Tag Archives: Van Nuys

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

Santa Monica 40th Birthday

30 May
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Guests arrive to Santa Monica 40th Birthday party

On Saturday I bartended a 40th birthday party in Santa Monica as I am still recovering from a fractured rib. I took a friend to help me, and am grateful to have the help, but feel like I am recovered enough to do jobs myself now. It is amazing how quickly this has gotten better, because just a week ago, I couldn’t even drive a car. I realize I am not 100 percent yet, and I am only doing the events I already have scheduled for the next few weeks.

The birthday party in Santa Monica took place on the courtyard of an apartment complex. Many apartment complexes around town have common areas or club houses where people can have parties. I set up my bar in one corner of the courtyard, and the caterer, Hampton’s Catering, set up his station right next to me.

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Barback Steve sits behind portable bar

I made Moscow Mules, Old Fashioneds, Dirty martinis, and Margaritas for about 50 guests. The way I like to make margaritas now is by using tequila, organic fresh lime juice, and a shot of agave nectar. I rim the glass with salt, and I had many fans of this simple margarita. The classic Old Fashioned was the second most popular drink of the night.

40th Birthday Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Provide good music
  • Hire a caterer
  • Backyard or courtyard party

I think parties like this are so much nicer than meeting in a restaurant to celebrate. Even with caterer, bartender, and supplies, a person can put on a party like this for under $1000. What is $1000 when it comes to celebrating such an important milestone. Of course, you can go bigger and hire a DJ or even live entertainment.

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Hampton’s Catering sets up

This weekend I believe I will be bartendting another 40th birthday party right here in Van Nuys, and then the following week I will be doing events in Orange County, and in Rolling Hills Estates. Hopefully by next month I will be back at 100 percent and fully recovered.  

Bartender for Hire Does Three More February Events

20 Feb

Last weekend Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles bartender for hire went on the road again and bartended two Orange County Events, and a San Fernando Valley bar mitzva. On Friday, the biggest rainstorm to hit Socal in years rolled in and I left plenty early to bartend a San Juan Capistrano wedding, then on Saturday I stayed in the area to bartend a 40th surprise birthday party. I drove back to the SFV and did a Van Nuys Bar Mitzvah on Sunday.

San Juan Capistrano Wedding

I got hired to do the San Juan Capistrano wedding only a couple of weeks before the event. Weddings are usually planned months in advance. The original bartender cancelled for some reason. The bride said that he had a very good reason – I hope so, because I have never cancelled an event. The bride wanted me to bring the ice, and that is usually not a problem, but the rain storm on Friday made everything very difficult. I looked on the map before I left hoping to find a supermarket nearby to buy the ice. There was nothing around. I was a bit stressed thinking I was going to be late, but I found the ice at a gas station nearby.

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Intimate home wedding

The bride and groom had rented a very nice home on the golf course for the wedding. I set up my portable bar inside the house as the rain storm raged outside. It was a small ceremony with around 50 friends and family members in attendance. They did the ceremony in the living room. I served simple mixed drinks and everything went smoothly.

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Shots!

Laguna Niguel Surprise 40th Birthday Party

On Saturday I bartended a disco themed 40th surprise birthday party in Laguna Niguel. The host told me it would be a small group and that they would be wearing disco costumes. I guess I wasn’t paying attention, or I would have come up with some kind of costume. When people started arriving it became clear to me that this was a real costume party I was the fool without a costume. Thankfully, the DJ (who didn’t have a card) had an extra wig and pair of retro sunglasses. I had a makeshift costume, but some of the guests went all out. The DJ played all disco themed/70’s music and it was great. It quickly turned into a rip roarin’ party! It was a really good time and a much bigger party than I was expecting.

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Disco themed 40th birthday party

I always think it is a great thing when an adult gets a party thrown for them. It made me decide to throw a birthday party for my kids which is coming up in April. Life is short, and these things are great highlights of one’s existence.

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Bartender in disguise

Bartender for Hire Advantages

  • Enjoy the party without worrying about bar
  • Bartender keeps area clean
  • Bartender helps with menu and shopping list
  • Guests are impressed.

Van Nuys Bar Mitzvah

On Sunday I went a couple miles from my home to warehouse in Van Nuys where they were holding a Bar Mitzvah for a 13 year olds rite of passage. I have not done too many of these parties, but I am always impressed when I do. I think this is a very important landmark in a young person’s life, and I am sorry I didn’t have one, and my kids didn’t have one. We (non Jews) have nothing like this and we are often left twisting in the wind with no direction at age 13. First of all, it shows the young person that they are very loved by all their friends and family, but also that they have a responsibility for their life and development. The young man at this Bar Mitzvah was very sweet and made a wonderful speech in front of 80 guests and didn’t seem a bit nervous. I’m sure he will go far in life.

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Wild lights at Van Nuys Bar Mitzvah

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Family members pose for picture

So far the bartender for hire has nothing scheduled for next weekend, but that will surely change. I have several events coming up in March, including a wedding in Palm Springs, birthday party in Hermosa Beach, another in Walnut, and another in Indian Wells. If you haven’t followed us on Facebook, please do.

Shaken Not Stirred Travels One Mile to Bartend Valley Glen Event

12 Jan
Guests mingle in Valley Glen

Guests mingle in Valley Glen

Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles mobile bartender broke an all time record and traveled one whole mile to bartend a baby shower in his home base of Valley Glen. Valley Glen is a fancy way of saying Van Nuys. Van Nuys gets a bad rap because of ongoing garage sales in the area. Seriously though, they have expertly designed some of these neighborhoods so that they are perfectly isolated from the mean streets of Van Nuys. There are some nice little streets in there, and the party was on one of them.

I have bartended at baby showers before and served a few mimosas. This one was not like that. This was a coed event with about forty guests, and they were drinkers. The host wanted pink signature drinks in honor of the baby, and I served strawberry Mojitos, French Kiss cocktails, and pink grapefruit martinis. The strawberry Mojito was very popular and I went through two handles of rum. It drizzled rain for awhile, then it cleared up and was nice for the rest of the night.

French Kiss Martini

French Kiss Martini

The host hired a two piece band and they played almost the entire time, four hours without a break.  The lead singer didn’t have a card, and he said he was going to email me his information and asked if I would promote him. I must say, the live music added a lot to the party, and this two piece band was better than most I have seen. Whether people realize it or not, music makes a big difference. The live music turns a hoh-hum party into something epic. I hope he does email me, because I will promote him to my clients. I forgot my camera, so didn’t get any good pictures.

Two piece band in Valley Glen

Two piece band in Valley Glen

This coming Saturday I will be bartending a fundraiser in Koreatown. I have planned this party for a few weeks now with the host, who is coming from New York City. I feel like he and I are best friends now, though we have never met. I find him refreshingly direct, compared the laid back and sometimes wishy-washy California way of doing things. Then the following week, I have another party to do in good old Valley Glen. Two parties in one month in my neighborhood – my car is not getting enough wear and tear!

LEADS Certified Bartender Serving Los Angeles

11 May

As of today, I am a LEADS certified bartender and am available to serve the greater Los Angeles area. I was certified before, but must have been half asleep because I either did not take it seriously, or I just wasn’t mature enough to listen. Today I took the class in Van Nuys and was very glad I did – my eyes were definitely opened. LEADS stands for Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs. What the class covers are the key points of the liquor laws as they pertain to businesses licensed to serve alcohol. Many of those laws also apply to citizens serving alcohol in their own homes – at private events and company parties.

As a long time bartender I have served minors before. Either I didn’t ask for their ID’s, knew they were with their parents, or received pressure from employers to serve them. After taking the LEADS class, I won’t be doing that again. In the state of California it is a high misdemeanor to serve a minor alcohol and is punishable by a $1000 fine – this goes for the bartender and/or the host of the party. Bars and restaurants are subject to permanent suspension after “three strikes”. It just isn’t worth it to serve a minor, not to mention that alcohol related accidents are by far the leading causes of teen deaths.

Another thing we covered in the class was serving obviously intoxicated people. I have done it, as most bartenders have. There is often tremendous pressure from employers and hosts to continue serving obviously drunk patrons. I will no longer take this lightly. There is a specific law against serving obviously drunk people and it also sets the bartender and the hosts up for tremendous civil liability. Bartenders need to ask a lot of questions if they feel an individual is drunk, and cut him off if necessary, while at the same time attempting to arrange for his or her safe passage home.

LEADS is not a class designed to take all of the fun out of parties, bars, and other events where alcohol is served, but instead is designed to educate bartenders and servers of their responsibility to their employers and the community. At Shaken Not Stirred we will strive to uphold all of California’s liquor laws at your private event or party. Shaken Not Stirred provides certified bartenders for weddings, pool parties, openings, fund raisers, and birthday parties throughout the LA area. Last week we did an engagement party inNorwalk, Saturday morning we are doing a wake in Palos Verdes. Shaken Not Stirred coversLong Beach, San Pedro, and Seal Beach– all the way to Santa Monica, West LA, Beverly Hills, and theSan Fernando Valley.