Tag Archives: San Fernando Valley

Event Bartender Marathon Week: Seven Events, Three Counties

5 Sep

Event Bartender company, Shaken Not Stirred had a record week leading into Labor Day, completing seven big events in three Southern California Counties. I myself worked six of the events and I sent another bartender to do another one for a repeat customer.

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Max Joseph at Catfish going away party

Wednesday:

I drove to Burbank to do a very special event for a television production company. The show, “Catfish,” on MTV has had seven successful seasons, but one of the show’s top hosts is moving on to other endeavors, so it was a going away party for him. I made margaritas and served beer and wine, while the cast and crew watched the final episode with Max Joseph. I avoided a near disaster when I noticed my table with several bottles on it was about to collapse. I caught it just in time and a caterer walking by helped me. It would have been a major disaster if that table collapsed right during the screening. Needless to say, that table is being retired.

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Groom and groomsmen at Ruby Street

Thursday:

I drove to a funky little venue in Highland Park called 6408 Ruby Street to bartend a wedding. The Ruby Street venue is a former church and a historic building in Los Angeles. I had a trainee meet me there and she was a lot of help. We served two different specialty drinks, and beer and wine to the guests. We don’t get many weddings on Thursdays, but we welcome them. On the same night I sent another event bartender, Melanie, to do a corporate event in West Hollywood.

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70th Birthday Party in Orange County

Friday:

I drove to Orange County, to Lake Forest to bartend a 70th birthday party. It was held at a very nice community clubhouse, and I set up my portable bar outside. The weather was perfect and there was a cool breeze blowing. They had a live band and friends and family members poured in. When it comes to a 70th birthday party, many of the people have been friends for decades. Everyone had a nice time. I stayed a hotel in Irvine because I had to be in Joshua Tree the next day for another wedding.

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Groom watching Bride dance with Father

Saturday:

I drove from Orange County to Joshua Tree to do a wedding at a cool little venue called the Mohave Sands Motel – it was my second time there. Another event bartender, actually named Joshua lives out there and he helped me. Once again, the weather was perfect and we served approximately 75 guests throughout the evening. I got up the next morning and had to drive back to North Hollywood to do a Quinceanera. There was a bad accident on the 10 Freeway, and the trip took me four hours.

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Quinceanera at Memories Banquet Hall

Sunday:

I met another bartender who works for me, Edie, at the Memories Banquet Hall in North Hollywood to bartend the Quinceanera. There were over 100 guests. We served Palomas and other classic drinks until midnight. Luckily, the venue was only minutes from my home. I had served hundreds of drinks by this point.

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Volunteer shot girl at pool party on Mulholland Drive

Monday, Labor Day:

My final event of the holiday weekend was held at a rental house on Mulholland Drive overlooking the San Fernando Valley.  An online company was having a Labor Day pool party for their influencers and investors. I set up my portable bar by the pool and served drinks throughout the afternoon and evening. Once again, the weather was perfect. This is my favorite time of the year. I finished at 9 pm and my event bartender marathon was a complete, and I think a total success. This coming weekend I have events in Indio, Hawthorne, and Venice Beach. Follow us on Instagram.

Two Bachelorette Parties, A Wedding, and a Birthday Party

31 Jul
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Bride Tribe

It was a busy weekend for Shaken Not Stirred and it spanned a large territory from Palm Springs, to downtown Los Angeles, to the San Fernando Valley. I started out on Friday bartending at two different bachelorette parties in Palm Springs, drove back to LA to bartend a 200 guest wedding on Saturday, and then bartended a large birthday party in Panorama City on Sunday night. Needless to say, I served a whole lot of drinks.

Palm Springs is usually pretty hot this time of year, and Friday it was a sweltering 118. When I pulled into town the sky was hazy from the fires burning near Idyllwild. I wondered if that would ruin the bachelorette parties I was scheduled to do. When I arrived at the first house, I could hear ladies hooting and hollering in the backyard.  Obviously they weren’t going to let a little smoke ruin their party. I set up my portable bar out by the pool and started serving drinks.

I served a Lavender cocktail that the host wanted, and it was a hit. Vodka, lavender syrup, and fresh pineapple juice. I also made jalapeno margaritas, and a vodka, grapefruit and basil cocktail. Part of the deal of doing bachelorette parties, is that the bartender also has to act as photographer. I don’t mind doing that, and I took many cool pictures with the host’s phone.

The second bachelorette party started at 6pm, and I setup the portable bar inside the house. I was glad because it was still well over 100 in Cathedral City. For this party, I was to do a presentation and make four drinks – a Lemon Drop Martini, an Old Fashioned, a Jalapeno Margarita, and a Watermelon Daiquiri. My phone died and I only got one grainy picture, but it seems the ladies had a good time and were dancing in the living room by the end.july27b

I drove back to LA the next morning and didn’t have much turnaround time and had to start setting up two bars for a 200 guest wedding at 802 Mateo Street in downtown LA. another bartender arrived to help me and we served Mojitos, and various vodka drinks. I was worried about this wedding, because we had been planning it for months, but everything came off without a hitch.

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Bride and Groom enter reception

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Group shots!

Sunday night I was back in the San Fernando Valley bartending a 100 person birthday party at the Palacio Banquet Hall on Van Nuys Blvd. I served margaritas and various vodka drinks. It was quite a party with live entertainment, costumed dancers, and lots of great food. I served completely out of liquor by the end of the night.

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Latin dancers at Palacio Banquet Hall

This coming week I have 8 parties scheduled and am sending out multiple bartenders. I have two corporate events, two birthday parties, a going away party, a baby shower, and another bachelorette party. I hope everything goes ok! Follow us on Instagram.

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Shots!

Mission Hills 40th Birthday Party

21 Feb
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A Bay Breeze waits to go out

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.

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Birthday girl and family at 40th Birthday Party

40th Birthday Party Ideas:

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Make a photo backdrop
  • Play great music
  • Invite a cross section of people

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    Shots!

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.

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Sisters and friends

 

West Hills Surprise Birthday Party

13 Feb
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West Hills, CA

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.

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Guests anxiously waiting

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.

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Don Julio 1942

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.

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Shots!

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.

Shaken Not Stirred Shows up Strong for 2017 Holiday Season

29 Dec
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Venice Corporate Event

Shaken Not Stirred had its best holiday season to date and so far in December we have completed 21 events, with two parties still to go. When I first started doing this blog, I would write one blog post for every event I did and that has gotten harder and harder to do as I do multiple events in one week. It has a been a hectic season, and I am a little relieved that it is over, but as far as I know, all of our clients were happy and there were no major problems.

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My son bartending in Hollywood

My goal this year for the month of December was that I would save as many dates as possible for repeat customers and referrals. For the most part I did that. I had great repeat customers book parties in Valley Village, Hollywood, Venice, San Clemente, Silver Lake, Van Nuys, Reseda, Santa Monica, and Simi Valley. I didn’t have to travel too far, with San Clemente being the furthest I went during the month of December. I picked up some great new clients in Simi Valley, Hermosa Beach, Santa Clarita, and Moorpark. I am probably forgetting someone, but will remember them later.

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Casino themed holiday party 

I had multiple bartenders, including, Tanner, Edie, Matt, Melanie, Thomas, and Will helping me. Some of the bartenders went out and completed gigs on their own and I got great feedback from all of my clients. We literally served thousands of cocktails over the course of the month. We went through gallons and gallons of vodka, whiskey, and tequila. We emptied cases and cases of wine and beer.

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Reseda Christmas party

Highlights included the big casino night in Venice, the annual Christmas party in Hollywood for the Better Call Saul production company, the Spacex launch, and numerous wonderful home parties, food, drink, and music. I sampled all kinds of fantastic food, from tacos, prime rib, pork belly, steaks, and many ethnic delicacies.

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Venice Christmas Party

This weekend marks the final chapter for Shaken Not Stirred in 2017. Saturday I will drive to Huntington Beach to bartend a 40th birthday party/whiskey tasting. On Sunday, I get to stay in the San Fernando Valley for New Year’s Eve – I will be doing a NYE party in Sherman Oaks. Looking forward to a great New Year and already have several dates booked in January, February, and March.

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Simi Valley Christmas Party

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SpaceX test over Moorpark

First Three Holiday Parties in December

6 Dec
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Vine Street in December

I have 25 holiday parties scheduled so far for December, and still have some open dates available. The Christmas decorations are up and Santa even made an appearance at a December 1, company party. So, far, so good for the first three and only 22 more to go and I’m sure I will pick up more. New Year’s eve is still available and I’m holding off trying to book that, and am waiting to see if one of my repeat customers wants to do a party that night.

Woodland Hills Company Party

An engineering firm in Warner Center had their company Christmas party on December first at their company office. They had an island in the center of the office that worked perfectly as a makeshift bar. I provided glassware rentals. I can get any kind of glassware rentals my clients want. One thing that I have found, is that the guests attending parties don’t really care and are perfectly fine drinking out of plastic cups. It is nice to have real wine glasses on occasion and especially real martini glasses.

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Santa sitting on my lap

I made cucumber mint Moscow mules, and cranberry Old Fashioneds for the guests at this party. They hired a taco caterer to come and make tacos, but one thing they didn’t think about is that you can’t make tacos for 40 people inside an enclosed office space. The smoke will set the sprinklers off. They quickly came to a solution and the taco man setup on the roof of the building and brought the finished product down to serve.

Simi Valley Christmas Party

The second of December found me in Simi Valley at the home of a repeat client. They really go all out for Christmas and put up extensive decorations. They have a very nice bar inside their home and it is a pleasure to work from. I served martinis and other holiday themed cocktails to approximately 80 guests. They had a DJ and the hosts and guests danced up a storm. They brought in food from Simi Valley restaurant, Viva La Pasta.

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Christmas decorations on Simi Valley home

The host told me they may have another party before the month if over. I still have the 22cnd of the 23rd available. I am booked on Christmas Eve. December is always my busiest month and it usually slows down considerably in January. All the bartending companies will be competing for morsels until the wedding season starts again in March.

Hollywood Holiday Party

Last night I traveled to Hollywood for the third annual company holiday party of a television production company. This company has a hit television series going on its fourth season, so they have much to celebrate. They usually have over two hundred guests so that keeps two bartenders very busy for four hours.

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Hollywood company party

Pink Taquiza catered the tacos. My son helped me and we served a Pomegranate Moscow Mule. I premixed a big batch to save time serving and that worked out well. The signature cocktail was a hit and we served out of it by the end of the night. Tomorrow I have a corporate holiday event in Culver City. Friday night I am sending multiple bartenders out to locations in Hermosa Beach, and Silverlake, while I bartend a party in San Clemente. One Saturday I return to the San Fernando Valley to bartend a holiday party, and then on Sunday I go to Manhattan Beach to bartend a party for the Christmas fireworks show. Please follow us on Instagram.

 

Three Labor Day Weekend Events For Shaken Not Stirred

5 Sep
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Pre Wedding Party in Winnetka

Labor Day Weekend was a busy for Shaken Not Stirred, as I did three great events around Los Angeles. On Friday I bartended a pre-wedding party in Winnetka, on Saturday did a rehearsal dinner in Hancock Park, and then wrapped up the weekend with 40th birthday party in Valley Village. I served hundreds of drinks and met hundreds of new people.

The pre-wedding party in Winnetka was a traditional Lebanese affair, and they have a name for it, but I can’t remember what it is. The groom’s family was of Lebanese descent and they had a DJ play Lebanese music. I set up my portable bar in the backyard and served drinks to nearly 100 guests. The Mediterranean Bistro of Porter Ranch catered the event and they served a fantastic variety of Mediterranean favorites. I love Mediterranean food, and particularly Lebanese food and two of my favorite restaurants in LA are Lebanese.

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105 degrees in Hollywood Labor Day Weekend

Shaken Not Stirred in LA

  • Top Pro on Thumbtack: 91 5 star reviews
  • Established, December 2013
  • 15 five star reviews on Yelp
  • Top performer on Gig Salad
  • Done over 400 events

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    Guests mingle at Hancock Park Rehearsal Dinner

On Saturday it was deathly hot in Los Angeles. It was at least 105 in the SFV, and I thought it would be cooler in Hancock Park. I was wrong. When I arrived to set up, I instantly was soaked with sweat when I got out of the car. There was no breeze at all and it was like a sauna even in the shade. As the sun went down it eventually cooled off a little. I served margaritas and other drinks to a crowd of 60 people. The party took place in the backyard of a very nice Hancock Park home.

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Guests enjoy home movie in Valley Village

On Sunday, the day before Labor Day, I drove only five minutes away to a home in Valley Village to bartend a 40th birthday party. The host had told me her friends were heavy drinkers. She told me how much alcohol she had purchased and I thought it would be enough. I was wrong. We ran almost completely out an hour and a half before the end of the party. Some of the guests ran out to get more. DJ Richie Rich provided the jams.

This coming weekend I have a wedding scheduled in Fillmore, and nothing lese so fa, but that will probably change. I have events scheduled in San Diego, Valley Village, Culver City, La Verne, Villa Park, and Burbank. Please follow Shaken Not Stirred on Instagram.  

Shaken Not Stirred Bartends Northridge Double Birthday Party

14 Aug
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Mariachis perform at double birthday party

 

Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service at a Northridge double birthday party that lasted until the wee hours. The party included a taco cart, mariachis, a portable bar provided by me, and a self DJ machine. Seventy five guests enjoyed themselves under the tent setup in the backyard.

When I arrived to setup, the sun was still high in the sky, and it was one of those scorching hot San Fernando Valley days in August. I at least had a spot in the shade, but the taco caterer was not so lucky as she had to setup in the direct sunlight. I often see caterers doing this and then they have to cook on the hot stove. As they say, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!” The food was very good and the caterer, Taquito Y Mas did an excellent job. Most of these taco caterers put a special spin on their tacos, and in this case it was the grilled veggies that really added to the mix.

The hosts had a portable PA system, QFX brand that served as the DJ. I was quite impressed with this unit. It is one piece and puts out amazing sound. It is wifi operational and the host programmed all of the songs ahead of time. I am going to buy one and offer it to my clients for an extra charge. This is not going to make DJ’s happy. It also has a jack for a microphone. I left at 1am and the guests were still dancing to the music that was preprogrammed.

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Jameson shots with pickle back

Double Birthday Ideas

  • Hire  a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Serve great food
  • Plan entertainment
  • Invite a mixed crowd

This double birthday party was memorable to me because I was impressed at how the crowd kept dancing and dancing. I thought they were going to run out of gas but they kept going. I served margaritas, Micheladas, Palomas, and made many Jameson shots with pickle back chasers. I also made some Flaming Dr. Pepper shots.

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Friends enjoy double birthday party

This coming weekend I will drive to San Diego to bartend a wedding on Saturday, and then back to Irvine for a baby shower. I have a another bartender doing a rehearsal dinner in Tujunga. Later this month I have events scheduled in Hawthorne, and Hidden Hills. I have many evnts already scheduled in September, October, and November, then comes the busy Holiday season. Please follow us on Facebook if you haven’t done so already.

Two June Birthday Parties

5 Jun
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Van Nuys poolside bar

 

Saturday and Sunday stayed within the borders of the San Fernando Valley and bartended two birthday parties. On Saturday I only had to drive five minutes from my house to bartend a birthday party in Van Nuys, and then on Sunday I drove out to Hidden Hills on the western edge of the valley to do another one. Two incredible parties and I me some great people and I think gained some new customers.

Two weeks ago I thought I was out for the count for at least a month with a broken rib. My recovery was much speedier than I anticipated. My rib still hurts, but I am able to work on my own again now. I just need to get the momentum back that I had before I went to New Orleans. I did five events in the week prior to my trip.

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“Shaken Not Stirred”

For the Saturday birthday party, the host has a nice little bar setup in his backyard by the pool. I made blended drinks including Pina Colladas and Margaritas. The host and many of his guests are musicians, and they had quite a jam session going on in Van Nuys. They had tacos catered in. Van Nuys gets a bad rap for a variety of reasons, but the host had quite a nice little oasis in his backyard. There are nice neighborhoods and houses in Van Nuys, believe it or not! I know, because I live in Van Nuys too, even though they are trying to call it “Valley Glen,” it is Van Nuys.

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Shots!

Ideas for Birthday Parties

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Play great music
  • Serve great food
  • Invite a mix of people

Hidden Hills is a world away from Van Nuys, but only a 25 minute drive. Hidden Hills is where people go when they have arrived. Self actualization is right around the corner. The hosts of the Hidden Hills birthday party have a great spot up on a hill with great views of the surrounding hills and properties. I set up my portable bar and once again served blended drinks to about 60 guests. The hostess made some incredible appetizers and they also had a taco cart on hand.

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Paradise on the hill

Two more successful parties under my belt – I have done over 400 since I started Shaken Not Stirred. I was afraid to book too many parties this month because of my rib, so I only have one event scheduled for this weekend in Rolling Hills Estates – another beautiful Southern California location. It is a graduation party and this is the season for those, along with weddings, and of course birthday parties.

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Shots waiting for drinkers

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…