Tag Archives: hire a bartender

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.

Manhattan Beach Celebration of Life

30 May
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Sailboats just off the coast

Sunday, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service at a celebration of life in Manhattan Beach. I have done these events before working for other people, and this was the first time doing a “wake” as my own company. It was a very touching event, and I think much nicer than a standard memorial service. What a great tribute the family gave to their father who passed away.

The weather in Los Angeles has been gloomy for the past couple of weeks, but the weather was perfect on the day of this event. The house where the event was held was right on the strand, just a stones throw from the Manhattan Beach Pier. I have done parties there before and it is a wonderful place to throw a party. The hosts were expecting 50 to 75 people, but over 100 showed up, so I was busy.

I served a lot of beer, margaritas, a variety of vodka and whiskey drinks and was almost out of everything by the time we were through. The two sons of the departed gave very touching speeches about their father, as did some of his friends. I can only hope that my loved ones would do the same for me, once I am gone. It was emotional, but the overall mood was upbeat.

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Friends and Family listen to tribute

A Unique Celebration of Life

  • Much more upbeat than a funeral
  • Play the favorite music of departed
  • Hire a bartender
  • Closure for friends and family
  • Less expensive than traditional funeral

The owners of the house were friends of the family and they were nice enough to let them have celebration of life there. I used to live in Hermosa, and I always love returning there. I wish I had an event in the Southbay every weekend. Southbay people can usually drink, and the people at this event lived up to that reputation. Everybody held their liquor well though. It was a very nice event and the host commented that it could not have gone better, and I agree.

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Son gives tribute to his father

This upcoming week I have events scheduled in Venice, in Santa Clarita, and in Hidden Hills. A good start for the month of June. Later this month I have some weddings scheduled in Rancho Palos Verdes, Sylmar, and Silverlake later this month, as well as a pre 4th of July party in Villa Park. Please follow us on Instagram.

Mission Hills 40th Birthday Party

21 Feb
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A Bay Breeze waits to go out

Saturday night I bartended a 40th birthday party in Mission Hills. This was the third party I have provided bartending service for this large family. It is always nice to have repeat business and referrals. This was just the kind of party I love to do – around 60 guests in the backyard.

I set up my portable bar and table next to the garage. I served Margaritas, Palomas, and the Bay Breeze, and Moscow Mules. We had a good selection of beers, also, including Blue Moon, 805, Stella, Corona, and Pacifico. I think 805 won the battle of the beers at this party. It is always nice to have two or three beer choices.

I didn’t get the name of the taco vendors, but they had a great selection of tacos, tortas, and burritos. Many taco vendors don’t offer the option of tortas, and burritos, so that is always nice. The weather was perfect for a backyard 40th birthday party, and it was the last nice night before this current cold snap.

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Birthday girl and family at 40th Birthday Party

40th Birthday Party Ideas:

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Make a photo backdrop
  • Play great music
  • Invite a cross section of people

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    Shots!

February has been somewhat slow for Shaken Not Stirred, as it usually is, so I am glad that March is looking to be very busy. Wedding season kicks into high gear and I already have three weddings scheduled in March. This weekend I’m going to Palm Springs on Friday for a cocktail party, return to Redondo Beach on Saturday for a birthday party, and then to Tarzana on Sunday for another birthday party. If you haven’t already followed us on Instagram, please do.

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Sisters and friends

 

Rosamond Wedding in the High Desert

12 Oct
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Groom and groomsmen at Rosamond wedding

Last Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service at a wedding in the high desert near the city of Rosamond. It was my first time doing a wedding in Rosamond and the wedding took place in an orange grove adjacent to the rolling hills nearby. I had another bartender with me and we served approximately 130 guests.

I set up my portable bar near a little guest house where the cocktail hour was to be held. The ceremony took place around 4pm and the cocktail hour was right after that. We served “Sex on the Beach,” cocktails and another drink made with Hennessy, lemonade, and Popeye’s sweet tea, which I coined the “Tiger Woods.” I premade the drinks in my beverage dispenser for faster service. We also served locally brewed keg beer from Kinetic Brewery in Lancaster. We had two different types of brew, including an IPA and a Blonde ale.

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Kegs from Kinetic Brewery in Lancaster

After the cocktail hour concluded, we moved the bar to the dining area where we continued service for the rest of the evening. They had tents set up and a dance floor. A catering company served barbecue. We served out of the Tiger Woods and by the end served out of the other cocktail too. The beer was quite popular, and people were impressed that it was brewed locally.

Hire a Wedding Bartender

  • Plan a specialty drink menu
  • Hire an experienced professional bartender
  • Venues require certified bartenders
  • Get help with shopping list
  • Impress your guests

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    Guests mingle during cocktail hour

I hesitate mentioning this, because I don’t know the cause of it, but I got very sick at the wedding. Shortly after I ate I began feeling nauseous. It got worse as the night went on, and eventually I had to go vomit. Luckily the other bartender was covering me. He ate the same food and didn’t get sick. I felt better after I vomited, but when I was driving home, I felt it coming on again, and I threw up in my car before I could make it to an exit. Needless to say that was fun. I don’t want to implicate the catering company for this, because it could have been something totally unrelated. I was fine the next day and bartended an event in Orange County. I wonder if anyone else at the party got sick. Please follow us on Instagram.

Shaken Not Stirred Bartends Northridge Double Birthday Party

14 Aug
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Mariachis perform at double birthday party

 

Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service at a Northridge double birthday party that lasted until the wee hours. The party included a taco cart, mariachis, a portable bar provided by me, and a self DJ machine. Seventy five guests enjoyed themselves under the tent setup in the backyard.

When I arrived to setup, the sun was still high in the sky, and it was one of those scorching hot San Fernando Valley days in August. I at least had a spot in the shade, but the taco caterer was not so lucky as she had to setup in the direct sunlight. I often see caterers doing this and then they have to cook on the hot stove. As they say, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!” The food was very good and the caterer, Taquito Y Mas did an excellent job. Most of these taco caterers put a special spin on their tacos, and in this case it was the grilled veggies that really added to the mix.

The hosts had a portable PA system, QFX brand that served as the DJ. I was quite impressed with this unit. It is one piece and puts out amazing sound. It is wifi operational and the host programmed all of the songs ahead of time. I am going to buy one and offer it to my clients for an extra charge. This is not going to make DJ’s happy. It also has a jack for a microphone. I left at 1am and the guests were still dancing to the music that was preprogrammed.

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Jameson shots with pickle back

Double Birthday Ideas

  • Hire  a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Serve great food
  • Plan entertainment
  • Invite a mixed crowd

This double birthday party was memorable to me because I was impressed at how the crowd kept dancing and dancing. I thought they were going to run out of gas but they kept going. I served margaritas, Micheladas, Palomas, and made many Jameson shots with pickle back chasers. I also made some Flaming Dr. Pepper shots.

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Friends enjoy double birthday party

This coming weekend I will drive to San Diego to bartend a wedding on Saturday, and then back to Irvine for a baby shower. I have a another bartender doing a rehearsal dinner in Tujunga. Later this month I have events scheduled in Hawthorne, and Hidden Hills. I have many evnts already scheduled in September, October, and November, then comes the busy Holiday season. Please follow us on Facebook if you haven’t done so already.

Palmdale Rehearsal Dinner

22 Jun
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Tent setup in driveway for Palmdale Rehearsal Dinner

Last Saturday I drove to Palmdale to bartend a wedding rehearsal dinner at a private home. It was one of the first hot days of the summer and the temp was 104 when I arrived. The host had tents setup in the yard and driveway. There was a tent for me, another for the DJ, and a big tent for the guests.

My mom was in town visiting, so I asked the host if I could bring her along, and she helped out. I served margaritas, beer, and wine to approximately 70 guests. I used my drink dispenser and premixed margaritas – that makes service faster when I am working large events by myself. My mom helped serve beer, and wine and she helped cut the cake.

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DJ Bryan K in Palmdale

The DJ Bryan K setup in his own tent and spun tunes throughout the night. He just moved here from Maryland and quizzed me on how to get jobs in the LA area. I was happy to help him and I am always happy to help other event professionals, including caterers and photographers get more jobs. I get jobs from caterers I have worked with in the past, and I want to return the favor. The idea is to get a whole network of event vendors working together and helping each other out.

Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

  • Do it in your backyard
  • Hire a bartender
  • Provide some form of entertainment
  • Invite people who can’t attend wedding
  • Serve great food

The host did the food herself for this rehearsal dinner. She got a fried chicken, potato salad and other fixins from the local grocery store. Everybody was just fine with that. A rehearsal dinner doesn’t have to be fancy. The host told me that this party was mainly for the people who could not attend the actual wedding that will take place in a different location later this summer. Most of the people were family members and everybody seemed to get along well.

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My mom helps me bartend in Palmdale

This weekend I have three events. Tomorrow I will bartend a cocktail party in Pacific Palisades. Saturday I am doing a backyard wedding south of downtown LA. On Sunday I am driving out to Mentone, past Redlands to bartend a baby shower. I have many events already booked in July, including Fourth of July parties, a wedding in San Diego, and many other events throughout the month.

Two June Birthday Parties

5 Jun
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Van Nuys poolside bar

 

Saturday and Sunday stayed within the borders of the San Fernando Valley and bartended two birthday parties. On Saturday I only had to drive five minutes from my house to bartend a birthday party in Van Nuys, and then on Sunday I drove out to Hidden Hills on the western edge of the valley to do another one. Two incredible parties and I me some great people and I think gained some new customers.

Two weeks ago I thought I was out for the count for at least a month with a broken rib. My recovery was much speedier than I anticipated. My rib still hurts, but I am able to work on my own again now. I just need to get the momentum back that I had before I went to New Orleans. I did five events in the week prior to my trip.

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“Shaken Not Stirred”

For the Saturday birthday party, the host has a nice little bar setup in his backyard by the pool. I made blended drinks including Pina Colladas and Margaritas. The host and many of his guests are musicians, and they had quite a jam session going on in Van Nuys. They had tacos catered in. Van Nuys gets a bad rap for a variety of reasons, but the host had quite a nice little oasis in his backyard. There are nice neighborhoods and houses in Van Nuys, believe it or not! I know, because I live in Van Nuys too, even though they are trying to call it “Valley Glen,” it is Van Nuys.

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Shots!

Ideas for Birthday Parties

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Play great music
  • Serve great food
  • Invite a mix of people

Hidden Hills is a world away from Van Nuys, but only a 25 minute drive. Hidden Hills is where people go when they have arrived. Self actualization is right around the corner. The hosts of the Hidden Hills birthday party have a great spot up on a hill with great views of the surrounding hills and properties. I set up my portable bar and once again served blended drinks to about 60 guests. The hostess made some incredible appetizers and they also had a taco cart on hand.

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Paradise on the hill

Two more successful parties under my belt – I have done over 400 since I started Shaken Not Stirred. I was afraid to book too many parties this month because of my rib, so I only have one event scheduled for this weekend in Rolling Hills Estates – another beautiful Southern California location. It is a graduation party and this is the season for those, along with weddings, and of course birthday parties.

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Shots waiting for drinkers

Santa Monica 40th Birthday

30 May
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Guests arrive to Santa Monica 40th Birthday party

On Saturday I bartended a 40th birthday party in Santa Monica as I am still recovering from a fractured rib. I took a friend to help me, and am grateful to have the help, but feel like I am recovered enough to do jobs myself now. It is amazing how quickly this has gotten better, because just a week ago, I couldn’t even drive a car. I realize I am not 100 percent yet, and I am only doing the events I already have scheduled for the next few weeks.

The birthday party in Santa Monica took place on the courtyard of an apartment complex. Many apartment complexes around town have common areas or club houses where people can have parties. I set up my bar in one corner of the courtyard, and the caterer, Hampton’s Catering, set up his station right next to me.

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Barback Steve sits behind portable bar

I made Moscow Mules, Old Fashioneds, Dirty martinis, and Margaritas for about 50 guests. The way I like to make margaritas now is by using tequila, organic fresh lime juice, and a shot of agave nectar. I rim the glass with salt, and I had many fans of this simple margarita. The classic Old Fashioned was the second most popular drink of the night.

40th Birthday Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Provide good music
  • Hire a caterer
  • Backyard or courtyard party

I think parties like this are so much nicer than meeting in a restaurant to celebrate. Even with caterer, bartender, and supplies, a person can put on a party like this for under $1000. What is $1000 when it comes to celebrating such an important milestone. Of course, you can go bigger and hire a DJ or even live entertainment.

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Hampton’s Catering sets up

This weekend I believe I will be bartendting another 40th birthday party right here in Van Nuys, and then the following week I will be doing events in Orange County, and in Rolling Hills Estates. Hopefully by next month I will be back at 100 percent and fully recovered.  

Los Feliz Birthday Party Complete With Bartender

17 Apr
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Los Feliz Party Pad

Saturday night a Los Feliz birthday party took place in a hip fourplex just off of Hillhurst and was complete with a pro bartender. That pro bartender was me. Yes, I can call myself a pro because I have literally bartended hundreds of private parties, was a bar manager at a hot Redondo Beach Italian joint, and have bartended at several other Los Angeles establishments. My company, Shaken Not Stirred has 80 five star reviews on Thumbtack, several five star reviews on Yelp and Gig Salad – so put that in your pipe and smoke it! No, just hire me for your next event, party, or wedding.

Seriously, the host of the Los Feliz birthday party told me she had never hired a bartender at her previous parties, so she didn’t know what to expect from me. By the end of the night, she was very happy she had hired me and assured me that she would hire me in the future. Most of my clients who have never hired a bartender before say that they will never go without one again, after hiring me.

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Danger ahead!

Why Hire a Pro Bartender?

  • The host can enjoy the party
  • The bar does not become a disaster area
  • The bartender can cut off unruly guests
  • The bartender monitors the liquor
  • Guests are impressed

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    Los Feliz bar crowd

The Los Feliz birthday party had a good mix of people, but invariably there was some drama. Good parties usually have a diverse mix of people, and that makes the party more interesting. Sometimes, people who were not actually invited show up and create drama. I think that happened in this case, but nobody got shot. There were no drivebyes – which was a good thing. Captain Barnacle, the long haired Dachshund was my assistant. 

On Wednesday I will be doing a corporate event in Burbank. The host assured me if I do a good job on this one, she will hire me for several more. I have faith in myself, because I am a pro, and I don’t say that to be bragging. I know what I’m doing. Later this week I will be doing a martini party in Rancho Cucamonga, and then a fundraiser in Sherman Oaks on Sunday. Next month, I will be slipping away to New Orleans for a few days – maybe I can learn some new tricks from the bartenders over there. I will be attending a wedding at the famous Maple Leaf Bar, so I am excited about that.

Event Bartender Covers a Wedding Party and an Anniversary Party

27 Mar
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Backyard wedding in Indian Wells

Last weekend, Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles event bartender service made drinks at a wedding reception in Indian Wells, and then bartended an anniversary party in Oak Park the next day. That’s a lot of driving in one weekend but totally worth it. I met a bunch of really nice people, and imagine this – no awful ones. It was a great weekend for parties, and bartenders.

On Saturday I drove to Indian Wells, and I must say this is one of the most beautiful times to go for a drive in California. Wildflowers of purple, yellow, and orange are sprouting up everywhere, and the hills are greener than I have seen them in years. Even the mountains and hillsides around banning, look more like Montana, than arid California. I know it won’t last long – a couple of dry months and everything will be brown again, so Californians should enjoy it while it lasts.

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Backyard wedding ceremony

Indian Wells is particularly beautiful right now and a perfect spot to host a backyard wedding. The hosts of the wedding party set up a very nice backyard wedding outside their condo in a gated community at Indian Wells. The hosts purchased a nice little bar at the thrift store and that is where I set up. I made Old Fashioneds and various simple mixed drinks for approximately 80 guests. Whole Lotta Love BBQ and Catering of La Quinta provided the food and they put out some excellent grub.

It was a very nice ceremony and a friend of the bride and groom was the officiant. I think backyard weddings are the way to go if you can find a good spot to put one on. This was the perfect spot and the weather was just right. The bride and groom were impressed that I was bussing tables when I wasn’t busy making drinks. I have a lot of restaurant experience and I was trained to keep tables clear. It is no big deal for me and I will do it if I am not busy making drinks. Sometimes I can’t leave the bar from start to finish, but I am happy to help out any way I can.

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Shots!

Hire an Event Bartender

  • Get help with your drink menu and shopping list
  • Impress Your guests
  • Enjoy your own party
  • Get professional quality cocktails
  • Ultimately save money

I drove back to LA the next day and made my way to Oak Park in Ventura County to bartend an anniversary party at a synagogue. This was a kosher event so we had to follow the rules of the synagogue. I have now done this a few times so I have some understanding of it. My son went with me to help and we served over 100 people for a quick three hour event.

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Anniversary party at Oak Park Synagogue

Elan Adivi, one of La’s top private chef’s provide the catering, and just by coincidence it was his engagement party. He is only 24, engaged to by married, and a successful business owner.  I’m sure  his parents are very proud. I had another bartender help him with a City of Hope fundraiser event Saturday night.

This coming weekend I will be doing a wedding rehearsal party at Dana Point in southern Orange County on Friday night, and then a birthday party in Laguna Niguel the next day. That will finish off the month of March and bring us into April, which is a big month for weddings.