Tag Archives: retirement party

Two Woodland Hills Parties

14 Jun
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Prepping bar in Woodland Hills

Saturday and Sunday I returned to my old stomping grounds of Woodland Hills to bartend two very nice parties. On Saturday I went to the home of a previous client to bartend his wife’s retirement party, as she put in 20 years of service as a PE teacher at LAUSD, teaching junior high kids (also known as hard time!) On Sunday, I went to a neighborhood just a few blocks from my old house and bartended a baby shower.

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Host gives award winning speech at retirement party

The Saturday night party was held in the backyard, and I had done a party there before. The host had everything pretty much setup for me when I arrived. A local brewer donated some kegs for the party and we had four different types of beer available. Everyone really enjoyed the beer and had nothing but good things to say about it.  The brewer had started making beer in his garage, but it grew into a business. I guess he will be opening a brewpub sometime next year in Glendale. The name is Paperback Brewing, so watch out for it.

The host is a fun guy and he made a very good speech on a megaphone about his wife’s retirement, and ended the speech by playing “Take this Job and Shove it!”. I was training, Maria, my barback to make drinks. She got pretty good at making Cadillac Margaritas, and then I showed her how to make Mai Tais. We also served some really nice French wine.

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Portable bar at Woodland Hills Baby Shower

On Sunday the baby shower party started at 1pm, so I was on location at noon to set up. I have done a few baby showers, and sometimes it’s all women, but other times everyone is included. This wedding shower was coed, and a everyone in the family showed up. I made Margaritas, Mojitos, and Moscow Mules. Traditional Mediterranean cuisine was served. The weather was just perfect, because I know that section of Woodland Hills can be one of the hottest areas in the San Fernando Valley.

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Hosts and friends at Woodland Hills baby shower

Next weekend I only have one party booked so far – a wedding in San Diego. It is supposed to be 100 degrees in LA, so hopefully it will be a bit cooler down there. Later this month I have events in Hemet and  Beverly Hills, and then the month is over. Time flies when you are having fun.  

Palmdale 21st Birthday Party

11 Jun
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Summer clouds in Palmdale

I drove up to Palmdale last night to bartend a 21st Birthday party. It was actually a dual birthday party, because the host and his son had birthdays just days apart and it was a joint celebration. I have done several parties in the Palmdale/Lancaster area, and it usually a nice drive out there.

This was a party that booked the day before, so I didn’t spend a lot of time preparing and talking to the host about it. He texted me and said they would be having Mojitos, Margaritas, and another drink called a Flying Dragon. I just showed up and set up my portable bar, though we hadn’t discussed that. I always carry it with me, so if I need to use it, I can.

21st Birthday Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Invent theme cocktails
  • Take the car keys
  • Call Uber to take people home
  • Hire a band

The Flying Dragon consists of Dragonberry Bacardi rum. That is rum infused with strawberries and dragon fruit. You pour two parts rum, one part Sprite, and one part lemonade. People described it as tasting like a popsicle. It was definitely a hit with the younger crowd. Tacos were provided by Taquizas Diana (661) 878-0936. They also rent tables, chairs, jumpers, and linens. The host also got a jumper for the kids. I remember when I was a kid, the only time we got to use a jumper was at the annual carnival, and how excited we were.

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Jumpers keep the kids busy

The weather has been very weird here this month. Talk about June Gloom. I have a back yard retirement party tonight in Woodland Hills, and the weather is not nice at all. I have a baby shower in Woodland Hills tomorrow during the day that is also going to be outdoors and the forecast calls for drizzle. I am ready for some heat after this extended gloom. Next weekend I am driving to San Diego to bartend a wedding, and hopefully this gloom will have lifted. 

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Friends celebrate 21st birthday party

3 Day Corporate Event in Downtown LA

1 Feb
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Interesting merchandise at The Reef

I bartended a 3 day corporate event in Downtown LA last week at the LA Mart, also known as The Reef. This is the third time I have been called back there, and it always nice to get repeat business. The Reef is a twelve story building in Downtown Los Angeles that is home to dozens of showrooms where distributors and importers show their wares to wholesale buyers. They have several shows a year that attract buyers from all over the country.

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The Reef in Downtown LA

The Reef sets up bars every day during the special markets to serve complimentary wine to the buyers. The idea of course is to get them in the mood to buy, buy, buy. These are always fun events and I end up talking to and serving hundreds of people during the three day period. On the final day, they had a reception for the buyers and sellers and we served wine and beer. It was a great way to cap off the three day event.

After the Saturday night event I was driving home and I took Broadway, which I quickly learned was a mistake. They were having a special “Bringing Back Broadway” event and thousands of people were walking along Broadway and standing in line outside the old theatres down there. It took me twenty minutes to drive one block. I finally got off of Broadway and onto Olive, and that was my second fatal mistake. Cars were jammed solid in every direction. It took me one hour to go a block and get off of Olive. It was a good thing I was not on my way to a job.  This is why I almost always leave two hours early to any job I do in Los Angeles.

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Bar setup at The Reef

Downtown LA Events

  • Grand Openings
  • Trade Shows
  • Conventions
  • Corporate Events
  • Client Appreciation
  • Retirement parties

Next week I will travel to Palm Springs to bartend an all day party on Saturday, and then am doing a repeat performance Super Bowl Party on Sunday in Glendora. I have two more wedding events going on in Palm Springs at the end of the month, and a Valentine’s Day wedding in South Bay on February 14. The month of March is still pretty open, so book you parties now.

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Buyers and sellers mingle at The Reef

Three Bartending Events Halloween Weekend

4 Nov
Lloyd the Bartender costume

Lloyd the Bartender costume

Shaken Not Stirred was contracted to bartend at three consecutive events last Halloween weekend. I usually write the blogs for my events on Monday morning, but was so exhausted after doing three events in a row, I am now writing the blog today on Wednesday. Friday night I bartended a Halloween costume party in Marina Del Rey, on Saturday I bartended a wedding in Northridge, and then on Sunday I bartended a birthday party in Silverlake.

For the costume party in Marina Del Rey, I broke out my Lloyd the bartender costume. The theme of the party was undead celebrities, and many of the guests really did it up. The host of the party dressed as Marilyn Monroe, and she looked uncannily like that statue that used to stand in downtown Palm Springs. I don’t know what happened to that statue, but it would be cool to make a movie where the statue of Marilyn Monroe goes berserk and terrorizes Palm Springs.

Undead guests at party

Undead guests at party

More undead patrons

More undead patrons

For the Costume party I made some specialty drinks that the host wanted used fresh ingredients. I can do craft cocktails that for smaller parties, but they become problematic at large weddings. Many of the guests didn’t get my costume, and I was surprised to learn that many of them (in their 20’s) had never seen the “Shining.”

On Saturday I bartended a wedding at the Rancho Cordillera Del Norte in Northridge that I had booked months ago.  My associate bartender Mia Martini helped. We served Margaritas, Micheladas, and Palomas to approximately 120 guests. La Fogata Catering provided the food, and they did an excellent job. Mole was on the menu, and I must say was excellent. Mrdraxx was the DJ and he kept the crowd moving all night long.

Bride and groom share first dance

Bride and groom share first dance

Mariachis at Halloween wedding

Mariachis at Halloween wedding

Shots!

Shots!

On Sunday, I traveled to Silverlake to bartend a birthday/retirement party. I was exhausted after doing to two other events, and didn’t really feel up to par. They didn’t have a lot of room for me to set up, so they set up a bar in the home office. I made a specialty drink, “Shady Pines,” which was named after the retirement home on the “Golden Girls.” The Shady Pines was basically a Vodka Mojito with muddled cucumber, and seemed to be a big hit. I was really dragging by the end of the party, but I helped clean up as much as I could, and for me that is how I got through it, rather than just sitting there like a lot of bartenders do.

View from Silverlake

View from Silverlake

This week I have a fundraiser to do in Oak Park on Thursday, and then a birthday party for a repeat customer in Lancaster on Saturday night, and then another party in Northridge on Sunday.  So another busy weekend for Shaken Not Stirred, and many more to come during the holiday season.