Last Saturday Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for a multi-person 50th birthday party at the Northridge Women’s Club. Ten guys who went to high school together teamed up to have a big celebration of their mid century milestone, and invited 300 guests. My son helped me and we were busy the entire time. I didn’t get many good photos for that reason.
Some of the guys who put on the party met with me months in advance to plan the event. I helped them make a shopping list and I guess I missed the mark, because we ran out of booze two hours before the party was over (we still had beer). The hosts went out and bought more vodka and tequila. Vodka is what usually runs out first if anything does.
Lorraine’s Catering of Sylmar did the food and it was excellent. I met Lorraine and her husband Joe at an event years ago and I have done many events for them, and they have referred me to many, as they did this one. I hope to return the favor. Lorraine and Joe and some of their kids showed up at 5pm, set up in the kitchen, served 200 people and were cleaned up and out of there by 8pm. That’s how efficient they are. The Northridge Women’s club has a large, well equipped kitchen, which makes it easy.
50th Birthday Party Ideas
Plan a multi person birthday party
Hire a bartender
Invite a diverse mix of people
Serve great food
Rent a hall
My son and I set up out portable bar outside, but it got cold and dark out there, so after the caterer left we moved into the kitchen, which also easily serves as a bar. We went through at least 15 cases of beer, and many handles of vodka and tequila. The security guard from the Northridge Women’s Club came and told us at 11pm that we would have to stop serving at 11:45pm sharp. Some kind of fight broke out outside at 11:15, so that ended the party prematurely. Unfortunately, there are usually one or two troublemakers at every event. This week I will be bartending at a Residential center in Huntington Beach on Thursday, and then doing a cocktail party in Redondo Beach the next day. So far I am still open for Saturday night. Later this month I will be doing a wedding in Desert Hot Springs, and a pool party in Palm Springs. I’m hoping I will get to see the wildflower bloom in the desert. Please follow us on Instagram.
Saturday night I bartended a 40th birthday party in Mission Hills. This was the third party I have provided bartending service for this large family. It is always nice to have repeat business and referrals. This was just the kind of party I love to do – around 60 guests in the backyard.
I set up my portable bar and table next to the garage. I served Margaritas, Palomas, and the Bay Breeze, and Moscow Mules. We had a good selection of beers, also, including Blue Moon, 805, Stella, Corona, and Pacifico. I think 805 won the battle of the beers at this party. It is always nice to have two or three beer choices.
I didn’t get the name of the taco vendors, but they had a great selection of tacos, tortas, and burritos. Many taco vendors don’t offer the option of tortas, and burritos, so that is always nice. The weather was perfect for a backyard 40th birthday party, and it was the last nice night before this current cold snap.
40th Birthday Party Ideas:
Hire a bartender
Choose a theme
Make a photo backdrop
Play great music
Invite a cross section of people
February has been somewhat slow for Shaken Not Stirred, as it usually is, so I am glad that March is looking to be very busy. Wedding season kicks into high gear and I already have three weddings scheduled in March. This weekend I’m going to Palm Springs on Friday for a cocktail party, return to Redondo Beach on Saturday for a birthday party, and then to Tarzana on Sunday for another birthday party. If you haven’t already followed us on Instagram, please do.
Saturday night I traveled across the San Fernando Valley to bartend a surprise birthday party in West Hills. A proud father planned the event for his son’s 25th birthday party, and I think the event went off exactly as planned – the son was genuinely surprised and touched, and everybody had a great time. I always like doing surprise parties, and as I have said before anybody who gets one thrown for them, is truly blessed.
I have been neglecting this blog since the busy holiday season, and it’s time to get back to basics. I built my business up with internet marketing and now that I am getting many referrals and much repeat business, I have gotten lazy about doing the things that made my business successful in the first place. Since I started Shaken Not Stirred, I have completed close to 500 private events.
This surprise birthday party was held at the family’s brand new home in West Hills at the far northwest corner of the San Fernando Valley. The house was located at the end of a cul de sac and my first comment to the host was, “He’s going to see all these cars here and will immediately know what’s going on.” Naturally the host had already thought of that. I unloaded my portable and bar and moved my car back up the street, as all the guests were instructed to do.
Surprise Birthday Party Ideas
Plan a diversion to fool the guest of honor
Invite a wide range of people
Hire a bartender
Serve great food
Play great music
I set up my portable bar in the backyard and the guests started arriving about 5pm. The guest of honor was due to arrive at 5:30. He was told they were going to dinner in Beverly Hills. Everyone got into place and the birthday boy arrived right on time and got the surprise of his life. By the way, the guest of honor is a pro football player for the Arizona Cardinals. He was truly touched, and his father was so proud. I served simple mixed drinks to around fifty drinks and everybody had a good time.
February tends to be my slowest month of the year. So far I only have one event scheduled for this week on Saturday in Mission Hills. Next week I will go to Palm Springs on Friday, and then turn right around to do a birthday party in Redondo Beach on Saturday. March is very busy with several weddings already scheduled all over the place. I will be doing a lot of traveling in March. Please follow us on Instagram.
Saturday night a Los Feliz birthday party took place in a hip fourplex just off of Hillhurst and was complete with a pro bartender. That pro bartender was me. Yes, I can call myself a pro because I have literally bartended hundreds of private parties, was a bar manager at a hot Redondo Beach Italian joint, and have bartended at several other Los Angeles establishments. My company, Shaken Not Stirred has 80 five star reviews on Thumbtack, several five star reviews on Yelp and Gig Salad – so put that in your pipe and smoke it! No, just hire me for your next event, party, or wedding.
Seriously, the host of the Los Feliz birthday party told me she had never hired a bartender at her previous parties, so she didn’t know what to expect from me. By the end of the night, she was very happy she had hired me and assured me that she would hire me in the future. Most of my clients who have never hired a bartender before say that they will never go without one again, after hiring me.
Why Hire a Pro Bartender?
The host can enjoy the party
The bar does not become a disaster area
The bartender can cut off unruly guests
The bartender monitors the liquor
Guests are impressed
The Los Feliz birthday party had a good mix of people, but invariably there was some drama. Good parties usually have a diverse mix of people, and that makes the party more interesting. Sometimes, people who were not actually invited show up and create drama. I think that happened in this case, but nobody got shot. There were no drivebyes – which was a good thing. Captain Barnacle, the long haired Dachshund was my assistant.
On Wednesday I will be doing a corporate event in Burbank. The host assured me if I do a good job on this one, she will hire me for several more. I have faith in myself, because I am a pro, and I don’t say that to be bragging. I know what I’m doing. Later this week I will be doing a martini party in Rancho Cucamonga, and then a fundraiser in Sherman Oaks on Sunday. Next month, I will be slipping away to New Orleans for a few days – maybe I can learn some new tricks from the bartenders over there. I will be attending a wedding at the famous Maple Leaf Bar, so I am excited about that.
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.
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.
Walnut 40th Birthday Party
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.
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.
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.
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.
On Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred drove to San Marcos in San Diego County to provide bartending service at an annual martini party. The hosts have put on this annual martini party in January for over ten years. The difference this year is that they hired a bartender. In the past, the guests made their own drinks, but this year they decided to bring a pro in to bartend.
The host provided me with a list of martinis four pages long that the guests could choose from. There were at least twenty different ingredients needed for the various drinks. I don’t usually recommend that people use a drink menu this diverse, mainly to keep costs down. In this case the host had all of the ingredients – many left over from other parties.
I made lemon drops, appletinis, pom cosmos, dirty martinis, fireball martinis, Key Lime martinis, among others. I am able to do drinks quickly I have never done before if I have the recipe. I think the hosts were happy to have a bartender. It gave them more time to enjoy the party and not worry about restocking the bar. Etc.
Martini Party Ideas
Hire a bartender
Use real martini glasses
Use fresh ingredients
Provide a drink menu
Choose a theme
The host had plenty of martini glasses, and it is always nice to work with real glassware. I like to shake the drinks long enough that there is a layer of ice floating on top of the drink. I made a lot of martinis when I was a bartender at an Italian restaurant in Redondo Beach. I tend to believe that good martinis are mostly alcohol, and I like to keep the mixers to a minimum. I think there is nothing worse than a syrupy martini. I think I brought my expertise at making martinis to the martini party in San Marcos. Here is the customer’s review of me on Thumbtack: Best bartender possible!
“Rob was amazing! Guests glasses were never empty. Very professional, polite and conscientious! Would highly recommend him for any event.”
This coming weekend I will be bartending a surprise birthday party in Burbank, and then at the beginning of February I will be doing parties in Palm Springs, Glendora, and Sherman Oaks. I am looking forward to servicing weddings, birthday parties, corporate events, and doing the occasional martini party. I am still available for Super Bowl parties. Please follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles bar service provided beverages at two area parties over the weekend. On Saturday I traveled to Redondo Beach to bartend a 40th surprise birthday party, and then on Sunday evening I bartended a lavish dinner party in Beverly Hills. January is typically a slow month in the bar catering business, and it is always nice to get more than one event on the weekend.
I arrived at 10 am in Redondo Beach to set up my portable bar. It was a beautiful sunny day after all the rainy days we’ve been having. It is always a gamble to schedule an outdoor party in January in LA, but this time the host lucked out. The party was held a an iconic Redondo Beach house that I have passed many times and always wondered what it was. It is home to an accounting office, but it has a wonderful backyard that is perfect for having parties.
The host went to great lengths the plan the party and conceal it from his wife. He hired a caterer, Chef Mumsie, a photo booth, Nina Gallery, and a guitar player/singer (I didn’t get his card). The birthday girl was truly surprised and touched when she arrived. Surprise parties are usually great and I’m sure they last as precious memories in a person’s life. I have provided bartending service at many surprise birthday parties, and they always require coordination between the various family members and vendors.
Hire a Los Angeles Bar Service
Don’t let your guests pour their own drinks
Enjoy the party
Get help with drink menu and shopping list
Get a portable bar
Impress your guests
On Sunday I returned to the home of one of my best clients to bartend a very nice dinner party. Jon and Vinny’s of Hollywood catered the event and they offered to bring their own bartender, but my clients wanted me. I was very appreciative of that. I worked well with the catering crew, and they took most of the drink orders and did the cocktailing for me. I brought my Jalapeno margarita mix and mixed it with mescal, which also works very good. I must say that the food from Jon and Vinny’s was excellent, and I cleaned every morsel off of my plate.
This weekend I am traveling all the way to San Marcos in North County, San Diego to bartend a martini party. It is supposed to rain the entire weekend, so I hope that does not ruin the party. I know I am bringing the portable bar and we usually set that up outside. Next month is shaping up to be very busy for the Los Angeles bar service, Shaken Not Stirred and I will be doing parties in Sherman Oaks, Glendora, Studio City, and Palm Springs so far. I still have Super Bowl Sunday open, so hope that I get a party there somewhere along the way.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of providing bartending service on the Esplanade in Redondo Beach for a wedding that took place right at Sunset. Redondo Beach has to be the most beautiful area in Los Angeles County, and I miss living down there, so it was a treat for me just to go there. This was a weekday wedding, which was I don’t do very often, but keep them coming is all I can say.
The wedding took place on the sun deck of the apartment complex where the groom lives. All of the other tenants in the apartment building were invited, and the groom explained to me that they all hang out. That is the way it is in the South Bay. The bride and groom met at the Bull Pen, which I thought was funny. The Bull Pen is a South Redondo bar that is notorious for being a cougar meat market. I went in there one time and a 70 year old man purposely bumped into me because he thought i was after his action. Apparently, real love does blossom at the Bull Pen and this wedding was proof positive of that.
Redondo Beach Bars
The Bull Pen
The Thirsty Club
Cocktail hour started at 5pm and I served a lot of wine and standard mixed drinks like gin and tonics and rum and Cokes. One of the guests brought a few magnums of a very nice Cabernet. The wine was a 2005 and needed time to breath to come alive. The guests enjoyed it and drank several bottles. Made By Meg provided the catering and they had some excellent lamb chops and other goodies for the guests.
The ceremony began right as the sun went down, and the sunset on the water was stunning as it always is. I used to watch those beautiful sunsets every day when I lived in Hermosa Beach. I will be returning to the South Bay next month to do a party in Hermosa Beach. On Saturday I return to Orange County to bartend a birthday party for some of my best clients at their home in Villa Park. Next weekend I will be bartending a Friday wedding in Agoura Hills, and then am driving out to Indian Wells to bartend a two day executive retreat.
On Saturday Shaken Not Stirred traveled to West Covina to bartend a baby shower. The expectant father has twins on the way and his surrogate mother was also in attendance. Approximately 70 guests showed up and the host put on a quite a party with contests, great food, and he hired me to make the cocktails.
The condo had a very nice home bar set up in one of the bedrooms. The host called it his “mancave,” and it has a foosball table, a poker table, and even an old style video arcave game. 90’s hiphop videos were playing on the television above the bar. The host made a honey vodka lemonade punch which was very popular, and I made a variety of drinks, including Margaritas, Mai Tais, and Appletinis. As the baby shower wrapped up, I handed out Fireball shots to all that wanted them.
Baby Shower Ideas
Hire a bartender
Create a theme
Have fun contests
Serve great food
On Sunday, I returned to a Sherman Oaks house to bartend a pool party. I bartended there a year ago and was asked to return. I made Moscow Mules, Margaritas, and various other drinks for about 80 guests. It was a three hour party and I kept pretty busy. Last year she had a band at her Labor Day party and this year she hired a different band, called “Weekend Celebrity.” They do top 40 hits and a few original songs. They were pretty good and their lead singer is from Ireland and actually won Ireland’s version of “The Voice.”
On Wednesday I will be providing bartending service for a wedding on the Esplanade in Redondo Beach, and then on Saturday will be returning to Villa Park in Orange County to bartend a birthday/pool party. Summer may be over in some parts of the country, but it is still going strong here. The holiday season is just around the corner and I am trying to hold the December dates for my repeat customers. I have one Saturday in December booked so far, December 10th,but all other December dates are open.