Tag Archives: Palm avenue

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

Mission Viejo Company Party

9 May
Portable bar setup in Mission Viejo

Portable bar setup in Mission Viejo

Shaken Not Stirred was hired to bartend a Mission Viejo company party last night. The host had the party at her parent’s Mission Viejo home and invited about thirty guests, who were on her team at work. I didn’t realize it until I got there, but I had met the host’s parents at another event and they had recommended me to bartend. That is always nice. I love getting referrals and repeat business.

The host had asked me to bring some pear syrup to make pear martinis, and I did that. Her husband had also made some pear puree, cucumber puree, strawberry puree, and lime puree with a juicer he had. I must say that those fresh purees really added something to the drinks. I made the pear martinis with vodka, pear syrup that I made, and a dash of the fresh pear puree that the host’s husband made. That was the ticket. The fresh lime puree really added something to the Cadillac Margaritas, and Moscow Mules. I am going to look into buying one of those juicers.

Dog guarding the taco stand

Dog guarding the taco stand

I bartend a few parties in Orange County each year. I left the San Fernando Valley two hours ahead of time to drive to Mission Viejo, and realized I had not left early enough. On a Friday afternoon in Los Angeles, it might take two hours just to get to LAX from the Valley.  I ended up being forty minutes late from the agreed upon time. I always give myself at least one hour to set up and prepare, and I often need every bit of my time. Fortunately, the guests arrived about forty minutes late as well, so it worked out. This was my first time being late to a party.

I sold two of my books, “Palm Avenue,” at the party. I was not trying to hawk my book there, but was talking to one of the guests and he was asking me what else I do. I told him about my book and he wanted one. I just happened to have some copies in my car and so I sold him a signed copy. Some other people saw the book and they wanted one too. That was a nice addition to my bartending job there.

Shots!

Shots!

Tonight I will bartend an engagement party at a home in Santa Clarita. I will be making cumber margaritas, Old Fashioneds, and Bay Breezes as specialty drinks. I have a few corporate events in Los Angeles later this month that are repeat business and referrals. It is always nice to get new customers, but it is very nice to get business through word of mouth and referrals.

Off the Hook Bash in Wilmington

8 Mar
Port of Los Angeles in Wilmington

Port of Los Angeles in Wilmington

Saturday Night, Shaken Not Stirred was contracted to provide bartending services at a party in Wilmington, just adjacent to the docks of the Port of Los Angeles.  This was my first event in Wilmington, and I hope the first of many. Wilmington gets a bad wrap around town as a tough area, but I must say the neighborhood where the party was held was quite charming, and tucked away from the chaos of Los Angeles.  At this particular party four bands performed until two in the morning.

I set up my portable bar in the back yard and was open for business. I served the usual vodka drinks, including Screwdrivers, Cape Cods, Sea Breeze. I also served whiskey drinks, wine and they had a half keg on hand. By the end of the night there was literally nothing left, except for a couple bottles of Riesling.   One guy walked up to me with a half cup full of whisky and coke, and asked if there was anything left. I had a half bottle of red wine open, and he told me to pour it on – on top of the whiskey and coke.

As I was breaking down, the South Bay band, June Holiday was still playing. Gary Dayton Hill of Malibu warmed up the crowd with some country songs, he was followed by South Gate band,  The Night Times played a few numbers, then another band was on, that I didn’t get the name of because I was so busy. A DJ spun a great mix between sets, and I must say the entertainment was top notch all evening. This had to be the most memorable party I have ever done.

Gary Dayton Hill and company perform

Gary Dayton Hill and company perform

I am a very busy mobile bartender this month of March. I have events in Palm Springs, and Brentwood next weekend, and then am returning to Palm Springs again on Monday to do a special event for Torani, the Italian Syrup company.  I am getting some of these events because I have excellent reviews on Thumbtack, Yelp, and Gig Salad.  I have made some mistakes as a party planner and bartender, but have never been late or cancelled a gig, and I have always gotten the job done.

In other news, I will put in a plug for my novel, “Palm Avenue,” and I need some likes on the Facebook page. The 200th person to like the page will receive a free book. The spring party and wedding season is booking up quickly, so I suggest you book your event now.

Hood Rat poses with Dos Once

Hood Rat poses with Dos Once

Scenesters in Wilmington

Scenesters in Wilmington

Party heats up

Party heats up

Good times!

Good times!

Northridge 60th Birthday Party: Back to the 60’s

1 Mar
My portable bar set up in kitchen

My portable bar set up in kitchen

Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred traveled across the San Fernando Valley to Northridge to bartend a 60th birthday party.  I have bartended almost every landmark birthday party, from the 40th, the 50th, to 21st. I was the bartender at a lady’s 90th birthday party.  Her daughter hosted the party and hired a Hawaiian trio to play music and the birthday girl couldn’t have been happier. Last night, the birthday celebrant’s husband threw the 60th birthday party for his wife and the theme was back to the 60’s. Everyone dressed as either the mod, the square, or the hippie.  The host spent all afternoon painstakingly putting together a playlist from the 60’s and 70’s.

I had corresponding specialty drinks the mod was the Belvedere martini, with a twist or an olive. The square was the Old Fashioned, and the hippie was the Dark and Stormy. I made the Dark and Stormy with the finest ingredients:  Gosling’s Black Seal rum, with Gosling’s Ginger Beer, a dash of bitters, and fresh squeezed lime juice.  I never had that drink when I was drinking and it certainly looks interesting. It was a hit at the Northridge party.

The host had contracted me to make a shopping list and then do the shopping. That is a service I provide for an extra fee. Many times the people who hire me don’t have time to do the shopping themselves. This time I bought all of the liquor and wine on the Bevmo website. It was great, because when I went in to pick it up it was all ready and they had a specific person in charge of internet orders take care of me. I was in and out of there within five minutes. I buy everything else at Smart and Final, which has the best deals on cups, sodas, and everything else.

Two hippies in Northridge

Two hippies in Northridge

The party was a success, and I hope that they hire me again. February was kind of slow for me, but I have several events lined up this month. I have five events scheduled in Palm Springs in March, and all on weekdays, so I still have two Saturdays open. Next Friday I am doing a wedding rehearsal in Palm Springs, and then have a birthday party to bartend on Saturday night in Wilmington, in the South Bay.

I have other news that I want to share with my readers here. Last week I launched my first novel, Palm Avenue, and here is the blog for that, with a link to Facebook page. I am giving free books away for certain milestones on the Facebook page. Here is the link to buy the paperback book on Amazon. The ebook version will be available in near future.

The good stuff

The good stuff