Tag Archives: Southern California

Southern California Event Business is Booming

8 Nov

The Southern California event business is really taking off as the economy heats up. There are actually more events than there are bartenders. When I first started doing this as my own business – the competition was fierce. I had to scrap for every event that I got. Now, it seems there are way more events coming up than there are bartenders to do them. 

I used to write a blog post about every event that I did. Now, I do so many events that it is hard to keep up with the blog posts. Shaken Not Stirred has provided bartending service recently at corporate events in West Hollywood recently, a fundraiser in Mid City LA, a huge Halloween party in San Bernardino, and a very nice wedding in Coachella. I will recap the bigger events here.

San Bernardino Halloween Party

Saturday, October 28th was probably the biggest party night of the whole year in Southern California. I had so many requests for Halloween parties, but this one I booked months in advance. The hosts of this party do it up big. They literally spend months decorating their workshop into a Halloween extravaganza. Guests come in from all over the country to attend.

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Shots!

This was the first year that the host hired professional bartenders, and I think he was quite pleased with us. We served all kinds of drinks and shots and managed the liquor inventory. Guests self served themselves beer and frozen margaritas, but we kept busy from 9pm until 4:30 am. Great party and I hope we are asked to return next year.

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Fellow bartender, Thomas

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More shots

Mid City LA Fundraiser

I was referred to the hosts of this event from another client, which is always nice. They wanted me to purchase all of the alcohol, and that is a service I provide in some cases. They were expecting 125 guests, so I recommended they have two bartenders, and I made a list of alcohol and supplies they would need.

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Live music at Gallery 38

The event was held at Gallery 38 on West Adams Boulevard, mid city. Gallery 38 is a somewhat small space and will not really accommodate 125 people. So, only about 75 showed up and that was just right. I felt bad that there was so much alcohol left over, but they can use that at another event.

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Friends gather for a drink

The fundraiser was to benefit Homeboy Industries, a nonprofit that helps former gang members transition back into society after serving time in prison. Artists donated art works to the cause and they were on display on the walls of Gallery 38. They also had poetry readings and live music. It was a fantastic event and I was happy to be present for it.

Coachella Wedding

This was my third wedding at the Corona Yacht Club in Coachella. It is a great venue on a secluded ranch just south of the ten freeway. This venue has everything a couple could want for a private wedding. The photo opportunities alone at the venue make it worthwhile.

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The wedding party

For this wedding, they had us set up a bar on the lawn near the ceremony for the cocktail hour. We served beer and wine to the guests for an hour or so, and then moved it to the main bar where we served cocktails for the rest of the night. I hired a bartender local to the area, and he worked out great helping me, and I will be sure to use him again.

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Newly married couple

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shots!

This weekend so far I have an eighties themed party in Studio City, and a birthday party in Porter Ranch scheduled. Please follow us on Instagram.

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.

July is Wedding Season for Shaken Not Stirred

10 Jul
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Wedding ceremony on backyard deck

Shaken Not Stirred started the July Wedding season with two memorable weddings last weekend. On Friday I traveled to San Diego and did a fantastic backyard wedding at a private home in the University Heights neighborhood. On Saturday I returned to Los Angeles and bartended a wedding at the Reptacular Ranch in the hills above Sylmar. It was a very hot weekend temperature wise, so I had my challenges.

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Groom and groomsmen waiting to proceed..

I don’t do many events in San Diego, but I do a few a year when they are worthwhile, and the University Heights wedding was one of those. The house where the wedding was held sits on quiet street that overlooks Mission Valley and the 8 freeway. They had the backyard decorated very nicely and chairs set up on a deck for the ceremony. I setup my portable bar in a corner of the yard and the hosts were kind enough to provide me with an umbrella. It was pretty hot for San Diego, but there was an ocean breeze.

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Kicks Band perform at wedding

After the ceremony ended, the guests and wedding participants filed up to the bar and I served a variety of mixed drinks – the most popular being the Long Island Ice Tea. Long Island Ice Teas are a labor intensive drink when you are making them one at a time, so I always make big batches of them when people are drinking them. Old Town Catering provided the food and they did a very good job. Kicks Band provided live music, and they were very good. The hosts asked me to stay two extra hours and I was happy to do so.

Wedding Season in Southern California

  • April Until October
  • Hire a bartender
  • Book early
  • Consider a backyard wedding
  • Make it memorable

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    Wedding party at Reptacular Ranch

I had a quick turnaround time and to hustle back to LA to do the wedding at Reptacular Ranch. The ranch is in the hills above Sylmar and is quite isolated from everything. You have to drive a good ten minutes off any main road up a winding canyon road to reach the ranch. The temperature was well over 100 and I brought 200 lbs of ice to last the night – it only lasted an hour and a half. I had another bartender, Matt, with me, so I drove back down the hill and got another 140 lbs of ice, which ended up being just enough to finish the night out.

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Bouquet toss

There were 125 guests at the wedding, so Matt and I stayed pretty busy slinging drinks until 11 pm. I didn’t have a chance to get the caterer’s info, but the food was pretty good, and DJ did a great job. This week I am in Montana visiting family, but have another wedding scheduled in Eagle rock when I return, and a corporate event in Burbank. Follow Shaken Not Stirred on Instagram.

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Shots!

 

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

Event Bartender Covers Wide Territory of Southern California

5 Mar
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Guests enjoy view in Hermosa Beach

Friday and Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles event bartender covered Southern California from the mountains to the sea. On Friday, I bartended a surprise birthday party on the rooftop of a Hermosa Beach office building with an amazing view and then on Saturday I traveled to Palm Springs to bartend another wedding at the Galvan Estate. I also dispatched another bartender to bartend a fundraiser in Tarzana.

I lived in Hermosa Beach for years and I always love to return there. I was hired to bartend this surprise party by a guest from another party I did recently. The 50th surprise birthday party was held on the rooftop of a new office complex on Pier Avenue just a block from my old apartment. It was a very nice day in Hermosa Beach for a rooftop party. I had limited time to set up, but with the help of the host, made it no problem.

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Hermosa Beach at dusk

Southern California Event Bartender

  • Covers all counties in Southern California
  • Provides bartending for weddings
  • Birthday parties and corporate events
  • Provides portable bar

I poured Cadillac Margaritas and Moscow Mules for approximately 30 guests. The birthday boy was surprised and pleased when he stepped onto the deck and saw his friends and family members waiting with a taco cart, bartender, and photo booth. Guac Taco provided the taco catering. It was a very nice evening and I think a memorable one for the guest of honor to mark his 50th birthday milestone.

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Father escorts bride at Galvan Estate wedding

On Saturday I drove out to Palm Springs to bartend a wedding reception. I was surprised at how green the area was after all the rain. I have never seen it that green before. I thought I recognized the address, and sure enough it was the Galvan Estate, where I have bartended before. It is a great place to throw a wedding. This particular wedding had about 100 guests and I made simple mixed drinks for the crowd and poured a lot of shots for the members of the wedding party.

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Staff from Fusion Flair prepares to serve first course

Fusion Flair of Palm Springs provided the catering, and they served up some excellent sea bass and filets. I will return to Palm Springs again next weekend to bartend a cocktail party, and then have events scheduled for the cities of Walnut, Brea, Oak Park, and Indian Wells later this month. As an event bartender I get to meet all kinds of great people and travel to some beautiful places in Southern California.

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Shots!

Agoura Hills Recreation Center Wedding

3 Oct
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Back view of the Agoura Hills Recreation Center

On Friday night Shaken Not Stirred visited the Agoura Hills Recreation Center to provide bartending service for a wedding reception. The newlyweds were married a week or two prior in a small ceremony, but they wanted to throw a party for their family and friends. The recreation center at Agoura Hills is a very new venue and is great for these types of events.

This wedding party had about 100 guests and I handled the crowd by myself. This is about the limit for one bartender. I once did a wedding of 160 people and that was the absolute limit. The guests just don’t get very good service when there is only one bartender and that many people. On Friday I think I handled 100 people pretty well, but it was intense at times, because there is no break and the people just keep coming in waves.

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Dining room at the Agoura Hills Rec Center

I served some easy cocktails that the bride and groom had decided on. I served completely out of vodka by the end of the night and served a lot of red and white wine. It is now the season that wine becomes more popular as the temps start to cool down. The weather was perfect on Friday for this party.

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Shots!

Agoura Recreation Center Event Space

  • Large seating capacity
  • Ample free parking
  • Large dance floor
  • Friendly staff and security
  • Nice hilltop views

The Agoura Hills Recreation Center is a great venue and I hope to return there again. I had a quick turnaround after the wedding party because I had to get up the next morning and drive to Indian Wells to bartend a daytime two day pool party.  Next weekend I have nothing scheduled, but will surely be going somewhere. The fun is in not knowing exactly where in Southern California I will end up.

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Shots 2!

Acton Labor Day Weekend Party

7 Sep
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Wild flowers in Acton

On Sunday, after doing a big wedding in New Cuyama, I drove back to LA and then to Acton to bartend a Labor Day weekend party. In many parts of the country, Labor Day weekend signifies the end of summer; in Southern California, we usually have a few more weeks to go. This summer in Los Angeles it has not been that hot, and it even got a little chilly on Sunday after the sun went down.

This particular party in Acton was a family pool party, and family members had come in from all over the country to attend. As I talked to some of the guests from other parts of the country, I felt very grateful to be living in Southern California because of the opportunities we have here and of course the weather. There are many benefits to living here, but of course there are many cons as well. I obviously think the benefits outweigh the cons, at least for now.

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A “guest” relaxes on the lawn at Acton Labor Day Party

I made blended margaritas, Bay Breeze, and a few other drinks. One of the guests was a former bartender and he invented a drink while I was there he called the “Nicky.” The Nicky has rum, banana liqueur, cranberry juice, splash of pineapple, and a splash of triple sec. A drink like that is too sweet for my tastes, but many of the guests liked it. The Banana liqueur, 99 Bananas, is 99 proof by the way, so don’t let its sweet taste fool you.  

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Family and friends enjoy Labor Day Weekend in Acton

Labor Day Weekend Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Invite a wide range of people
  • Music makes the party
  • Serve great food

Lorraine’s Catering (818) 233-4647 provided the food and they made some great meat quesadillas and tacos. I know many of the taco vendors make cheese quesadillas, but most have know meat in them. Lorraine’s pork quesadilla was a real treat and I saw many people going back for seconds. Lorraine actually hired me to bartend a party for her in October and paid me a deposit on the spot. Always love when I book other parties while doing a party.

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Shots!

This coming weekend I will be traveling to Altadena on Friday night to bartend a 25th birthday party, and I will be making 90’s themed cocktails, and then on Saturday I will be returning to Acton to provide bartending services at a backyard wedding. I have to promote my social media better, so please like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.