartending is be prepared. I was nervous because the bartender who was supposed o work with me on this party dropped out at the last minute. I had to use a bartender I had never used before and I was afraid he was going to suck. I got a barback too that I had never used before.

The extra bartender showed up early which was a good sign and he brought a big cooler with him. I think he did a good job, but don’t know for sure because once the party started we were so busy at our seperate bars we didn’t have a moment to spare. At most times during the night I had a line of people leading up to the bar. The barback showed on time and helped us alot. We served out of almost everything by the end of the night. We used almost 300lbs of ice.

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Shots!

LA Bartender Service

  • Birthday parties and anniversaries
  • Corporate events
  • Weddings
  • Holiday parties
  • Openings
  • Reunions

One thing I want to mention was the entertainment, Phil Shane. He was just incredible and I guess he is kind of an Orange County legend. He can sing Elvis better than Elvis, and did a whole range of Elvis songs, Jimmy Buffett, Neil Diamond, Conway Twitty, and many other classics. The guy did not singing the entire five hours I was there. He was a genuine human juke box. At the end of the party he came up to me and tipped me, because I kept sending him drinks. I told him, that it was me that should be tipping him.

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Some of the ladies at Laguna Beach Reunion

I stayed at a motel in OC Saturday night because on Sunday I had to do a reunion at the Laguna Beach Women’s Club. The reunion was for a group of ladies that went to a Catholic high school in Tehran, Iran in the seventies. Their families had to leave the country after the Iranian revolution in 1979. So, many of the ladies traveled from far and wide to attend this event.

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Vintage photo at Laguna Beach Women’s Club

They had a great time and danced to traditional Persian music and ate traditional Persian food. I served Mojitos and margaritas, and I helped clear the plates from the dinner. I drove back to LA after the party and was dog tired. I was supposed to do another event tonight (Halloween), but they cancelled this morning. I was just as glad. The LA bartender had a full weekend. This week I am bartending an event I have done twice previously – the Gingerbread Boutique in Westlake Village. Then on Friday I am returning to Silver Lake to bartend a birthday party that I also did last year.

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Laguna Beach after the rain

LA Mobile Bartending Service Does Five Events

25 Oct
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Uber driver taking me to event

Last week was a very busy week for the LA mobile bartending service, Shaken Not Stirred, with five big events all in the Los Angeles Area. Two of the events were at the same residence in Pacific Palisades, there was a fundraiser in Sherman Oaks on Tuesday, a birthday party in Sylmar on Saturday, and then an open house at a store in Venice on Sunday. I think all of the events went well, but I was not operating at full capacity on three of them, because I think I got food poisoning somewhere along the way.

On Monday I was sitting at home at around 5pm in Van Nuys when I got a call to do a bartending job in Pacific Palisades at 630pm. I told the guy I didn’t think I could make it in time. It was not somebody I had ever worked for before. He said, “Would it help you if I sent a car to come get you?” “Yes, that would help me,” I said. He arranged an Uber and within 15 minutes I in the backseat of a Lexus on my way to Pacific Palisades. I did the job, and they sent me home in a different Uber. I must say that spoiled me a bit. Ironically I had done another event at that same house for a different group of people before.

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“Sucah” in Pacific Palisades

On Tuesday I returned to a house in Sherman Oaks to bartend a fundraiser for the City of Hope Chancellors Club. There were many dignitaries in attendance including the LA County Sheriff, Jim Mcdonnell, many superior court judges, and other political and business leaders from around Los Angeles. The Chancellor’s Club supports the City of Hope in its cancer research and sounds like a very worthwhile cause. I served a lot of wine and a few mixed drinks and the organizers of the event were very happy with me and said they would use me for future events in different parts of the city.

The next day the guy from Pacific Palisades called me again. He offered me another job for Friday night at the same household. He didn’t offer the Uber again and I didn’t ask. It was not last minute. So on Friday I drove out there in my own car (imagine, the horror).  I had time to kill in Santa Monica and was hungry. I was looking for a place to eat on the Third Street Promenade. I finally decided on a place with a nice patio and good guitar player performing on the street nearby. It was pricey and pretentious and I was irritated by the slow service. I am not one to usually complain, being in the service industry myself, so that tells you how bad it was. The food matched the mediocre service. I was thinking about writing a bad Yelp review, and a place has to be terrible before I will do that. Well, I went to do the second event in Pacific Palisades and it quickly became clear that something was wrong. I could barely get through the event, though I don’t think it was apparent to the guests I was serving. When I got home I was having fever and chills. I tossed and turned all night and was nauseous.

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Grandmother and family at 70th birthday party

The next day I felt horrible and knew I had to do a 70th birthday party in Sylmar that night and then have a quick turnaround and be in Venice for the store event in the morning. I tried to take it easy all day Saturday, but I had no appetite. I hoped that I could make it through the two events I had contracted to do. I showed up on time to the event in Sylmar and I pulled it off, though I must admit I was not operating at full capacity. The people that hired me have a catering company and they were so much help to me. They thought I did a great job, but I felt I could have done better. I was miserable operating on almost zero sleep and very little food. I got home at midnight with chills and fever again and set my alarm clock for seven the next morning. I had to be in Venice by nine.

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Band playing at Sylmar birthday party

I made it to Venice on time and with coffee I was able to muster enough energy to pull the final job of the week off. The store Christy Dawn is a specialty vintage inspired dress shop and they were holding a promotion where they had matching dresses for mothers and daughters. I served mimosas and Kombucha. It was a very mellow event which was about all I could handle. The owners were super nice people and they started their business in their garage and are now having great success both online and in their storefront.

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Kombucha – an acquired taste

This weekend is Halloween weekend and the LA mobile bartending service will transition into Orange County to do a Halloween Party in the City of Orange on Saturday night, and then a reunion in Laguna Beach on Sunday. November is looking to be very busy, as there are many corporate weekday events already scheduled.

Calabasas Wedding

22 Aug
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Backyard ceremony at Calabasas wedding

Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for a Calabasas wedding at a beautiful backyard ceremony and reception. This was the third wedding related party I bartended of a three part series – three different couples out of a group of friends within a year and a half. I bartended the first engagement party at a home in Valencia, and then I bartended a rehearsal party at a venue in Temecula, and then finally I did this wedding reception in Calabasas.

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Toddler learns to dance

This wedding was held at a beautiful home in Calabasas that sits against a hillside and it was perfect for hosting a large wedding party. There were approximately 100 guests in attendance. The weather was just perfect – not too hot as it can be in Calabasas in August. Backyard weddings are always nice, especially at a property like this. Stonefire Grill of Thousand Oaks provided the catering and they did an excellent job. I have worked at several events where they have been present.

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Shots!

There was a granite countertop by the barbecue that I used as the bar. I usually recommend having two bartenders for groups of 100 people or more, but I have done it by myself several times and I can handle it. I brought my drink dispenser to pour regular and jalapeno margaritas. I premix them and this makes service a lot faster for large groups. The initial hit is always right after the ceremony and then comes in a couple more waves as people come through for their second and third drinks, and then it usually evens out after that. The Calabasas wedding was another success for Shaken Not Stirred.

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More Shots!

Last week I had a lull in bookings due to some kind of computer error with the website where I get many of jobs, but that has changed as of yesterday and I have booked four jobs in a row. I have booked a Halloween Party in Orange County, a couple more birthday parties, and a wedding in San Diego. Now is the time to book for fall and the holidays, so don’t wait.

Three Bartending Events Halloween Weekend

4 Nov
Lloyd the Bartender costume

Lloyd the Bartender costume

Shaken Not Stirred was contracted to bartend at three consecutive events last Halloween weekend. I usually write the blogs for my events on Monday morning, but was so exhausted after doing three events in a row, I am now writing the blog today on Wednesday. Friday night I bartended a Halloween costume party in Marina Del Rey, on Saturday I bartended a wedding in Northridge, and then on Sunday I bartended a birthday party in Silverlake.

For the costume party in Marina Del Rey, I broke out my Lloyd the bartender costume. The theme of the party was undead celebrities, and many of the guests really did it up. The host of the party dressed as Marilyn Monroe, and she looked uncannily like that statue that used to stand in downtown Palm Springs. I don’t know what happened to that statue, but it would be cool to make a movie where the statue of Marilyn Monroe goes berserk and terrorizes Palm Springs.

Undead guests at party

Undead guests at party

More undead patrons

More undead patrons

For the Costume party I made some specialty drinks that the host wanted used fresh ingredients. I can do craft cocktails that for smaller parties, but they become problematic at large weddings. Many of the guests didn’t get my costume, and I was surprised to learn that many of them (in their 20’s) had never seen the “Shining.”

On Saturday I bartended a wedding at the Rancho Cordillera Del Norte in Northridge that I had booked months ago.  My associate bartender Mia Martini helped. We served Margaritas, Micheladas, and Palomas to approximately 120 guests. La Fogata Catering provided the food, and they did an excellent job. Mole was on the menu, and I must say was excellent. Mrdraxx was the DJ and he kept the crowd moving all night long.

Bride and groom share first dance

Bride and groom share first dance

Mariachis at Halloween wedding

Mariachis at Halloween wedding

Shots!

Shots!

On Sunday, I traveled to Silverlake to bartend a birthday/retirement party. I was exhausted after doing to two other events, and didn’t really feel up to par. They didn’t have a lot of room for me to set up, so they set up a bar in the home office. I made a specialty drink, “Shady Pines,” which was named after the retirement home on the “Golden Girls.” The Shady Pines was basically a Vodka Mojito with muddled cucumber, and seemed to be a big hit. I was really dragging by the end of the party, but I helped clean up as much as I could, and for me that is how I got through it, rather than just sitting there like a lot of bartenders do.

View from Silverlake

View from Silverlake

This week I have a fundraiser to do in Oak Park on Thursday, and then a birthday party for a repeat customer in Lancaster on Saturday night, and then another party in Northridge on Sunday.  So another busy weekend for Shaken Not Stirred, and many more to come during the holiday season.

 

 

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

Diamond Bar Center Wedding II

12 Oct
Balloons in flight above Diamond Bar Center

Balloons in flight above Diamond Bar Center

Yesterday Shaken Not Stirred returned to the Diamond Bar Center for the largest wedding they have done to date. We had three bartenders and three bars to service 350 people. I always allow myself one hour set up time, but I arrived two hours early, because this kind of event requires a lot of preparation. I was very nervous when I first arrived that something was going to go wrong, and that is why arriving early is so important, because it gives you time to fix any potential problems.

The Diamond Bar Center has two portable bars and we used those, plus I set up my portable bar. We had approximately 400 pounds of ice and that seemed to be just enough on a 95 degree day. When we looked at the liquor stock and cups we were panicking that it wouldn’t be enough. Well, it was pretty hard drinking crowd and it ended up being just enough. We ran completely out of everything but wine, one half hour before we were supposed to stop serving.

Setting up three bars at the Diamond Bar Center

Setting up three bars at the Diamond Bar Center

I had me two best girls, Mia and Kelley working with me and they did a stellar job. I was very proud how we all came together and pulled this massive event off. I was thinking when I arrived I don’t want to do any more events this big, but I have since changed my mind about that. It was a great experience.

Shots!

Shots!

This Saturday I will be bartending a wedding party in Culver City and will be taking another bartender and two cocktail servers with me. Then on Sunday, I will stay in the San Fernando Valley and bartend a baptism party in Tarzana. Later this month, I will return to Coachella to bartend a wedding, and then have another wedding to bartend in Northridge on Halloween night. I still have the Friday before Halloween available if anyone wants to do a Halloween party on that night.

Groom and friends at Diamond Bar Center

Groom and friends at Diamond Bar Center

Palmdale Engagement Party Bartender

19 Oct

Last night I was the party bartender at a Palmdale backyard engagement party. I have worked many backyard engagement parties, weddings, Christenings, and birthday parties that were very nice. The party rental companies come out and set up a tent and all of the tables. For last night’s party I used my portable bar and set up in one corner of the yard next to the photo booth. The DJ sets up in another area, and the caterer in another. I forgot to bring my camera and had to take pictures with my phone that didn’t come out so good, but you get the idea what it looks like.

As a party bartender, I tend to always be loaded for bear – meaning that I prepare for the busiest possible circumstances. The engagement party last night had 125 guests in attendance, and I was bartending by myself, so I had to make sure I had everything I needed at my disposal. Unlike many other parties I have bartended recently, the guests at this event were drinkers and I served out of all of the alcohol and most of the beer by the time I finished at eleven.

To give you an idea, that was three 1.75 bottles of vodka, five 750ml bottles of Ciroc vodka, eight cases of beer, and seven bottles of wine. So, I by myself served hundred of drinks. I had a steady flow of customers coming to the bar for five hours straight. I am not complaining, I like it that way. I enjoy bartending, and going to new places every weekend, and meeting a whole new group of people. One of my customers said it – “Everybody loves a party bartender.” It’s true, I have had mostly positive experiences on every job I have done.

This was the third event I have bartended in the Palmdale/Lancaster, Antelope

Mariachis at Palmdale engagement party

Mariachis at Palmdale engagement party

Portable bar set up

Portable bar set up

Backyard engagement party

Backyard engagement party

Mongols on the loose!

Mongols on the loose!

Valley area. I don’t mid driving out there, but the road at night can be a little dicey. For some reason, and this doesn’t happen often in California, but people like to drive the speed limit in the fast lane on Highway 14. It creates a dangerous situation as cars driving faster try to get around the slow moving cars. Last night I passed on the right hand side four members of the Mongol’s Motorcycle “club” driving in the fast lane. That was a little unnerving.

I had many calls to do Halloween parties next weekend, but I had to turn them down, because I am bartending a wedding in the Inland Empire. I am still available on Friday, October 31 for a Halloween party and will probably get one. Next month I have several birthday parties booked and a corporate event. I was thinking that November might be the lull before the Holiday season. The fact is that Los Angeles and Southern California is home to millions of people, and thousands of them are going to be hiring bartenders on any given month.