Tag Archives: surprise birthday party

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.

Five Events in Two Weeks: From the Mountains to the Sea

19 Sep

I have been so busy doing the actual work or running a bartending service, I have neglected doing my blog posts. Shaken Not Stirred has provided bartending services at events in Fillmore, San Diego, Bermuda Dunes, Valley Village, and Studio City over the past two weeks. The events included a wedding, a corporate event, a bachelorette party, and two birthday parties. I did some traveling and two of the events were within 10 minutes of my house.

Fillmore Wedding

I have done a couple of events in the town of Fillmore in Ventura County. It is always nice going out there and it is a small town of 14,000 people that is not on any major freeway. The wedding was held at the City Hall, just next to the old train station in the center of town. It was a perfect day for a wedding, and the they had the city hall decorated real nice.

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Fillmore City Hall

I set up my portable bar on the side of the courtyard and served drinks for approximately 150 people. The host rented a margarita machine, which I had never used before. It seemed easy enough, but it presented many problems. First of all, it kept causing the breaker to switch off, because it pulled so much power. Then it started leaking and leaked out half of its contents before I could get it to stop. It takes at least two hours for the liquid to get slushy, and then the drinks don’t taste very good. I wouldn’t recommend. Other than that, it was a very nice wedding in an idyllic setting.

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Margarita Machine – I don’t recommend

San Diego Corporate Event

I don’t try to get a lot of work in San Diego, because it can be an odyssey getting there and back from the SFV. One of my corporate clients asked me to go down there, and of course I couldn’t refuse. I have done several events for this company in orange county. They are usually product launch events, as was this one. I served drinks for about 100 people. Another successful corporate event.

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San Diego Product Launch

Bermuda Dunes Bachelorette Party

On Friday I drove to Bermuda Dunes to bartend a bachelorette party. Have you ever tried to spell the word “bachelorette”? The host wanted specialty cocktails that required a bit of preparation.  One of the drinks was a watermelon/cucumber margarita. I premade the mix for that using fresh ingredients.  We discovered at the party that the drink benefitted from fresh jalapenos. The ladies had six bottles of booze and wondered if that would be enough for nine people. “If you drink all of that booze, you will be in the hospital. Well, they went through 90 percent of it, and they all were still alive when I left. They loved the drinks.septem4

Valley Village Birthday Party

I only had to drive five minutes from my house to do this party. The hosts have a really nice house in Valley Village with a very smartly landscaped yard that is perfect for entertaining. I made my special jalapeno margarita mix, but unfortunately did not bring enough. There were 70 guests and everybody wanted that for their first round. I was out of that in one hour. So the host had to run and get more supplies. I made the French 75, classic champagne cocktail and was surprised how many of those I served. I want to give a shout out to Salinas Churros that were there. They had an incredible churro cart that they built themselves and their churros were delicious. The churro cart was a big hit.  I served drinks until 2 am and until almost all of the booze was gone. Went through at least 10 bottles of tequila.

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Rager in Valley Village

Studio City Surprise Birthday Party

On Sunday I ended the week by bartending a surprise birthday party in the hills of Studio City. This was a referral from another job I did, which I always appreciate. This was a very mellow family event and kids were there swimming. They had a life guard,  which is always a good idea. I served margaritas, Moscow mules, and beer. It was a very mellow event, which I was grateful for after the two ragers I did before.

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Hills of Studio City

This coming week I have two weekday corporate events in Woodland Hills and West Hollywood. I have three events on Saturday and am sending multiple bartenders out to Mission Viejo, Villa Park, and Silverlake. Shaken Not Stirred has booked 17 events in September and the month is just flying by. I have events in Culver City, Burbank, and La Verne before I close out the month of September 2017. Follow us on Instagram.

 

Burbank Surprise Birthday Party

30 Jan
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Friends and family pose for picture

 

On Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred provided bar catering at a Burbank surprise birthday party. This was no ordinary surprise birthday party – the birthday boy’s wife, family, and friends really made a grand production out of it. The party took place at the place of business belonging to the guest of honor, and I’m sure keeping the whole thing a surprise was no easy task.

These were show biz people and they know how to put on a big production. They had a stage, professional lighting, audio visual, and a professionally done video in honor of the birthday boy’s 60th birthday. The theme was variety show, with trivia questions, and testimonials from friends who could not attend. The guest of honor was pleasantly surprised as he stepped into production, and he quickly stepped right into it and got right into the swing of things, like a true pro.

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Guest of honor mingles with guests

I had my portable bar set up in the corner and made drinks for approximately 80 people. I kept pretty busy for most of the night. I had made a shopping list for the host, and was nervous because we almost ran out of vodka and cups. I guess from now on, I need to double the amount of vodka for every shopping list, because that is what most people request.

Plan a Surprise Birthday Party

  • Hire a Bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Produce a video
  • Have an interactive game
  • Serve great food

They had a food truck outside serving food, and I forgot to get a card from them. They served great food, as so many food trucks in Los Angeles do – you have to be very good to be competitive in this market. One of the family members was a bartender, so he took over for me while I took a quick break to eat. Overall, it was a fantastic surprise birthday party, and I’m sure the guest of honor will cherish it for years to come.

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Fish in a barrel

Next weekend I had two events scheduled and both cancelled. That is the first time that has ever happened to me. That is why I must take deposits for every party. Luckily, I picked up another party for Saturday night in Stevenson Ranch from one of my repeat clients. I still have super Bowl Sunday available, and it is possible that I will pick up something this week. Please follow us on Facebook, if you haven’t done so already.

Los Angeles Bar Service at Two January Parties

17 Jan
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Friends and family surprise guest of honor

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.

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Beautiful day and ice sculpture at surprise party 

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
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    Bar setup in Beverly Hills

    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.

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    Dinner party in Beverly Hills

    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.

Irvine Surprise Birthday Party

28 Nov
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First rainbow of the season over East LA

Saturday I drove to Irvine to providing bartending service for a surprise birthday party. It was raining pretty hard that morning and was one of the biggest rains of the season yet, so I left plenty early. I hate being late, and I think I have only been late once in over 300 events I have done, and I was 15 minutes late due to traffic. Going to Orange County from LA can be problematic, especially on the 5 freeway. On Saturday, I made it in plenty of time.

The occasion was a surprise 60th birthday party and it was held at the birthday girl’s home, unknown to her. I arrived an hour early to set up and family members were rushing around trying to get the house ready. They were nervous, because guests were trickling in slowly and they were afraid the birthday girl would arrive home before most of the guests arrived. They were able to stall her somehow, and nearly 100 guests arrived to genuinely surprise her.   

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Guests gather at surprise birthday party

I had my portable bar setup in a room off the kitchen. I served Moscow Mules and Margaritas. I told the host to buy enough alcohol for 100 people, but there weren’t a lot of drinkers. Many of the guests only wanted water. I usually make shopping list assuming that there will be alot of heavy drinkers, and often there are. The good thing about extra liquor is that it doesn’t expire or go bad.

Surprise Birthday Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Keep the secret
  • Serve great food

I told the host that anybody who gets a surprise birthday party is truly blessed – not everybody gets one. I have never had one thrown in my honor. At this Irvine surprise birthday party, the guest of honor was totally surprised and grateful. Her niece had done much of the planning and had created a cool video to congratulate her aunt and show her appreciation. Traditional Indian food was served.

This coming weekend I will be returning to Orange County to bartend a holiday party in Villa Park. Another bartender will be going to Valley Village to bartend another holiday party on behalf of Shaken Not Stirred. December is usually my busiest month and it is shaping up that way this year too. New Year’s Eve is still available, so it will be interesting to see where I will end up this year.