Tag Archives: mobile bartender

Shaken Not Stirred Provides Bar Catering for Two September Weddings

14 Sep
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Picturesque, but hot!

 

Last weekend Shaken Not Stirred provided bar catering service for two fantastic weddings. Weddings like these take months of planning, and many different vendors are involved, including the wedding coordinator, the caterer, the bartending service, the DJ, insurance companies, the photographer, the florist, and the venue. I am happy to be part of that process, and spend much time writing emails back and forth, and on the phone with grooms, brides, and wedding planners. It is also always nice to see a wedding executed as planned.

When I arrived in Indio at the Desert Ridge Estate, I got out of my car and was surprised how blazing hot it was. I had done a wedding in Joshua Tree the weekend before and it was a pleasant 90F. I had not checked the weather report, and it was a sweltering 116F in Indio. The bar was set up outside in the direct sunlight. The DJ was rolling with sweat as he set up his equipment. I wondered how I was going to make it with several hours of sunlight left.

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The sun finally goes down

The guests and wedding party were just as shocked by the high temperatures. Almost all of the guests were from Canada and not used to such extreme hot weather. Well, we got through it somehow, and I have never been so happy to see the sun go down. I served one signature drink, a prohibition era cocktail called Bee’s Knees, and it is made with gin, lemon juice, and honey. The drink was a hit and I served completely out of it.

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Shots!

Bar Catering Tips

  • Hire a licensed bar caterer
  • Let the bar caterer make you a shopping list
  • Choose specialty drinks that can be served quickly
  • Hire more than one bartender for weddings over 100
  • Always make sure to buy plenty of ice

The next morning, I got up and prepared to drive from Indio to Palmdale for the second wedding of the weekend. The heat from the day before had taken a lot of out of me and I was dragging. I drove up the 15 and took the back road to Palmdale across the high desert. It is a scenic drive, and I was feeling much better by the time I arrived in Palmdale.

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Man and wife take their first walk together

The wedding was held at Hacienda Reyes, a very nice venue in the hills above Palmdale. I set up my portable bar in a small gazebo on the property. The weather was much nicer than the day before – a chilly 92F. I made simple drinks and served beer to approximately 75 guests. I think everyone was happy.

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Shots!

This weekend I will be returning to the Desert to the Cree Estate to do another wedding, then I have a Mimosa and Bloody Mary bar in the morning at Rancho Palos Verdes, and then that afternoon I am doing bar catering for a wedding reception in Irvine. Please follow us on Instagram.

West Hollywood Book Signing Event at Book Soup

24 Jul
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Crowd waits for Adam Novak sighting…

Thursday night I returned to Book Soup in West Hollywood where I held my Los Angeles book signing – this time as a bartender for another writer. Book Soup is one of the few remaining independent bookstores in Los Angeles and they hold weekly book signing events and if you have never been there, it is a must see in LA. The writer, Adam Novak posted a bid request on Thumbtack for a bartender, and he mentioned in the request it would be held at Book Soup. I put in a bid and mentioned that I had also held a book signing there.

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Adam Novak warmly greets his fans

The writer, Adam Novak, called me and asked me if I was “Rob Neighbors, the screen writer”. He said that he worked in the story department at William Morris agency for years and he remembers my name coming through there on screenplays. I told him, that yes, I was said writer. Do I feel bad that I am now a lowly bartender, who once had a promising screenwriting career?  No, I may get another shot at that, but I made some big mistakes along the way that derailed everything. One thing about it, I have never been envious or jealous of other people’s success. If other writers have great success, it means that it is obtainable. I make money as a bartender now, but that doesn’t define me. It is an honest living. Thank God I wasn’t good at raising money for movies, as my friend was, who is now doing 13 years in a Federal pen.

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Adam Novak looking tough

Authors Who Have Done Book Signings at Book Soup

  • Adam Novak
  • Sonny “Bones” Donato
  • Howard Stern
  • Rob Neighbors
  • Ann Margret

Adam Novak was doing the reading and book signing for his newest novel, “Freaks of the Industry.” He gave me a signed copy, and he signed it, “Keep on Protecting and Serving,” referencing my movie, “LAPD – to Protect and Serve.” I can tell Adam has a tremendous memory and pays attention to detail. I gave him a signed copy of my book, “Palm Avenue.” He read passages of his new book at the event and he is hilarious. He is a very skilled wordsmith, and the structure of his novel is different than anything I have seen before. I have started reading it and I am laughing out loud at something on every page. The book I’m sure is full of thinly veiled references to actual people in the industry. Writers walk a tightrope when they do this – Truman Capote wrote a send up of all of his society pals, and they ended up casting him out. He subsequently died a miserable alcoholic death. Hemingway did it too and he ended up blowing his brains out with a 12 gauge.  

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Truman Copote dressed for winter

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Ernest Hemingway with Cat

Anyway, back to bartending. I brought another bartender with me, because Adam wasn’t quite sure how many people would show up. He had a good crowd and we served wine, beer, and soft drinks. I guess they almost sold out of books, which is the goal. Adam was great guy to work for and know. I love Book Soup as a venue and I hope to return there many more times, as a writer, and God forbid a bartender (jk).

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Author Adam Novak and Rob Neighbors

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.

Spring Bartending Business is Picking up for Mobile Bartender

8 May
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Alternate “White Party” in Palm Springs

This is looking to be the busiest Spring season for Shaken Not Stirred since I began as a mobile bartender four years ago. I had three events last week and am doing five this week, and am booked up on Saturdays through June and July.  It takes a lot of work to manage all the events, and so far I have not messed up and forgotten one (knock on wood). Last weekend I bartended a 40th birthday party/pool party in Palm Springs Friday night, and then returned to the San Fernando Valley for two events on Saturday Night: a 60th birthday party in Sherman Oaks, and then sent another bartender to do a private school event in Encino.

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Summer Water keg

Palm Springs Alternate White Party

The “White Party” is an annual big deal and gay event in Palm springs and took place last weekend. It is one of many annual events in the area that brings in thousands of people for the weekend. I know, because hotels are expensive and hard to find during these events. Luckily I used my rewards points to get a room this time. The party I worked was an alternate straight “White Party,” and all the guests dressed in white in honor of it.

I made spicy margaritas, and Mezcal drinks. One of the guests was a wine make and he brought a keg of “Summer Water” Rose, that kept many of the guests busy throughout the night. AB’s Tacos provided the food and it was very good. I mixed drinks until 11pm and then left the guests to fend for themselves. I guess the city of Palm Springs has passed some new law that prohibits people from playing music outside after a certain time. Another business killing regulation. Neighboring Cathedral City will just take all of the rental business. I hate California politics that kills business left and right.

San Fernando Valley Events

I live and work in the San Fernando Valley. The “Valley” get a lot of flack from people on the other side of the hill and elsewhere, but the fact is that the valley has some of the nicest properties you will find anywhere. I bartended a party at a home in Sherman Oaks that is utterly fantastic. It is so nice that the host does not want me taking pictures of it. It formerly belonged to a major celebrity. I have been there a few times, because it is just a perfect spot for entertaining. This time it was a 60th birthday party.

I served only beer and wine for this party, but I served up some fantastic cabernet. I served an ultra magnum bottle of 2002 Cabernet, that holds 12 bottles. There were approximately 40 guests and I served up the whole thing. Master chef, Elan Adivi provided the catering and did not disappoint with a barbecue inspired menu. Chris Ellis Photography did the photos, and We Help You Host provided the servers. The birthday boy had a great time and it was his first birthday party in over thirty years. His best friend and sons provided some touching tributes.

At the same time I had another bartender providing beverage service at an Encino estate not far away. I finished my party and checked in on him. He was doing a fantastic job for my repeat clients. This week I have five big events scheduled – then I am off to New Orleans for some much need R&R, and to attend my friend, Jason Ricci’s wedding. On Wednesday, I will be doing an alumni event in Burbank, on Thursday, a pre-bris celebration in Studio City, off to Indian Wells on Friday for a wedding, and then back to Castaic on Saturday for a graduation party, and then finally a mother’s day dinner party in Woodland Hills on Sunday. On Monday morning early, I crawl onto a plane at LAX bound for the Big Easy. Think I will sleep on the plane? Probably not…

Five Events in Six Days for Los Angeles Mobile Bartending Service

22 Mar

Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles Mobile Bartending service just completed a six day tour of Southern California, and made drinks for five different events. The tour started in the Gaslamp District of downtown San Diego, moved north to Redondo Beach for St. Paddy’s day, then east to the city of Walnut, back to the San Fernando Valley, and then south again to Brea. I personally made thousands of drinks. I had help for the Brea Corporate event.

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Corporate event in Gaslamp District

San Diego Corporate Event

A company in the Gaslamp District in San Diego hosted an event to introduce their company and space to potential new clients. They hired me to make the drinks. I made simple vodka drinks and they had beer and Kombucha on tap. I also served wine. Napizza of San Diego served some excellent authentic Italian Pizzas and some fantastic salads. I highly recommend them if you need unique catering in the San Diego area. Solti provided some very good organic juices that I also highly recommend.  Everything went smoothly and the mellow event was a good primer for what was to come.

Redondo Beach St. Patrick’s Day Party

I drove up to Redondo Beach the next day to bartend a St. Patrick’s Day party. I lived in Hermosa Beach for years and St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal down there. I set up my portable bar outside on the driveway and served drinks to around 80 guests. It was cold in Redondo Beach and I had forgotten how cold the wind can be in the South Bay. I didn’t bring a jackets, so I forgot the boy scout motto of “always be prepared.” Things warmed up however, when I made hundreds of drinks and served 5 handles of Tito’s vodka, among other things. I did not get the caterer’s card, but they served up some great traditional corned beef and cabbage, and many fine desserts. The South Bay crowd did not disappoint – they like to party down there.

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St. Patrick’s Day party

Walnut 40th Birthday Party

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You only turn 40 once

I spent the night in my own bed and got up the next day to provide mobile bartending service for a 40th birthday party in Walnut. The clients were referred to me from another mobile bartender because she was not available that night. The party was held at a very nice house in the hills above the 60 Freeway. The band that they hired, FlashPants, was setting up the stage when I arrived. The house had a very nice bar in the backyard and the hosts had already prepped it for me, so all I had to do was serve the drinks. I was pretty busy the whole night and most of the guests were members of law enforcement dressed up like Gangsta’ rappers. The theme was 80’s and the band put on a hell of a show. That was one of the best cover bands I have ever seen. I think the birthday boy had one memorable 40th.

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Watch out!

Valley Village Birthday Party

I went back to the San Fernando Valley to bartend a birthday party in Valley Village the next day. It was a Kosher event, so there are special preparation rules that apply. I made the jalapeno margarita mix on site and that was a big hit for the guests. The birthday boy planned the party himself and he and I came of with the drink menu and the crazy names for the drinks. I made Long Island Ice teas for the hard core drinkers in the group. The event was literally five minutes from my house, which was nice and I don’t often get to do. That is why they call it a mobile bartending service, because I have to be mobile – very mobile. I will be doing another kosher event next weekend at a synagogue in Oak Park.

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Chillin’ in the 818

Brea Corporate Event

I got one day to regroup and then drove back to Orange County to bartend a corporate event at Sigler Corporation in Brea. This is the second event I have done for them. Mia Martini, a fellow mobile bartender helped me with this one. About 100 guests showed up to view the new air cooling unit that Sigler has developed. To the guests this unit was like a Ferrari. We served  alot of beer, margaritas, and vodka drinks. It was raining the whole time, but the turnout was good anyway, and the event was a success.

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Mobile bartending service goes to Brea

This coming weekend I go mobile again, and will be driving to Indian Wells to bartend a wedding reception, then I was get up the next morning to get to Oak Park to bartend an engagement party. Another bartender will be doing a fundraiser for me in Glendora. It is the busy Spring season for the Los Angeles mobile bartending service.

Bartender for Hire Does Three More February Events

20 Feb

Last weekend Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles bartender for hire went on the road again and bartended two Orange County Events, and a San Fernando Valley bar mitzva. On Friday, the biggest rainstorm to hit Socal in years rolled in and I left plenty early to bartend a San Juan Capistrano wedding, then on Saturday I stayed in the area to bartend a 40th surprise birthday party. I drove back to the SFV and did a Van Nuys Bar Mitzvah on Sunday.

San Juan Capistrano Wedding

I got hired to do the San Juan Capistrano wedding only a couple of weeks before the event. Weddings are usually planned months in advance. The original bartender cancelled for some reason. The bride said that he had a very good reason – I hope so, because I have never cancelled an event. The bride wanted me to bring the ice, and that is usually not a problem, but the rain storm on Friday made everything very difficult. I looked on the map before I left hoping to find a supermarket nearby to buy the ice. There was nothing around. I was a bit stressed thinking I was going to be late, but I found the ice at a gas station nearby.

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Intimate home wedding

The bride and groom had rented a very nice home on the golf course for the wedding. I set up my portable bar inside the house as the rain storm raged outside. It was a small ceremony with around 50 friends and family members in attendance. They did the ceremony in the living room. I served simple mixed drinks and everything went smoothly.

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Shots!

Laguna Niguel Surprise 40th Birthday Party

On Saturday I bartended a disco themed 40th surprise birthday party in Laguna Niguel. The host told me it would be a small group and that they would be wearing disco costumes. I guess I wasn’t paying attention, or I would have come up with some kind of costume. When people started arriving it became clear to me that this was a real costume party I was the fool without a costume. Thankfully, the DJ (who didn’t have a card) had an extra wig and pair of retro sunglasses. I had a makeshift costume, but some of the guests went all out. The DJ played all disco themed/70’s music and it was great. It quickly turned into a rip roarin’ party! It was a really good time and a much bigger party than I was expecting.

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Disco themed 40th birthday party

I always think it is a great thing when an adult gets a party thrown for them. It made me decide to throw a birthday party for my kids which is coming up in April. Life is short, and these things are great highlights of one’s existence.

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Bartender in disguise

Bartender for Hire Advantages

  • Enjoy the party without worrying about bar
  • Bartender keeps area clean
  • Bartender helps with menu and shopping list
  • Guests are impressed.

Van Nuys Bar Mitzvah

On Sunday I went a couple miles from my home to warehouse in Van Nuys where they were holding a Bar Mitzvah for a 13 year olds rite of passage. I have not done too many of these parties, but I am always impressed when I do. I think this is a very important landmark in a young person’s life, and I am sorry I didn’t have one, and my kids didn’t have one. We (non Jews) have nothing like this and we are often left twisting in the wind with no direction at age 13. First of all, it shows the young person that they are very loved by all their friends and family, but also that they have a responsibility for their life and development. The young man at this Bar Mitzvah was very sweet and made a wonderful speech in front of 80 guests and didn’t seem a bit nervous. I’m sure he will go far in life.

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Wild lights at Van Nuys Bar Mitzvah

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Family members pose for picture

So far the bartender for hire has nothing scheduled for next weekend, but that will surely change. I have several events coming up in March, including a wedding in Palm Springs, birthday party in Hermosa Beach, another in Walnut, and another in Indian Wells. If you haven’t followed us on Facebook, please do.

Mobile Bartender Does Three Day Tour of Southern California

13 Feb

Shaken Not Stirred, Los Angeles based mobile bartender did a three day tour of Southern California last weekend, completing gigs in San Diego, Sherman Oaks, and Long Beach. I made hundreds of drinks at three different parties, and met lots of new people. Each party was completely different, as were the drinks that I served.

San Diego Birthday Party

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Guitarist, Kenny Earnest

I drove to San Diego on Thursday to do some marketing work for Geranium Street USA in Escondido, and I had the birthday party to bartend on Friday, so I killed two birds with one stone.

The birthday party was in the Scripps Ranch neighborhood of San Diego at a nice home that overlooked the reservoir there. Rain was imminent, so plans changed and I set up my portable bar inside the house. I served Old Fashioneds, Moscow Mules, and lot’s or red wine to the guests – many who came all the way from Minnesota.

They had live entertainment for the party and guitar player/singer Kenny Earnest performed for several hours. He was really good. Phil’s Barbeque of San Diego provided the catering and it was excellent as well. The host said that she had never hired a bartender before and she was really happy with my service. She said it made her time much more enjoyable. Most people I work for say the same.

Sherman Oaks 40th Birthday Party

On Saturday I drove back to my home turf in the San Fernando Valley to bartend a 40th birthday party in Sherman Oaks. The host had attended another party I had done, and hired me because of that. The 40th birthday party is kind of a big deal in a man’s life. I think that is when most of realize we finally have to grow up. Once again, it was supposed to rain, so the hosts had to get a tent to cover their back yard. They had it decorated very nice.

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Portable bar at Sherman Oaks party

I made Manhattans, Moscow Mules, and my famous Jalapeno Margaritas.  I kept pretty busy and barely had a moment to spare as the line just kept rotating. I would guess there were around 80 guests. They had a Karaoke vendor there and people were singing with various levels of competence. It was a very good time for all. One of the neighbors came over and complained – said that he had a four and half month old child that couldn’t sleep. That was at 8:30. The host offered him a taco and basically told him politely to “deal with it.” I’m glad that she didn’t cave into the neighbor’s ridiculous complaint. People should be allowed to have an occasional party in their backyard on a Saturday night, without having neighbors in an uproar.

Ana’s Food provided the taco cart. At one point I was able to take a break and got some tacos. I went back to the bar and started to eat them, but then accidentally dropped them. I was so mad at myself. Luckily, a guests wents and got me some more. The party ended at midnight, despite the complaining neighbor.   

Long Beach 70th Birthday Party

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Quail’s Egg Soup with Ceviche and egg rolls

On Sunday, I once again put on my mobile bartender cape and drove to Long Beach. The party was held at an historic old home on Ocean Blvd., right across from the beach. The host rents the front part of the home on AirB&B and it is a very nice spot. They have a tennis court in the back and a bar, and that is where the party was held.

I served Grasshoppers, Pina Colladas, Mai Tais, and Mimosas. They hired a private chef, and his food was excellent. I had a quail’s egg soup that was out of this world – also great ceviche, egg rolls, and lamb chops. It was quite a party and many of the guests took my card and are planning parties in the future.

Next weekend will be another mobile bartender tour of Orange County and Burbank. I have a wedding on Friday night in San Juan Capistrano, a birthday party on Saturday in Laguna Nigel, and a Bar Mitzva on Sunday in Burbank. Follow me on Facebook if you haven’t done so already.

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Photo booth fun