Tag Archives: theme party

Burbank Surprise Birthday Party

30 Jan

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.


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.


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.

The Pre-Wedding Cocktail Party

10 Apr

Legacy Villas in La Quinta

On Friday I drove to La Quinta to bartend a pre-wedding cocktail party at Legacy Villas in La Quinta. The forecast called for showers, and the sky was brooding, but so far this season I have gotten lucky every time with my outdoor parties. The cocktail party had 125 guests and I was there to bartend it alone.  I set up my portable bar in the courtyard of the Legacy Villas clubhouse.

Many of these weddings I have done recently have guests coming in from all over the country and they make a weekend of it. They usually have a party on Friday night, and then the wedding on Saturday, with a reception, and then a pool party on Sunday before everyone goes back home on Monday. The Palm Springs area is perfect for this kind of thing, and many of the rental homes available are set up for it.

For this particular pre-wedding cocktail party, I served regular margaritas, and spicy jalapeno margaritas. They way I was able to do that for a party with this many people, was to premake the margaritas in beverage dispensers. That worked pretty well, and then the guests self served their beer, and I served wine, soft drinks and some standard vodka drinks.


Pre-made margaritas in La Quinta

The line was long and revolving, and by the end I completely served out of wine and beer, and there was very little tequila and vodka left. Everything ran out about fifteen minutes before the party was to end, so I guess it worked out fine. I had made a shopping list for the host, and the budget for all beverages and cups was just over $500.


Portable bar in courtyard

Pre-Wedding Cocktail Party Ideas

  • Usually the day before the wedding
  • More casual
  • Shorter than the reception
  • Simple drinks
  • Hire a bartender


    Friends enjoying pre-wedding cocktail party

It was a fast three hours, and I quickly packed up, because on Saturday , Shaken Not Stirred had contracted to provide bartending services to a wedding, also in La Quinta. As I have mentioned many times, I love going out to Coachella Valley to bartend, and I am sure I will return many times.  I do need some reviews on my Palm Springs Yelp page that I just started. Next weekend I have a birthday party booked in Torrance on Friday, and then a Southern themed birthday party in Encino on Saturday.


Clubhouse courtyard perfect for hosting parties

Los Angeles Loft Party

20 Jul
Bartender and hosts in Los Angeles loft

Bartender and hosts in Los Angeles loft

I was on vacation in Montana for a week and when I returned I had a birthday party to bartend in a Los Angeles loft overlooking MacArthur Park. I had contracted to bartend a different party months earlier, and the host had to cancel because she got very ill. I told her at the time, that when she was ready, I would apply her initial deposit for another party at a later date. She finally called me, was doing much better and scheduled the party for last Saturday.

I state on my website that deposits are nonrefundable, but I of course make exceptions. There are many reasons that hosts cancel parties that are beyond anyone’s control. I recently had a host cancel a pool party because a cold front with rain happened to roll in that day.  I require deposits for parties because it protects me somewhat if a party does cancel, but it also protects the host, insuring that I will hold that date for them.

Guests mingle in Los Angeles loft

Guests mingle in Los Angeles loft

Saturday’s party was held in an 11th story loft in the Cement Building overlooking MacArthur Park near downtown Los Angeles. The party was based around a “Kill Bill,” theme, and I developed a bar menu based on the different characters in “Kill Bill.” The guests arrived dressed in Kill Bill garb, and I congratulate the two hosts for their authentic costumes. I even wore a Japanese head scarf, and I looked like Christopher Walken in the “Deer Hunter.”

View of MacArthur Park from Cement Building

View of MacArthur Park from Cement Building

I wore the headdress down to the liquor store to buy ice. I went to a small liquor store a block away and was purposely bumped into by a gang member as I was walking out. I didn’t have time to deal with the egregious act of disrespect like I probably would have in the past and just kept going. When I got back to the building where the party was being held, the manager of the building told me it was probably a member of the notorious MS13 gang from El Salvador that controls the neighborhood.  “They aren’t too happy this neighborhood is being gentrified,” he told me.

MS 13 gang members

MS 13 gang members

Friday, I am off to Palm Springs to bartend a bachelorette party, then on Saturday, I am bartending a birthday party in Long Beach for a repeat customer.  After that, I have a wedding lined up in Malibu, and a birthday party in Marina Del Rey. The summer is flying by for Shaken Not Stirred.