Tag Archives: Hollywood

Shaken Not Stirred Shows up Strong for 2017 Holiday Season

29 Dec
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Venice Corporate Event

Shaken Not Stirred had its best holiday season to date and so far in December we have completed 21 events, with two parties still to go. When I first started doing this blog, I would write one blog post for every event I did and that has gotten harder and harder to do as I do multiple events in one week. It has a been a hectic season, and I am a little relieved that it is over, but as far as I know, all of our clients were happy and there were no major problems.

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My son bartending in Hollywood

My goal this year for the month of December was that I would save as many dates as possible for repeat customers and referrals. For the most part I did that. I had great repeat customers book parties in Valley Village, Hollywood, Venice, San Clemente, Silver Lake, Van Nuys, Reseda, Santa Monica, and Simi Valley. I didn’t have to travel too far, with San Clemente being the furthest I went during the month of December. I picked up some great new clients in Simi Valley, Hermosa Beach, Santa Clarita, and Moorpark. I am probably forgetting someone, but will remember them later.

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Casino themed holiday party 

I had multiple bartenders, including, Tanner, Edie, Matt, Melanie, Thomas, and Will helping me. Some of the bartenders went out and completed gigs on their own and I got great feedback from all of my clients. We literally served thousands of cocktails over the course of the month. We went through gallons and gallons of vodka, whiskey, and tequila. We emptied cases and cases of wine and beer.

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Reseda Christmas party

Highlights included the big casino night in Venice, the annual Christmas party in Hollywood for the Better Call Saul production company, the Spacex launch, and numerous wonderful home parties, food, drink, and music. I sampled all kinds of fantastic food, from tacos, prime rib, pork belly, steaks, and many ethnic delicacies.

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Venice Christmas Party

This weekend marks the final chapter for Shaken Not Stirred in 2017. Saturday I will drive to Huntington Beach to bartend a 40th birthday party/whiskey tasting. On Sunday, I get to stay in the San Fernando Valley for New Year’s Eve – I will be doing a NYE party in Sherman Oaks. Looking forward to a great New Year and already have several dates booked in January, February, and March.

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Simi Valley Christmas Party

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SpaceX test over Moorpark

First Three Holiday Parties in December

6 Dec
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Vine Street in December

I have 25 holiday parties scheduled so far for December, and still have some open dates available. The Christmas decorations are up and Santa even made an appearance at a December 1, company party. So, far, so good for the first three and only 22 more to go and I’m sure I will pick up more. New Year’s eve is still available and I’m holding off trying to book that, and am waiting to see if one of my repeat customers wants to do a party that night.

Woodland Hills Company Party

An engineering firm in Warner Center had their company Christmas party on December first at their company office. They had an island in the center of the office that worked perfectly as a makeshift bar. I provided glassware rentals. I can get any kind of glassware rentals my clients want. One thing that I have found, is that the guests attending parties don’t really care and are perfectly fine drinking out of plastic cups. It is nice to have real wine glasses on occasion and especially real martini glasses.

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Santa sitting on my lap

I made cucumber mint Moscow mules, and cranberry Old Fashioneds for the guests at this party. They hired a taco caterer to come and make tacos, but one thing they didn’t think about is that you can’t make tacos for 40 people inside an enclosed office space. The smoke will set the sprinklers off. They quickly came to a solution and the taco man setup on the roof of the building and brought the finished product down to serve.

Simi Valley Christmas Party

The second of December found me in Simi Valley at the home of a repeat client. They really go all out for Christmas and put up extensive decorations. They have a very nice bar inside their home and it is a pleasure to work from. I served martinis and other holiday themed cocktails to approximately 80 guests. They had a DJ and the hosts and guests danced up a storm. They brought in food from Simi Valley restaurant, Viva La Pasta.

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Christmas decorations on Simi Valley home

The host told me they may have another party before the month if over. I still have the 22cnd of the 23rd available. I am booked on Christmas Eve. December is always my busiest month and it usually slows down considerably in January. All the bartending companies will be competing for morsels until the wedding season starts again in March.

Hollywood Holiday Party

Last night I traveled to Hollywood for the third annual company holiday party of a television production company. This company has a hit television series going on its fourth season, so they have much to celebrate. They usually have over two hundred guests so that keeps two bartenders very busy for four hours.

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Hollywood company party

Pink Taquiza catered the tacos. My son helped me and we served a Pomegranate Moscow Mule. I premixed a big batch to save time serving and that worked out well. The signature cocktail was a hit and we served out of it by the end of the night. Tomorrow I have a corporate holiday event in Culver City. Friday night I am sending multiple bartenders out to locations in Hermosa Beach, and Silverlake, while I bartend a party in San Clemente. One Saturday I return to the San Fernando Valley to bartend a holiday party, and then on Sunday I go to Manhattan Beach to bartend a party for the Christmas fireworks show. Please follow us on Instagram.

 

Los Angeles Bar Service at Two January Parties

17 Jan
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Friends and family surprise guest of honor

Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles bar service provided beverages at two area parties over the weekend. On Saturday I traveled to Redondo Beach to bartend a 40th surprise birthday party, and then on Sunday evening I bartended a lavish dinner party in Beverly Hills. January is typically a slow month in the bar catering business, and it is always nice to get more than one event on the weekend.

I arrived at 10 am in Redondo Beach to set up my portable bar. It was a beautiful sunny day after all the rainy days we’ve been having. It is always a gamble to schedule an outdoor party in January in LA, but this time the host lucked out. The party was held a an iconic Redondo Beach house that I have passed many times and always wondered what it was. It is home to an accounting office, but it has a wonderful backyard that is perfect for having parties.

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Beautiful day and ice sculpture at surprise party 

The host went to great lengths the plan the party and conceal it from his wife. He hired a caterer, Chef Mumsie, a photo booth, Nina Gallery, and a guitar player/singer (I didn’t get his card). The birthday girl was truly surprised and touched when she arrived. Surprise parties are usually great and I’m sure they last as precious memories in a person’s life. I have provided bartending service at many surprise birthday parties, and they always require coordination between the various family members and vendors.

Hire a Los Angeles Bar Service

  • Don’t let your guests pour their own drinks
  • Enjoy the party
  • Get help with drink menu and shopping list
  • Get a portable bar
  • Impress your guests
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    Bar setup in Beverly Hills

    On Sunday I returned to the home of one of my best clients to bartend a very nice dinner party. Jon and Vinny’s of Hollywood catered the event and they offered to bring their own bartender, but my clients wanted me. I was very appreciative of that. I worked well with the catering crew, and they took most of the drink orders and did the cocktailing for me. I brought my Jalapeno margarita mix and mixed it with mescal, which also works very good. I must say that the food from Jon and Vinny’s was excellent, and I cleaned every morsel off of my plate.

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    Dinner party in Beverly Hills

    This weekend I am traveling all the way to San Marcos in North County, San Diego to bartend a martini party. It is supposed to rain the entire weekend, so I hope that does not ruin the party. I know I am bringing the portable bar and we usually set that up outside. Next month is shaping up to be very busy for the Los Angeles bar service, Shaken Not Stirred and I will be doing parties in Sherman Oaks, Glendora, Studio City, and Palm Springs so far. I still have Super Bowl Sunday open, so hope that I get a party there somewhere along the way.

Hollywood Holiday Party

12 Dec
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Bartender Mia at Hollywood Holiday Party

Wednesday night I returned to Hollywood to provide bartending service for a holiday party of a very successful production company. I did the bar catering last year and was very happy to return. I brought another bartender with me and we served approximately 250 thirsty people. I set up two portable bars side by side and we went to town slinging drinks.

The hosts requested a specialty drink that required rosemary simple syrup. I volunteered to make the simple syrup, because I like the challenge of doing that. I can infuse almost any herb, fruit, or vegetable into simple syrup, and have done cucumber, peppercorn, ginger, and now rosemary. The drink they created was called the 1936 Cocktail and it consisted of Tito’s vodka, grapefruit juice, rosemary simple syrup, and dash of club soda. The drink was a big hit.

Papa Christo’s of Los Angeles provided the catering and they put out some excellent Greek food for the hungry partiers. We also served four different beers, red and white wines and various mixed drinks. I had helped the host with a shopping list and we went through most of it by the end.

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Crowd at Hollywood Holiday Party

Holiday Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartending service
  • Choose a theme
  • Book it plenty early
  • Keep the music playing
  • Have a raffle

This holiday season I have had to hire more bartenders to help out with the demand. Every year in December there are always parties on Friday and Saturday nights, and more during the week, especially during the first three weeks of the month. Luckily, I have been able to accommodate all of me good customers. So far, I am still available for New Year’s Eve – the last holiday party of the year. Call me today!

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LA Mobile Bartender Does 3 Weekend Events

10 Aug
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Manhattan Beach Pier

Shaken Not Stirred, the LA mobile bartender service did three big events last weekend. On Friday night I traveled to my old home in the South Bay to do a cocktail party that was hired for at the last minute. On Saturday, I drove to Lancaster to bartend a wedding party that I booked months ago, and on Sunday I jammed down to Hollywood to bartend a birthday party. It was a great weekend for making drinks.

The Manhattan Beach party was held at a nice home on Ardmore Street that winds through the center of the beach community. If you have never visited Manhattan Beach, I urge you to do so, because it is a true gem of Los Angeles. The party was an anniversary of sorts – it marked the day that the host was paralyzed from the waste down in a freak diving accident. He told me about it and I realized how lucky I have been, because that could have happened to me a dozen times over, in the ocean, and in swimming pools. Probably 50 or 60 people showed up for the party and I made simple vodka drinks. It was a great party and I was so glad they hired me. Hopefully I will do it again next year.

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Lancaster Museum of Art and History

On Saturday, I drove out to Lancaster to bartend the wedding party at the Lancaster Museum of Art and History. It is a very nice venue and they have an event space on the roof perfect for weddings. At some point during the planning, the bride and groom decided to only serve wine and non alcoholic drinks for the wedding reception. They didn’t even serve beer. I had about five different types of wine, and as I have said many times – people will drink what is available, even if they prefer something else. I will admit that by serving wine only, it cut down on the level of drunkenness, and everyone seemed to have a good time.

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Bride and groom share first dance at MOAH

LA Mobile Bartender

  • Travels all over LA and surrounding counties
  • Carries portable bar and table
  • Brings large cooler and bar kit
  • Helps with drink menu and shopping list
  • ABC Leads certified

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    Bartender and birthday host in Hollywood

On Sunday, I drove to Hollywood to bartend a man’s birthday. He had a similar reason for celebrating as the man in Manhattan Beach. He told me that he had almost died of kidney failure three years ago, and tries to do something special each year on his birthday as a survivor. It was a small party in his apartment that was attended by mostly family members, and I tried to be of service as much as I could.

This weekend I will be doing two parties – one in the South Bay again, in Lomita, and then on Sunday I am driving all the way to San Diego to bartend a birthday party. The LA mobile bartender, Shaken Not Stirred covers all of Southern California, from the mountains to the sea.

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.

Hollywood Holiday Party

10 Dec
Portable bar and table at holiday party

Portable bar and table at holiday party

Last night Shaken Not Stirred was the bartending company of choice for a Hollywood holiday party with over 200 guests. I was the bartender and my daughter Pia, was my barback. We served out of almost everything by the time the night was over. 200 people can drink a lot of alcohol, even on a week night!

The party was put on by a Hollywood production company for friends, employees, and associates. We set up our portable bar and table in the back yard. The weather is still warm enough in southern California to have outdoor parties. A catering company, Sky’s Gourmet Tacos provided the food, and they made some excellent tacos. The food line kept going all night, as did the drink line.

My daughter and barback, Pia

My daughter and barback, Pia

The specialty drink of the night was the Paloma. The Paloma is a classic Mexican favorite and is made different ways. Some people just use Squirt, lime and tequila, others use Fresca and tequila. Last night we made the Paloma with tequila, sparkling grapefruit juice, and fresh lime, with a sugar rim and grapefruit wedge garnish. It was a big hit and we served completely out of it.

I taught my daughter how to make that drink and she made some other simple ones, like gin and tonics, rum and Coke, or Vodka and cranberry. I have taught many people to bartend over the years, and some of them are still making a living at it. I say time and time again, it ain’t brain surgery! It does require some grace under pressure however, that some people just can’t bare.

The Paloma cocktail

The Paloma cocktail

On Saturday I will travel to the city of San Gabriel to bartend another holiday party, and then on Sunday I will do another one for a repeat client, who has a fantastic back yard bar in the city of Villa Park in Orange County. Then next week, I have four back to back Christmas parties, all around the San Fernando Valley. This is going to be a great month for Shaken Not Stirred, but I am a bit worried about next month, as it could slow down after the busy holiday season. I have two events booked so far in January, so I will be anxious to fill that calendar up – knowing that it will invariably be slower. I will take that time to refocus my marketing efforts.

Holiday party guests mingle in Hollywood

Holiday party guests mingle in Hollywood

December Bar Catering Begins

8 Dec
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Pastel sky above Rancho Mirage

December bar catering kicked of for Shaken Not Stirred last month with two big events in Rancho Mirage and Valley Village. On Thursday I traveled to one of my favorite places – Rancho Mirage to bartend a company holiday party at Desert Periodontics, and then on Saturday, I bartended a holiday party at a private home in Valley Village, only a mile and a half from my home. These were both repeat clients, which I love getting because I don’t have to work so hard to generate new business.

I have done several events for Desert Peridontics. They have ongoing education for other dentists in the area, and host events for dental products suppliers. They usually have food and host a bar. I set up my portable bar and table for a cocktail hour before the presentation. For this party I served spiked eggnog, White Russians, and Jalapeno Margaritas. It was a very mellow party and there were approximately 50 guests.

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Spiked eggnog

Bar Catering Duties

  • Plan drink menu and shopping list
    Develop cocktail ideas
    Setup and breakdown
    Portable bar
    Cleanup
    Light food service
    Make and serve cocktails
    Beer and wine service
    Non alcoholic drinks

On Saturday, I returned to a San Fernando Valley home in Valley Village for a repeat holiday party. I set up my portable bar and table in the back yard, just as I had a year prior. I remember last year it was much colder. This year, I served two specialty drinks, the Cranberry Old Fashioned, and the Moscow Mule. Those two drinks are perfect for Christmas parties. There 80 guests at the party, and everyone seemed to enjoy the drinks.

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Bar Supplies in Valley Village

Tomorrow, I will bartend a company holiday party in Hollywood for a television production company. This is another repeat client. I will be taking my daughter with me to help out, as there are supposed to be over 100 guests. This weekend I have two more parties scheduled – one in San Gabriel, and one in the Hollywood Hills. I still have Saturday, December 26th available, and several weekdays open for parties, if you have not yet booked someone.

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Guests mingle in Valley Village

OC Corporate Event and Hollywood Wedding

6 Oct
Fall colors in Newport Beach

Fall colors in Newport Beach

This past weekend Shaken Not Stirred worked two events – a grand opening corporate event in Newport Beach, and a wedding in Hollywood.  The corporate event I booked under Shaken Not Stirred, and the wedding in Hollywood was booked by my affiliate, Mia Martini. She and I are doing several events together this month and will be working together again this Sunday at the Diamond Bar Center.

I have done several parties in Newport Beach and it is a very affluent area. There are many nice homes, on the coast, on the islands, and further inland. There are also many corporate structures, business parks, and large hotels in the area.  I’m sure a private bartender could do quite well just doing events and parties in Newport Beach alone, not to mention Orange County.

The particular party I did this time in Newport was a the grand opening of a doctor’s office and we set up the party in the courtyard of the office building. I served Blue Hawaiians, Pineapple margaritas, Bay Breezes, and variations of those drinks to approximately forty guests. It was a short three hour event and everything went very well.

Pineapple Margarita

Pineapple Margarita

Blue Hawaiian

Blue Hawaiian

On Saturday, I traveled to the Lombardi House to help my affiliate company, Mia Martini bartend a wedding there. The Lombardi House is just north of Hollywood Boulevard on Bronson, but is a historic building in the area.  I brought 200 pounds of ice to the party and we used every single bit of it by the end of the night.

This wedding had real glassware, which is nice to use, but presents its own set of problems. All of the glassware has to be picked up, emptied and put back into the proper containers. Invariably glassware gets lost and broken. For a party of 130 people, they probably used 700 glasses.

Wedding guests at historic Lombardi House

Wedding guests at historic Lombardi House

We also had kegs for the beer. I try to discourage people from getting kegs, and this was a perfect example why. The kegs required a jockey box, CO2 regulator and taps. The deposit for those alone was $450. If the CO2 regulator is a little off the beer will keep pouring foamy. It is almost impossible to pour a beer. Pouring a tap beer takes up to one full minute, while uncapping a bottle beer and handing it to a guest takes five seconds. This means a lot when there is a big line at the bar. At the end of the night, both kegs were over half full. Don’t get kegs for your parties, people! It is not worth the extra expense, deposits, and hassle.

Sparkler gauntlet at the Lombardi House

Sparkler gauntlet at the Lombardi House

On Thursday I am driving out to Palm Springs to do another corporate event, and then have a birthday party to bartend on Saturday. So far, I have no event on Friday, but will take one in the Palm Springs area if I can. On Sunday I have a big wedding at the Diamond Bar Center with 350 guests.

Two San Fernando Valley Parties

27 Sep
Guests mingle poolside in Sherman Oaks

Guests mingle poolside in Sherman Oaks

This weekend Shaken Not Stirred remained at home in the San Fernando Valley and bartended two parties in Sherman Oaks and Northridge. The first party was a wedding rehearsal dinner south of the boulevard in Sherman Oaks, and the second party was a one year old’s birthday party in Northridge. I made a lot of margaritas over the weekend, to say the least.

The Sherman Oaks party was poolside at a very nice hillside home a few blocks south of Ventura Boulevard. The host had requested that I make the margarita mix with fresh ingredients. I use limes, lemons, agave nectar, and filtered water to make my own mixture, and it has always been a hit. The host asked me why I use lemons, and I suppose the real answer is because I have a lemon tree in the backyard that produces some of the juiciest lemons I have ever seen. I didn’t use those lemons for this batch because they aren’t ready yet, but they should be ready by Christmas, and are excellent for whiskey sours, Tom Collins mix, and many other cocktails.

The margaritas were a hit at the Sherman Oaks party, and many of the guests were in from Canada, enjoying the 100 degree weather we are having here in the valley. I served completely out of the margarita mix and only served a few beers and some sangria and white wine.  The heat was oppressive when I first arrived, but it cooled off a little after the sun went down.

The sun finally goes down

The sun finally goes down

On Saturday, I traveled a few miles further to Northridge to bartend a one year old’s birthday party. The hosts were of Philippine heritage and they explained to me, a one year olds birthday is a big deal in their culture.  They really did some elaborate planning and decorating for the party, and they had a large yard that was very conducive to entertaining.  Approximately 100 guests showed up, including a lot of children. Mark Cano was the photographer on hand, and he also kept very busy.

I made Moscow Mules, Cadillac Margaritas, and variations of vodka drinks. I also served a lot of Coors Light. Once again, temperatures were soaring in the valley. I kept very busy during this party and was struggling to keep up as a steady stream of people came to bar. We almost ran out of cups and ice, but somehow made it to the end of the night with few left over.

Backyard paradise in Northridge

Backyard paradise in Northridge

Next week, I have a corporate event in Newport Beach on Thursday, and then a wedding in Hollywood on Saturday. I still have Friday and Sunday open and hope to book some more events.  I will be very busy in the month of October, and have several event scheduled in the Palm Springs area. I just booked my first Christmas party yesterday, and expect many of those dates to start filling fa

Shots!

Shots!

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Catering setup in Northridge

Catering setup in Northridge