Tag Archives: Southbay

Manhattan Beach Celebration of Life

30 May
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Sailboats just off the coast

Sunday, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service at a celebration of life in Manhattan Beach. I have done these events before working for other people, and this was the first time doing a “wake” as my own company. It was a very touching event, and I think much nicer than a standard memorial service. What a great tribute the family gave to their father who passed away.

The weather in Los Angeles has been gloomy for the past couple of weeks, but the weather was perfect on the day of this event. The house where the event was held was right on the strand, just a stones throw from the Manhattan Beach Pier. I have done parties there before and it is a wonderful place to throw a party. The hosts were expecting 50 to 75 people, but over 100 showed up, so I was busy.

I served a lot of beer, margaritas, a variety of vodka and whiskey drinks and was almost out of everything by the time we were through. The two sons of the departed gave very touching speeches about their father, as did some of his friends. I can only hope that my loved ones would do the same for me, once I am gone. It was emotional, but the overall mood was upbeat.

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Friends and Family listen to tribute

A Unique Celebration of Life

  • Much more upbeat than a funeral
  • Play the favorite music of departed
  • Hire a bartender
  • Closure for friends and family
  • Less expensive than traditional funeral

The owners of the house were friends of the family and they were nice enough to let them have celebration of life there. I used to live in Hermosa, and I always love returning there. I wish I had an event in the Southbay every weekend. Southbay people can usually drink, and the people at this event lived up to that reputation. Everybody held their liquor well though. It was a very nice event and the host commented that it could not have gone better, and I agree.

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Son gives tribute to his father

This upcoming week I have events scheduled in Venice, in Santa Clarita, and in Hidden Hills. A good start for the month of June. Later this month I have some weddings scheduled in Rancho Palos Verdes, Sylmar, and Silverlake later this month, as well as a pre 4th of July party in Villa Park. Please follow us 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.

Off the Hook: Southbay 30th Birthday Celebration

11 May

I returned to the Southbay last night to bartend a 30th birthday party in Torrance. The house where the party was held used to be a bachelor’s “party house,” where three or four guys used to live together and have wild parties all the time, and then life happened, including wives and kids. It’s hard growing up, believe me, I know from experience! Anyway, this place had the best garage bar I have ever seen – it was almost as good as Pat’s II, with a real full length bar and beer refrigerator. It reminded me of that old country song – “I’d like to Hire a Wino to Decorate Our Home.”

The occasion was a one of the former bachelor’s 30th birthday party. It was the second 30th birthday party I have done in two weeks, and it is an important milestone. I think people really have some kind of expectation and are especially hard on themselves when they are turning 30. I know I was. The birthday boy’s family turned out en masse for the celebration and there were a lot of them because he has 12 brothers and sisters and their families.

The family catered their own event and the food was excellent. I will have to say that was some of the best salsa I have ever tasted. After everybody ate and some of the families with small children went home, the core crew and group of friends really cut loose. They had a cigar sampling and I served Strawberry Margaritas, Cosmos, and a whole bunch of Jack Daniels. Jack seems to be a favorite at almost every party I do, and I almost always run out of it.  Some of the guests brought a bottle of Ron Zacapa 23 year old Guatemalan rum and I served chilled shots of that.  I finally returned from the Southbay after one AM, and it was another successful party for Shaken Not Stirred.

Last week was kind of a tough week for me with the business of bartending. I had some cancellations, and people drop out that I had been working hard to book parties with. It just seemed that everything was going wrong. I know that will change. I have been very lucky with this bartending business so far and have had nothing but good experiences with the jobs I have done. I have another party back in the Southbay

Torrance garage bar

Torrance garage bar

Well stocked beer refrigerator

Well stocked beer refrigerator

Smoking is allowed!

Smoking is allowed!

in Palos Verdes next week, and a wedding in Filmore later this month. I am still available on the the May 31, and hope to get event for that date.