Tag Archives: Inland Empire

Mira Loma Wedding

16 Mar

Last night I bartended a backyard wedding at a home in Mira Loma in the Inland Empire. I do all kinds of weddings from very fancy affairs to small backyard weddings. This one had about 75 people in attendance and was very nice. They had a a DJ, a live band, a caricature artist, and me, the bartender. I think the family put the food together, which was very good. The large backyard was perfect for hosting a wedding of this size. The important thing is that the people in attendance seemed to have a great time.

It is already getting hotter, so I want to remind everybody to get plenty of ice for their parties, because it melts fast. I think we had seven twenty pound bags for this party and we used every bit of it. I had tubs of Modelo, Tecate, Corona, Bud Light, and Coors. I served Tequila, Malibu, Jack Daniels, and Seagram’s Seven. I had made a shopping list for the host and I think we used up most of the booze.

One of the guests brought two kegs and people were pouring that beer for themselves. When he left the keg was still three quarters full. A lot of people were drinking bottled beer, so that was part of it. I usually tell people not to get keg beer for this reason – most of it goes to waste, and it is very problematic. Kegs are hard to keep cold and difficult to pour. This beer was donated, so free beer is good beer.

This was a traditional Mexican wedding, and they had a live band, Conjunto Norteno (714) 979-9369, which played all of the traditional favorites. I do many Mexican weddings and am right at home there. I speak some Spanish, and even though I am a gringo, I love the music and the culture, so don’t be afraid of hiring me. Many of the Mexican weddings remind me of country weddings I attended when I was younger in Wyoming.

Conjunto Norteno

Conjunto Norteno

 

The bride and groom have first dance

The bride and groom have first dance

 

Full bottles waiting to be emptied

Full bottles waiting to be emptied

 

Time for shots!

Time for shots!

 

Next weekend I am doing a birthday party in the city of Los Angeles. I get to stay close to home for a change. I have several dates already filled in April and May. I am looking forward to doing many weddings this summer and hope to pick up some graduation parties and reunions, and of course, pool parties. I would like to fill some Sunday dates in.

Long Beach Surprise Birthday Party

23 Feb

Last night I worked a surprise 50th birthday party in Long Beach. It was my first surprise party and it was fun seeing someone completely surprised by over fifty of his friends and relatives. I have done a wide variety of ages when it comes to birthday parties, from 1 year old, to 90 years old. I have had requests to do quincineras and sweet 16 parties, but have yet to book one.

I talked to the host before the party and she said that they had a wide variety of alcohol left over from other parties. They had lots of vodka, including a big bottle of Kirkland Vodka. That is basically Grey Goose, but much less expensive. The Kirkland brand liquors are high quality and a good value. They had tequila, Captain Morgan Rum, Jack Daniels, gin, and all of the mixers. I made a variety of drinks, but think in the future I should always at least make some kind of drink menu. It helps the guests choose what they want easier, and speeds up service.

Catering was provided by Tacos Y Chile, and they did a fantastic spread of very good tacos. The DJ was Ryan Ivora, who seemed to do a very good job a providing just the right mix of what the hosts wanted to hear, and his own selections. He also teaches surfing, so if you want surf lessons, or a DJ, you can contact him here.

Most of the people were beer drinkers at this party and we went through several 30 packs of Coors Light, Bud Light, and Bud Select 55, which is a low calorie, low alcohol beer. It was the birthday boy’s favorite beer, and he said that he likes it because it has less alcohol. I had a new girl working with me as barback and she did a great job. I did not have to tell her what to do and she jumped right in and got the job done. I will definitely use her again. The Long Beach party was for about 80 people and it was good to have the extra help. I recommend that people get more than one person for parties over 80 people.

The hostess for this particular party said that she has a lot of parties, but they had never hired a bartender before. I think she was pleased with our service and said she would hire us again. We try to be of maximum service and try to keep busy clearing tables and taking out trash as the party goes on, so there is less work for the host to do the next day.

The happiest three legged dog in Long Beach

The happiest three legged dog in Long Beach

Bar set up on serpentine table

Bar set up on serpentine table

This year is looking great for Shaken Not Stirred. I have booked several weddings in the spring, and seem to get a gig almost every weekend. Next weekend I will be doing a wedding reception in Cathedral City at the Cree Estate, and then later in March have a wedding in Mira Loma in the Inland Empire. Shaken Not Stirred also provides servers for weddings and will provide extra staff at several of the events I am doing.

Hacienda Heights Baptism Party

9 Feb

The occasion was the celebration of a baptism. The guest of honor was one year old and attended her party along with approximately 100 other guests. I bartended, and it was my first baptism party. It appeared to me that the party was a great success, and we ran out of liquor – two times!

The hostess hired me and we made a shopping list together. I had made a list for 60 people, but I guess 100 ended up showing, so we were a little short of supplies. I have lists already made up for various numbers of people, with the prices, so If you need help with a shopping list, just ask me. We can adjust it for what you want to serve and your budget.

In the past, people have wanted to do Mojitos, and I have discouraged them, because Mojitos are a labor intensive drinks that are troublesome when serving large groups of people. I have a new policy at Shaken Not Stirred – just say yes! Mojitos are made with rum, fresh mint leaves, fresh limes, simple syrup, and club soda. I decided to make large batches in a blender and that worked fine. I served all of the Mojitos within the first two hours of the party.

For the rest of the party, I made Margaritas, Jack and Cokes, Tequilla Sunrises, and Bay Breezes. Someone went to fetch more liquor and beer around 8pm, and by 10 pm we were down to beer and champagne. I hope to do more baptism parties. I have a wedding coming up in Mira Loma next month, and another birthday party in Ontario. I seem to be doing many parties in the San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire. Book your parties and events today, because the spring schedule is filing up fast.

Ingredients for Mojitos including fresh mint leaves

Ingredients for Mojitos including fresh mint leaves

Back yard party set up

Back yard party set up

DJ heats the crowd up

DJ heats the crowd up

How to Hire a Bartender in Southern California

2 Jan

Upland New Year’s Eve Party

2 Jan

Tuesday night I had the pleasure of ringing out 2013 and ringing in 2014 bartending at a private residence in Upland. It was a very nice party with about 40 guests in attendance, many wearing black tie and evening gowns. The host had probably the best home bar I have ever seen. The bar itself was brought from England, and he had it fully stocked to cover nearly all bases.

Right before the big toast to 2014

Right before the big toast to 2014

Upland, California

Upland, California

Very nice home bar

Very nice home bar

The specialty cocktail menu we had for the party included Manhattans, Cosmopolitans, Midori Sours, and a champagne cocktail that was made with Cointreau,  brandy, and champagne. I was able to handle almost all requests, and made Long Island Ice Teas, Mai Tais, White Russians, Margaritas, Dirty Martinis, and others. The only thing I wasn’t able to make was a Campari and soda (no Campari).

There were several girls helping out, passing out appetizers and cleaning up, etc. They made my life easier and kept me in clean glassware. Entertainment was provided by classical guitarist, David Adele – he was very good and did one number that was from the soundtrack of “The Deer Hunter,” that was just fantastic. As the clock neared 12:00, we poured champagne for everybody to toast the New Year. The party was a great success.

So, Shaken Not Stirred is entering its second year in business. I would like to thank all of my past clients for their business, and hope I will see all of them again. I have not had one bad experience since I started working on my own. Every person I have worked for has been fantastic, and so have their guests. I am looking forward serving many new people in 2014 all over Southern California. Shaken Not Stirred covers the whole area, from Palm Springs to Santa Barbara, from Santa Clarita to Rancho Santa Fe, and everywhere in between.         

Chatsworth 30th Birthday Party and Glendora Wedding

27 Oct

Last night I worked a wedding in Glendora and sent another bartender, Jessica, to do a 30th birthday in Chatsworth. Another successful night for Shaken Not Stirred. As I was setting up for the party in Glendora, someone called me because their bartender cancelled at the last moment. I can’t believe how many calls I get like that. Unfortunately I couldn’t help that person. I have never cancelled or flaked on a gig, and couldn’t imagine doing it. Reliability means a lot to me, but I guess not everybody feels that way.

The wedding in Glendora at the La Fetra Center was a Mexican styled wedding complete with Mariachis. Probably 100 people were in attendance, and another bartender, Mary, helped me. They had keg beer and I want to stress that I don’t recommend that for parties less than 150 people. At this wedding they had two 16 gallon kegs and I would say both were still half full at the end of the party. Keg beer is messy and hard to deal with. When you first tap the kegs you have to deal with foam for probably half an hour. If you have those pump type taps, the beer pours extremely slow. Kegs were cool to me when I was 16, but I’m over them now. We also served vodka, tequila, and rum drinks. Many shots of tequila went down.  

I helped the host of the 30th birthday party in Chatsworth construct a drink menu. She decided on dirty martinis, Cosmos, and Margaritas. I talked her out of keg beer and she served Corona and Stella Artois. Jessica, the bartender said it was a great event. I like helping my clients with drink menus and shopping lists, and I think I can save them a lot of money.

Mariachis serenade the guests of honor

Mariachis serenade the guests of honor

Mary holds down the fort

Mary holds down the fort

Next weekend I have a costume party scheduled in La Quinta, (I am going as LLoyd the Bartender) and a wedding in Eagle Rock. Don’t forget, book those holiday parties now. If you wait until the last minute you may have a hard time finding a bartender. Shaken Not Stirred serves Southern California, from Santa Barbara to Palm Springs.      

Idyllwild Wedding Turned into an Upland Wedding

22 Jul

Early last week I heard reports of a fire burning out of control near Idyllwild, California. I was scheduled to bartend a wedding on Saturday at the Quiet Creek Inn at Idyllwild Pine Cove. On Wednesday my client emailed me and informed me that the wedding had been moved to the bride’s parent’s house in Upland. I was just happy that the wedding was going to happen and quickly switched my plans. The girl I had hired to help me actually lived in Upland, so she was happy.

I guess the family and friends of the bride and groom came together and scrambled to make the wedding happen on schedule. I must say it was a great save, and if the married couple is this adaptable throughout their marriage, they should do fantastic. The wedding came off well with around 80 guests in Upland on Saturday, July 20th. As the festivities were starting it began raining, making us wonder if the universe was not in line with this wedding, but the rain subsided and the ceremony went on.

My client requested that two specialty drinks be on the menu: the Pink Penny, which consisted of Gin, Rose syrup, peach juice, grapefruit juice, and lemon juice, and the Clementine Fizzy, which was sparkling wine, St. Germaine, peach juice and a dash of lemon juice. Interesting drinks I had never made before and I think they came off well. As a result of having the St. Germaine, which is an Elderflower liqueur, I created two new drinks. The first being what I call a G&G tonic, which is a Gin and tonic with a splash of St. Germaine. The other is a V&G tonic, which is the same thing, except made with vodka. People just loved it!

Beers for the night included Model Especial, and Negro, Hanger Wheat Ale, and Pyramid Hefeweizen. The groom provided several nice bottles of red and white wine but nobody drank any wine – I have found that to be the case on most summer events. We did go through a case of champagne, though. I used probably three cases of Arrowhead water and we were completely out by the end of the night. My suggestion is to buy plenty of water and it may be less expensive and more eco-friendly to buy gallons of water and have the bartender pour it into cups.

Catering was provided by Guerrilla Tacos. I have done many events with taco carts, but I must say these were very unique. He had some of the best salsa I have ever tasted. By the time my barback and I were able to grab something all the meat was gone. The caterer made me some vegetarian tacos that were just excellent, and I don’t have a vegetarian bone in my body. The caterer was also supposed to go to Idyllwild, but changed his plans as well. Everyone was flexible and everything worked out great.

I have had events nearly every weekend this month but don’t have much yet booked for next month, so make your plans for August now. I have not yet done any class reunions this year and would love to do some. Shaken Not Stirred services the entire Southern California area, including the LA Basin, The San Fernando Valley, The Inland Empire, Palm Springs, Ventura County and Santa Barbara to the west.

Fire burning near Idyllwild, California

Fire burning near Idyllwild, California

Santa Barbara Wedding

7 Jul

Saturday, July 6th was the date of a wedding at the Museum of Natural History in Santa Barbara. It was my first event in Santa Barbara and was a smashing success. I worked closely with the bride in the weeks preceding the event – planning the drink menu and shopping list. I guess we did a good job because we ran out of beer one half hour before last call and almost everything else fifteen minutes before the witching hour.

It was a Mexican themed wedding and we served Margaritas, Tequilla Sunrises, and a cocktail that the bride requested: La Paloma (tequila, Squirt, and fresh lime juice). We had nearly every brand of Mexican beer on hand including, Corona, Dos Equis, Sol, Tecate, and Pacifico. They had Mariachis, and a taco cart, a DJ, and a photo booth. Vasquez Entertainment (805) 889-2527, provided the DJ.

The bride requested that I bring a Spanish speaking bar back. I hired a girl I had never worked with before, Vanessa, and she was great! We got hit just after the ceremony ended and thirsty people flooded the bar. Vanessa kept me stocked with ice and must have opened 100 beers. I will certainly use her again when I can.

The Museum of Natural History

Blue Whale Skeleton

Blue Whale Skeleton

Vanessa in the spotlight

Vanessa in the spotlight

Mixing Mexican style

Mixing Mexican style

at Santa Barbara was a unique venue for a wedding. The Museum itself looks very interesting, though I didn’t have time to go through it. The wedding ceremony to place in a wonderful and tranquil park behind the museum. The reception was held in a large event room that is attached to the museum. We set up the bar outside on the entrance patio. I am a certified bartender, which the venue requires.

Shaken Not Stirred provides bartenders and servers all over Southern California including Santa Barbara, Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Orange County, the Inland Empire, and Palm Springs. Call today to plan your event.

Professional Bartenders and Servers for Los Angeles Events

22 Jan

Shaken Not Stirred is now serving the Los Angeles area providing professional bartenders and servers for all kinds of events – including parties, weddings, openings, screenings, barbeques, and art shows. Whether you are planning an informal pool party, or formal black tie cocktail reception, Shaken Not Stirred can provide the service you need to maximize the experience of your guests. Our staff strives to make you look good and help to create a memorable event for all involved.

Rob Neighbors has over fifteen years experience bartending and serving in the L.A. area. He has worked in high-end Italian restaurants including Milano’s, Prego, and Frascati of Redondo Beach, where he served as bar manager for three years.

At Frascati, he helped create a wine list and specialty drink menu with Chef  Enrico Glaudo that proved  to be a hit in the busy restaurant. Rob went on to work at the classic French restaurant, La Rive Gauche in Palos Verdes, where he participated in countless special events, including business presentations, wedding receptions, wakes, and company parties.

Over Rob’s career in the restaurant business in Los Angeles, he has developed relationships with top bartenders and servers and has brought them into his company. Every staff member at Shaken Not Stirred has been chosen because they have proven track records and personal and working relationships with Rob Neighbors. We do not send unknown and unproven entities to your event. We pride ourselves on dependability and prompt and professional service.

What you can expect when you book a party with Shaken Not Stirred:

  • Rob will consult with you and help you determine what you will need for the party depending upon the number of guests.
  • Create a specialty drink menu if desired.
  • Bartenders will show up on time with a bar kit including martini shakers, cutting board, wine opener, pourers, and blender if needed.
  • No tip jars. All fees will be agreed upon up front.
  • Friendly, professional service.
  • Professional attire specific to the event.

We realize that planning and executing an important event can be very stressful, and we seek to minimize your stress by providing seamless, invisible service, meaning that our staff comes and goes without any drama or big fan fare.

To book a party, please contact Rob at  (310)280-6103  or email at shakennotstirred1@aol.com.

Rates vary depending on the level of service and type of event. A 25 percent non-refundable deposit will be required at the time of booking.  Shaken Not Stirred has both male and female bartenders and servers available.  We also have relationships with entertainers and caterers.

At Shaken Not Stirred, you only pay for the service provided for your party and no booking fees. Don’t even try to do the party yourself – let us help you create an event that you and your guests will never forget.  Shaken Not Stirred serves the entire Los Angeles Area, including the San Fernando Valley, Santa Monica, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Long Beach, the South Bay,Inland Empire, Orange County, Canyon Country, Ventura County, and Palm Springs.