Tag Archives: Huffington Center

Greek Night at Huffington Center

19 Jan
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The Huffington Center in Los Angeles

Shaken Not Stirred bartending service was on hand for the second annual Greek Night at the Huffington Center in Los Angeles hosted by the Sons of Pericles.  I bartended the event last year and was very pleased that they called me back again. The event was held at the Huffington Center, which is connected to the St. Sofia Cathedral near downtown Los Angeles.

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Traditional Greek dance

I panicked a little when I showed up, because the parking lot was full and people were overflowing from a party already in progress in the banquet room where last year’s event was held. I walked inside and there was another bartending company with two bartenders busy making drinks for the party.  I wondered if I had the date wrong and immediately called my contact. He informed me that we would be doing the party in a different room.  They were having a wedding in the large banquet room.  The Huffington Center is World Class facility and has basketball courts, a theatre donated by Tom Hanks and his wife, banquet facilities, and a professional kitchen.

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Keeping the tradition alive

They were using the facility’s only portable bar for the wedding, so luckily I had my portable bar in the car. I always carry it for that reason. I can set up my portable bar in a matter of minutes and be ready to go. The host was worried that they would run out of booze, but I assured them that they had plenty for 100 guests. The event was a fundraiser, and the guests had to buy tickets for drinks.

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Friends unite in Los Angeles

I made standard mixed drinks for the party, including screwdrivers, Cuba Libres, Jack and Coke, and Cape Cods. Last year we had Ouzo which was quite popular. The Sons of Pericles is a fraternal organization connected to the Greek Orthodox church, and this event was represented by chapters all over the United States and even Canada. I talked to guests from Las Vegas, New York, Chicago, and Canada. A very nice group of people and they keep up their cultural traditions with traditional Greek music and dancing.

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Shots!

This weekend I will travel to Fullerton in Orange County to bartend a baby shower. I have done a few of these and usually serve a lot of champagne. I have received many inquiries for weddings in the spring, and have booked a few of them as far away as August. Next month I will travel to Palm Springs to bartend a birthday party and then am bartending a repeat super Bowl party in Glendora.

60th Birthday Party in Chula Vista

6 Jan
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Otay Ranch Community Clubhouse

In my previous blog I predicted I would be doing some traveling in January and that came true quickly as I drove almost tot Mexican border to bartend a 60th birthday party in Chula Vista. It was a last minute call on Sunday and I was happy to do it. I don’t do many parties in the San Diego area, but this month may be slim, so I jumped at it.

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US/Mexico Border

The party was held at a very nice community club house in the Otay Ranch community in Chula Vista. You can literally see the US/Mexico border from that area. One thing that strikes me is the high mountains that dive the two countries on some areas of the border. I can see how crossing the border on foot is a very treacherous proposition.

I brought my portable bar and set it up inside the clubhouse. I helped the hosts set up tables and chairs, as they only had one hour to set up. The DJ set up his equipment in the balcony area, which worked perfectly. The caterer set up in the kitchen area.  We all had a job to do and we were all pros, so we know exactly what to do.

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Guests dancing in Chula Vista

The hosts had never hired a bartender before, so they didn’t know quite what to expect. They bought all the beverages and supplies without any consultation from me, so they did what most people do – they bought way too much of some things and not enough of others. This is where a professional bartender can really save you some money, by consulting about the shopping list. I have done enough parties that I can estimate pretty accurately how much to buy.

Once the music got going and everybody had a couple of drinks, the party got going. The birthday girl must have danced every dance. It turned out to be a very nice 60th birthday party. 60 is certainly an important milestone.

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Birthday girl with cake

As I said before, January looks like a slow month for me and I have nothing scheduled until a fundraiser at Huffington Center in Los Angeles on the 16th .  I am also booking weddings for later this year. I hope to get a party this weekend somewhere, and I will travel anywhere in Southern California. It is raining hard right now, and El Nino is here, so it might rain a lot this season.  California needs the rain, and it might get people in the partying mood before the month is over.

Huffington Center Fundraiser in Los Angeles

18 Jan
The Huffington Center and St. Sofia Cathedral

The Huffington Center and St. Sofia Cathedral

Last night Shaken Not Stirred contracted to bartend an event at the Huffington Center in Los Angeles for the annual Sons of Pericles, Greeks in LA event. The Huffington Center is a fantastic facility on the grounds of the St. Sofia Greek Orthodox Cathedral south of Koreatown in Los Angeles. There were about 100 guests in attendance from all over the country. Many of the young men played in the annual basketball tournament earlier in the day at the Huffington Center.

I had been in contact for months with the organizer of the event, who flew in from Brooklyn.  The event was a fundraiser and they charged for drinks. They used different colored tickets for shots, beers, wine, or mixed drinks. It was a pretty good system, and guests were carded at the door and given wrist bands, so I didn’t have to card people. The event was supposed to start at 9pm, but people didn’t really start trickling in until 10pm, and then I got slammed.

Men...

Men…

I served out of Jack Daniels, rum, and Ouzo. I also served a lot of vodka, gin, and tequila. It was the kind of event where it would have been nice to have a barback, but I handled it ok. The Huffington Center is set up nicely for events. They have a big ballroom, and a huge, very well designed kitchen that is equipped to serve hundreds. A very nice facility, and which I hope to return to.

Women...

Women…

Next weekend I will bartend another birthday party in my own neighborhood of Valley Glen, and an event at the Reef in downtown Los Angeles. I do not have a Super Bowl party booked yet, and I hope to pick up one. I have another birthday party booked the first week in February in Glendora, and then the rest of February is pretty open. March is filling up fast, however, and I have several weddings booked all over Southern California, from Palm Springs to Santa Ynez. Book your bartender now!

Shots!

Shots!