Tag Archives: party

Shaken Not Stirred Gig Bartender Does Events Across SoCal

7 Aug
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Picturesque Simi Valley

Southern California’s traveling gig bartender, Shaken Not Stirred bartended several events in the past two weeks across the region. I have been very busy the past two weeks and have not had time to keep up with this blog. I have done events in Inglewood, Downtown LA, Pacific Palisades, Fullerton, Beverly Hills, and Simi Valley. All were successful, and I think my clients were happy with my service – I did pick up some more five star reviews and referrals.

I started off the string of events in Downtown LA at the La Kretz Innovation Campus. SheEO sponsored an fundraising event and I served wine and soft drinks to approximately 50 ladies. SheEO seems like a very worthwhile organization, and should appeal to any female entrepreneurs. I hope to do more events with them in the future.

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SheEo Event in Downtown LA

Next I bartended a party in Inglewood attended largely by a local contingent of Nigerian immigrants. They served traditional Nigerian food, like jerk goat, and mint pies. I served wine, beer, and cocktails. The host invited me to work there every Friday night. I was tempted by the offer of ongoing work, but turned it down. An ongoing weekly gig feels too much like a job to me. I would rather see where the universe takes me.

Types of Events for a Gig Bartender

  • Birthday parties
  • Weddings
  • Corporate Events
  • Fundraisers
  • Pool parties
  • Class Reuinions

The day after, I went to Pacific Palisades to bartend a summer/company party. A local law firm held the party for employees and friends. I set up my portable bar on the deck next to the pool. It was a hot summer night, and I got bitten several times by mosquitos, which is rare in California. The host had a very nice selection of liquor and mixers and I was able to make some craft cocktails.

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Guests mingle in Pacific Palisades

On Sunday, I traveled to Orange County to the Fullerton Community Center to bartend a wedding. It was a my first time working the venue and it had a large ballroom big enough to seat at least two hundred people. Over 100 people attended this wedding and I kept pretty busy making drinks for all of those people. Luckily they were mostly wine drinkers, which makes to easier for me to serve 100 people by myself.

Mid week I bartended a corporate event in Beverly Hills for one of my best clients. They have hired me for at least a dozen events, and most of the events are one weekdays, which I really appreciate. I brought another bartender with me and we served cocktails to approximately 75 guests. It was deathly hot and humid that night in Los Angeles, with the humidity hovering at 60 percent.

I finished off the week in beautiful Simi Valley bartending a baby shower on Saturday Night. The humid weather subsided, and it was an extremely pleasant night for August in Simi Valley. It even got a bit chilly after the sun went down. I served cocktails to around 50 guests and finished at 11pm.

This coming weekend I have only one event scheduled for Saturday night, but that could change. I will be bartending a birthday party in Northridge. Later this month I have events in Tujunga, San Diego, Irvine, and Hawthorne. All of my Saturdays are booked through October. Please follow Shaken Not Stirred, the gig bartender on Instagram.

Rolling Hills Fourth of July Party

5 Jul
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My first customers at the bar

Yesterday I bartended a Fourth of July party in Rolling Hills on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. I was excited to do this party because the host told me they had a great view of the whole Long Beach and San Pedro area from their backyard and could see several fireworks shows from there. I love Independence Day – it is my favorite holiday, and I love fireworks, and I love bartending.

I got this job from another job I did last month in Rolling Hills. There is nothing better than getting a referral, or getting a job from handing out a business card. That is the best kind of business for me, because I have to pay for leads and advertising for everything else. I had to start my business from scratch, and now after four years, I am getting a lot of repeat business and referrals.

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Me at Bukowski’s grave

I got down to area early and had some time to kill. I was right by the Green Hills Cemetery and I remembered that Charles Bukowski,one of my favorite writers is buried there. People often visit his grave and pour bottles of beer and whiskey into the ground as a tribute. I figured it shouldn’t be too hard to find the gravesite. I walked into the cemetery and quickly realized it would be like finding a needle in a haystack. I saw a cemetery employee driving a golf cart and I stopped her and asked he where the grave site was. She was kind enough to drive me right to it. It had some beer bottles on it and cigarettes. I was unprepared and had nothing to offer. I hope I am not jinxed!

The party went very well and I served Mojitos. Old Fashioneds, beer, and wine to approximately 50 guests. It was a very nice relaxed party with a great group of people. When the sun went down the fireworks started and they lit up the whole harbor area and Southbay. I think that this year there were way more “illegal” fireworks than I have ever seen before. Even as I was driving home on the 405 they were lighting up the sky at midnight. I love it – allow us our freedom once a year!

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Guests enjoying great food and view of Harbor area

Friday I am bartending a wedding in San Diego, and then on Sunday I am doing a wedding at an exotic animal ranch in Sylmar. On Monday I leave for Montana and Wyoming for a week. The summer will be gone before we know it.

Bartender to the Rescue in Studio City

27 Feb
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Amigos!

Saturday night I was sitting at home for the first Saturday night in a long time when a call came out for a “bartender to the rescue” in Studio City. Another bartender cancelled at the last minute and they needed somebody right away. I put on my bartender cape and was at their door in fifteen minutes. Luckily, Studio City is only three miles away. Shaken Not Stirred is located in Valley Glen.

When I walked in the usual chaos was ensuing at the bar as guests fumbled trying to open bottles and pour their own drinks. One guy brought a full drink and set it down in front of me. “I don’t want this – it’s the worst drink I’ve ever had,” he said. One of the guests had made it for him. It took me a few minutes to get acclimated, but had the bar running smoothly in no time. The party was a pajama party of 20 to 30 year olds, and they were playing some kind of trivia game. A food truck outside was serving the food.

I made mostly simple drinks like Jack and Coke, and Tequila Sodas. A lot of the younger people drink either vodka/soda, or tequila/soda with lime, because those drinks have less calories. I have noticed that is the drink of choice among Millennials in LA. It seems that you don’t really need a bartender to make those drinks, but obviously you do, because most people don’t know how much to pour. That is the problem when you don’t hire a bartender – a lot of alcohol gets wasted and thrown away because the drinks are awful, or worse yet – bottles of alcohol “walk away.” I have confronted guests at wedding that I was bartending who tried to steal bottles of alcohol.

Last Minute Bartender to the Rescue

  • Original bartender cancels last minute
  • Bartender no show/no call
  • Bartender shows up drunk or high
  • Host realizes last minute a bartender is needed
  • Bartender doesn’t know what he or she is doing

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    Guests playing trivia game

When I am bartending, I am often not busy making drinks the whole time. That is when I take the time to clean up the area. People leave plates, cups, and napkins on the tables and countertops and I take a moment to clean them up. People are always amazed when I do this. Well, a bartender in a bar or restaurant is expected to keep their area clean, and I take that same philosophy into the homes and venues where I do private parties. Sometimes I am just to busy behind the bar to do it, but I try to keep the area clean when I can. The host of this party was very happy with me and wrote me a nice 5 star review.

This coming weekend I have a surprise birthday party scheduled in Hermosa Beach on Friday, and then a wedding in Palm Springs on Saturday. I will return to Palm Springs the following weekend and then have other events scheduled in the City of Walnut, Tarzana, and Indian Wells later in the month.

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

Los Angeles Bartender for Hire Services Three Parties During NYE Weekend

2 Jan

Los Angeles bartender for hire Shaken Not Stirred provided bar service at three big Los Angeles parties during the transition period into 2017. I served literally thousands of drinks over the three day period and met hundreds of new people.

Sherman Oaks Surprise Birthday Party

Friday I didn’t have to travel far to bartend a 50th surprise birthday party in Sherman Oaks. It was a potentially cold and rainy night and the rain threatened to ruin the backyard party, but luckily it only sprinkled a bit during the party. The birthday girl was genuinely surprised. I served margaritas and apple martinis to 50 or so guests. They had a taco cart on hand and I’m sorry I can’t find the guys card or I would have included him here, but he served great tacos.

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Taco cart in action at Sherman Oaks

The host commented that this was probably a boring party for me, because they weren’t really a hard drinking crowd. I didn’t mind at all because I knew I was going to work my ass off at the New Year’s Eve party the following night and that turned out to be true. The Sherman Oaks surprise birthday party was a perfect warm up for the whole weekend, and I was very happy to do it.

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Birthday Girl blows out candles

Downtown LA New Year’s Eve Party

The NYE bash that I bartended was held in a warehouse in a gritty section of downton Los Angeles close to Skid Row. I drove through Skid Row on my way to the location and it was raining. The conditions are beyond deplorable down there, and it is hard to believe places like that exist in the USA. I pulled up in front of the warehouse early and there was nobody around. I was curious as to what kind of setup there would be there. It just looked like a produce warehouse on the outside. Finally someone showed up and opened the big doors and I could see curtains hanging inside the warehouse and tables. A taco cart vendor, Tacos Estilo Michoacan, arrived about the same time and started setting up outside.

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Downtown LA warehouse where party was held

I went in a started setting up. They had cases and cases of beer, several handles of vodka, tequila, Jameson, Jack Daniels, and cases and cases of mixers. Shortly, the other bartender, aubrey arrived and it was my first time working with her. We spent two hours setting up and it took us all of that to get ready for 150 guests to arrive.

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Bartender Aubrey waiting for action to start

People started filtering in and soon we were hit with waves and waves of people. We handled it well, and the only mishap of the evening was when a patron bumped into the bar and knocked over several full bottles of liquor. They shattered all over the floor and flooded the back of the bar with booze and broken glass. I scrambled to clean the mess up and was careful not to cut myself and the shards of broken bottles. We got through it, and continued pouring drinks until two in the morning. Santiago y su Groupo, a sixteen piece latin band provided live music and they were fantastic. The taco cart operated until 1am and I had a second helping of tacos around that time, which really hit the spot. We cleaned up the bar area and were out of there by 2:30 am in 2017.

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Happy New Year!

Bartender for Hire in Los Angeles

  • Provides portable bar if needed
  • Knows how to make a myriad of cocktails
  • Helps provide a drink menu and shopping list
  • Can provide multiple bartenders
  • Is ABC certified

Pre Rose Bowl/50th Birthday Party in Manhattan Beach

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Portable bar setup in Manhattan Beach

On Sunday, the Los angeles bartender for hire (me) went to Manhatten Beach to bartend a 50th birthday party/ Pre Rose Bowl party in Manhattan Beach. The birthday girl happened to be an alumni of Penn State, and Penn State happens to be playing against USC in the Rose Bowl this year. She had invited many Penn State alumni who have traveled here for the Rose Bowl. They were in town to party.

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Shots!

This party turned into a rager. DJ Logik provided the tunes, and people were break dancing and singing out loud at the top of their lungs. I was hustling, serving close to 100 people by myself. I served my spicy jalapeno margarita, which was once again, a hit. I heard one woman say, “These margaritas are so much better than the ones we had last night,” which made me feel good. Soho Taco served the food, and I have worked with them before at other events.
January looks pretty light so far for Shaken Not Stirred. I have events scheduled for Redondo Beach and San Marcos later this month, and I am sure I will pick up some more business before it is all over. January is generally a slow month as people are all partied out after the holiday season. There will likely be a few corporate events and birthday parties. Please follow us on Facebook if you haven’t done so already.

40th Birthday Party at Versailles at Indian Wells

4 Oct
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Beautiful Indian Wells landscape

Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending services for a two day 40th birthday party at the fabulous Versailles compound at Indian Wells. The hosts wanted to throw a birthday bash to end all birthday bashes and they wanted to invite 25 of their closest friends for a weekend in the beautiful Coachella Valley. I was there to make the drinks, and I made a bunch of them.

Most of the guests flew in from the San Francisco area, and I guess there are direct flights from San Francisco to Palm Springs on United, American, and Alaska. The host told me that when they were thinking about this party, they wanted to rent a place that was big enough so that all of their friends would have their own room. They would have gone anywhere in the country, but Versailles at Indian wells was one of the few places that could accommodate that. Versailles has 26,000 square feet, 14 bedrooms, and 19 bathrooms.

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Big Chill at Versailles, Indian Wells

The host wanted me to make some craft cocktails for the event. We decided on a spicy Jalapeno/cucumber margarita, a Dalmatian, and cucumber coolers. I made the spicy jalapeno/cucumber margarita mix in advance with all fresh ingredients. I also made a black peppercorn simple syrup for the Dalmatian cocktail, and brought fresh grapefruit juice. The drinks were a hit, and I ran out of the spicy marg mix the first day and had to make another batch the following day.

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Craft Cocktails at Versailles

Versailles Rental Compound Amenities

  • 26,000 square feet, 14 bedrooms, 19 bathrooms
  • Sleeps up to 30 people
  • Large pool, two jacuzzis
  • Tennis court
  • Private 2 acres
  • Detached casitas
  • Game room, media room, formal dining room
  • Inside and outside bars

I think almost anyone would only dream to have a “Big Chill” experience like with 25 of their closest friends at a stunning property like this. I am sure it a was a fantastic 40th birthday party for the host and a memorable experience for his guests. I had a great time bartending for them. I got to know a few of the guests a little bit over the course of the weekend and it was a great experience. The first day they had a taco caterer come in, and then on the second day it was pizza for dinner.

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It’s a Bloody Mary Morning…

This coming weekend is the only weekend in October where I don’t have anything scheduled. I am sure I will pick something up by Saturday. I wouldn’t even mind going back to Palm Springs again. I love going out there this time of the year, and the season is only beginning as the snowbirds start flocking south. .

 

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!