Tag Archives: Westlake Village

Newport Beach Post Wedding Reception

25 Oct
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View from Newport Beach Clubhouse

Last Saturday Shaken Not Stirred traveled to Newport Beach to bartend a post wedding reception at a condo association club house. The couple was married earlier in Hawaii and most of their family and friends couldn’t be there, so they held a reception in Newport Beach for that reason.

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8 year old bar flies

Many of these condo communities and apartment complexes have club houses where the residents can hold parties. This particular club house was very nice and it overlooked Newport Beach with an ocean view. It had a kitchen and a built in bar. The reception was Hawaiian themed and I served Pina Coladas and Mai Tais. They catered in Hawaiian food.  

Like any wedding reception, family member and friends made speeches. One of the groom’s sons made a memorable speech when he said something to the effect that “his dad seems much happier since he met his new wife.” I talked to the groom and he said he had been single for 15 years since his last divorce, and never thought he would be married again. I guess there is hope for me too. I think everyone had fun at the reception and I served a bunch of shots.

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Shots!

Corporate Events

I have done a bunch of corporate events recently. I did a grand opening at a warehouse in Santa Fe Springs where they demonstrated new new products. I served beer and they hired a caterer to grill steaks. I talked quite a bit to the caterer and hope to work with him again. He has lived and worked all over the world and is a master at many different cuisines. I hope to work with him again. He is Christopher at First Place Cuisine.

Tomorrow I will be doing two corporate events at retail stores on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, and then again on Friday. On Saturday I will be bartending an all night Halloween party in San Bernardino. Next week I have events scheduled in mid city Los Angeles, Westlake Village, and Coachella. Follow us on Instagram.

Gingerbread Boutique and Silverlake Birthday Party

11 Nov
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View of dry Silverlake Reservoir

Last week I provided bartending service at the annual Gingerbread Boutique in Oak Park, and then on Friday bartended a birthday party in Silverlake. Both of these were repeat clients and it certainly nice to not have to work so hard drumming up business. So far I have several parties booked this month and next month and nearly all of them are repeat clients or referrals.  Shaken Not Stirred must be doing something right.

This was my third time bartending at the Gingerbread Boutique. The Westlake Village Junior Women’s Club hosts the event every year and it is kind of a pre-Christmas season bazaar, and is usually quite busy. I brought another bartender to the event as I always do, and this year we served only champagne. We went through five cases of champagne by the end of the night.

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Guests mingle in Silverlake

On Friday, I drove to Silverlake to bartend a 75th birthday party at a hilltop home overlooking the now empty Silverlake reservoir. The weather has been fantastic for November in Los Angeles, so we were able to set up the bar outside this year. I served many martinis in real martini glasses and I think everyone had a great time.

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Bar setup in Silverlake

Tomorrow I am going to my old stomping grounds in Hermosa Beach to bartend a birthday party. They really like to party in Hermosa, I can attest to that, so I expect a hard drinking crowd. Next week I am doing two corporate events in Venice (repeat business) and then a referral job in Thousand Oaks. I will have my first job in the city of Bell later this month and then the real Holiday season begins.

La Bartender in Orange County for Two Parties

31 Oct
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Metropolis themed Halloween party in Orange

Shaken Not Stirred, the LA bartender service was in Orange County last weekend to service two big parties. This was Halloween weekend for most people in Southern California and most of the Halloween parties were held Saturday night. I can’t tell you how many calls I had from people wanting bartenders at the last moment. My client was smart and booked me months ago.

The Halloween party in the city of Orange I guess is an annual event, but this was my first time doing it. They had the house decorated very nicely with a Metropolis, speakeasy type theme. I was nervous and arrived plenty early to get things set up. My motto for bartending is be prepared. I was nervous because the bartender who was supposed o work with me on this party dropped out at the last minute. I had to use a bartender I had never used before and I was afraid he was going to suck. I got a barback too that I had never used before.

The extra bartender showed up early which was a good sign and he brought a big cooler with him. I think he did a good job, but don’t know for sure because once the party started we were so busy at our seperate bars we didn’t have a moment to spare. At most times during the night I had a line of people leading up to the bar. The barback showed on time and helped us alot. We served out of almost everything by the end of the night. We used almost 300lbs of ice.

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Shots!

LA Bartender Service

  • Birthday parties and anniversaries
  • Corporate events
  • Weddings
  • Holiday parties
  • Openings
  • Reunions

One thing I want to mention was the entertainment, Phil Shane. He was just incredible and I guess he is kind of an Orange County legend. He can sing Elvis better than Elvis, and did a whole range of Elvis songs, Jimmy Buffett, Neil Diamond, Conway Twitty, and many other classics. The guy did not singing the entire five hours I was there. He was a genuine human juke box. At the end of the party he came up to me and tipped me, because I kept sending him drinks. I told him, that it was me that should be tipping him.

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Some of the ladies at Laguna Beach Reunion

I stayed at a motel in OC Saturday night because on Sunday I had to do a reunion at the Laguna Beach Women’s Club. The reunion was for a group of ladies that went to a Catholic high school in Tehran, Iran in the seventies. Their families had to leave the country after the Iranian revolution in 1979. So, many of the ladies traveled from far and wide to attend this event.

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Vintage photo at Laguna Beach Women’s Club

They had a great time and danced to traditional Persian music and ate traditional Persian food. I served Mojitos and margaritas, and I helped clear the plates from the dinner. I drove back to LA after the party and was dog tired. I was supposed to do another event tonight (Halloween), but they cancelled this morning. I was just as glad. The LA bartender had a full weekend. This week I am bartending an event I have done twice previously – the Gingerbread Boutique in Westlake Village. Then on Friday I am returning to Silver Lake to bartend a birthday party that I also did last year.

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Laguna Beach after the rain

Oak Park Fundraiser Boutique

8 Nov

The Westlake Village Junior Women’s Club held their annual fundraiser boutique at St. Maixilmilian Kolbe Church in Oak Park. Shaken Not Stirred provided bartenders and served wine to approximately 400 guests. The church has a very nice event space where dozens of vendors set up shop for the “Gingerbread Boutique” that serves as a fundraiser for the women’s group and kicks off the holiday shopping season.

We served over seven cases of wine during the four hour period. We were serving Zinfindel, Cabernet, and Chardonay. I recommended two bartenders to the host because there were over two hundred guests. As it turned out, I think I could have handled it myself because the guests filtered in over the course of the night. There was never a line of people waiting to be served. We steadily served people during the four hour period.

Stonefire Grill of Thousand Oaks provided the catering and they had some very interesting and tasty food, including a cauliflower salad that was just excellent. I have done several of these events and hope to more of them as the holiday season progresses. I love bartending events on weekdays. I have one office party scheduled on a Wednesday in Palm Springs next month. Hopefully I can book something else in that area on Tuesday or Thursday that same week. Shaken Not Stirred provides bartenders and servers for fundraisers, office parties, corporate events, and openings, among other events.

Tonight I am traveling to Woodland Hills to bartend a birthday party. I will be serving Lemon Drops, Cucumber martinis, and classic martinis. I really like a making martinis and am pretty good at it. I really like using real martini glasses as well, which I will be doing tonight. Next weekend I am bartending a 21st birthday party at a loft in downtown Los Angeles, which should be interesting. If you are planning a holiday party and have not yet booked a bartender – don’t wait. Contact me today and put down a small deposit. I will hold the date for you.

Bartender modeling wine

Bartender modeling wine

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Palm Springs November Pool Party

3 Nov
Guests mingle poolside

Guests mingle poolside

Joshua Tree scenery

Joshua Tree scenery

After sundown

After sundown

What is in those Mojitos???

What is in those Mojitos???

Saturday night I traveled to Palm Springs to bartend a November pool party. What is wrong with that sentence? Well, most areas of the United States are not conducive to pool parties on November first, and actually Palm Springs usually isn’t.  In fact, Saturday was probably the first cold and windy day of the season, but the air temperature was probably around 70, and they had the pool warmed to bathwater temperature. Many of the guests were from NYC and even across the pond – the UK, so this was a treat for them.

I set up my portable bar next to the pool and I served Mojitos, Cosmos, and Cadillac Margaritas. The party was actually kind of a late wedding party for the hosts, and a house warming party for their Palm Springs house. They use the house as a vacation rental, and were taking advantage of an open weekend. I have bartended many parties at similar rental units around Palm Springs. People from the colder regions love them, and I certainly understand why. Soho Tacos catered the party with their taco cart and I have worked with them before. They make some excellent fish tacos.

I bartend parties in Palm Springs about once a month. I like going out there as kind of a paid vacation. I have a motel that is reasonable where I stay, and I just enjoy myself. There is something about getting away to the desert that cleanses my soul. This time, I had a new girl, Brier, who helped me. She live out there and I am glad to have a new contact in the Coachella Valley. The hosts had here taking pictures with a point and shoot camera. I have another party scheduled in Indian Wells in December and hope to book some others back to back.

The Palm Springs pool party didn’t really start happening until everybody jumped in the pool. Then the liquor started flowing. I brought drinks to people in the pool and was happy to do so. I like bartending parties where they keep me busy. It was another very successful event and I think everybody had a good time.

The next day, instead of driving straight back to Los Angeles, I decided to visit Joshua Tree National Park. Wow, what a fantastic place. I was so glad to have done that. It is one of those things that I always wanted to do, but never made the time. I highly recommend and have included one of the pictures here. This coming week I have a corporate event scheduled in Westlake Village and another birthday party on Saturday in Woodland Hills, in the wonderful San Fernando Valley where I call home.

Cherry Valley Wedding

26 Oct

Saturday night, shaken Not Stirred dispatched two bartenders to Cherry Valley to man the bar at a wedding at the scenic Edward Dean Museum. Cherry Valley is just a little west of the Morongo Casino at the base of the hills. Approximately 130 guests gathered at the museum to celebrate the wedding. The museum has a terrace area and stage where they set up the bar and tables and the weather was perfect for an October wedding.

We were scheduled to arrive at four to set up the bar and start serving at five. Traffic was heavy and we arrived right on time. The ceremony ended earlier than expected and guests started lining up for cocktails at about 4:30 before were done setting up. We handled it and served everyone in the line pretty fast, but that shows how important being on time is. Had we been fifteen or twenty minutes late it would have been a disaster. I never like cutting it that close and that is why when I travel long distances, I like to get into the area two or three hours before the event. I have NEVER been late to an event yet, and don’t intend to start doing so.  My son, Willie assisted me and was invaluable as always.

We served Cotton Candy martinis and White Russians (Caucasians) as specialty drinks. Fortunately, we had real martini glasses. The Cotton Candy martini is made with vodka, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, and then topped off with a wisp of cotton candy. It sounded a bit sweet for me, but was popular with the ladies. The Caucasian, as the Big Leibowski calls them, is vodka, Kahlua, and cream. That one you have to be careful with if drinking. It has a habit of sneaking up on you and biting you right in the ass. We drained a sixteen gallon keg right about the time the party was over.

The wedding seemed to be a grand success. The bride and groom looked very happy together and I wish them the absolute best. The venue required that the place be cleared by 11pm, and so the wedding party ended abruptly at 10, and everyone helped break the whole thing down. It was amazing, that within minutes all of the tables and everything was cleared.

Next weekend I am driving back out that way again to bartend a birthday party in Palm Springs. I have more event scheduled in Woodland Hills, Westlake Village, and Orange County later in November. Then the busy Christmas party season begins.

 

Cherry Valley

Cherry Valley

Tables set up at Edward Dean Museum

Tables set up at Edward Dean Museum

Willie guarding the tip jar

Willie guarding the tip jar

The bouquet toss

The bouquet toss

Palmdale Grand Opening Bartender

25 Oct
Rob bartending in Palmdale

Rob bartending in Palmdale

Palmdale Mayor, James Ledford Jr.

Palmdale Mayor, James Ledford Jr.

Rob getting an awesome chair massage

Rob getting an awesome chair massage

Shaken Not Stirred traveled to Palmdale again Friday to bartend the grand opening of a new business. This was strictly a non-alcoholic event and I served virgin Pina Colladas, and Cucumber Coolers, along with several other soft drinks. I have another non-alcoholic event scheduled next month, and I have several interesting drink recipes I am going to try on that one. I brought my portable bar to the Palmdale grand opening, and a server.

The mayor of Palmdale, James Ledford Jr. was on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony. He must be doing something right because he has served 11 terms as mayor of that city. I have got to give it to him, he delivered a pretty articulate and smooth speech for the ribbon cutting ceremony. He certainly has the public speaking skills of a seasoned politician. It was the first grand opening/ribbon cutting ceremony I have had the pleasure of working, and I hope to do many more.

They had two massage therapists on hand at the event, who were giving complimentary chair massages to promote their service. My server and I each had a five minute massage. The girl who was working on me discovered several knots in my back and she really worked them out quickly. I must say, my back feels 100 percent better after that and I highly recommend them, Allied Physical Medicine, in Palmdale.

The company that was having the grand opening is MY CARE Professionals, and they provide in home care for seniors in Los Angeles County. The directors of the company seemed like super people and I wish them the best with their new office. I have done many corporate events in the past year, and am bartending a non-profit event in Westlake village next week.

After I post this, I will start preparing for a wedding today in Cherry Valley at the Edward Dean Museum. This will be my first time working this venue. Next weekend I will be bartending in Palm Springs on Saturday, and it would be nice to get a Halloween party there on Friday night.

 

 

Wedding Bartenders Mix it Up in Westlake Village

16 Sep

A ranch in hidden Valley near Westlake Village was the setting for a wedding with two hundred guests and two wedding bartenders. I always recommend two bartender for groups this big. Even with two bartenders, the line stretched back for fifty yards just after the ceremony. The whole night I felt like a bartender in a busy nightclub, because they just kept coming.

We served vodka drinks, margaritas, Jack Daniels, and Captain Morgan. They also had Budweiser, Shock Top, Dos Equis, 805 Ale, Stella, and Coors Light available for the guests. That was quite a beer selection and supply. They also served single serve Chardonnays, Merlots, and White Zinfindel wine by Copa. The bride wanted to charge people for the mixed drinks so people would not over drink. We charged $4 for mixed drink tickets and that worked out pretty well. They at least collected enough to pay the wedding bartenders.

The ranch was an excellent setting for a wedding, with the Santa Monica Mountains in the backdrop. The sun went down and there was a nice breeze blowing in from the ocean. The DJ, Sean Driscoll also sang a wedding song and played acoustic guitar. I have seen many DJ’s, but not many who do that. He said he had a key board as well and can do all kinds of entertaining. I was a very good DJ as well. Brook Mcleod of Poiema Photography

My son waiting for customers at bar

My son waiting for customers at bar

Wedding crasher

Wedding crasher

Shots!

Shots!

provided wedding photography.

I had spent months planning the bar menu and drink service with the bride and it was nice to see it come off so well. I think the bride and groom and all of their family member were quite happy with our service. I brought my son with me to help and I always receive many compliments about him, which makes me feel good.

This weekend, Shaken Not Served will travel to San Dimas to do a Quincinera. This is an event I booked while doing another event. I love that kind of business, when people hire me on the spot based on my service. Then I will round out the month by doing a wedding in Cathedral City at the Cree Estate. I am booking many events based on Google searches, which means this blog is working.

Private Bartender and Server in Beverly Hills

10 Sep

Last night I was the private bartender and server for a small dinner party at a Beverly Hills Estate. 12 people were in attendance. This was my third event for this particular client. I had done two cocktail parties previously where there were many more people in attendance and I had a bar set up in the backyard. This time, the host wanted me to set up my bar in the kitchen and to just ask guests what they wanted.

There were virtually no drinkers in the crowd, and I served several sparkling waters and a couple glasses of wine. I did make one of my special cucumber martinis for the host and she complimented me on it. I was starting to wonder why I was even there, so I switched into my fine dining server mode. I have worked for years as a server in fine dining restaurants, and I put that experience to use. You serve from the right hand side, pick up from the lefts, etc. You keep water and wine glasses refilled and anticipate the needs of the guests.

My point is that there is so much more to being a private bartender than just making drinks. I have had people ask me to hire them, and then it became clear talking to them, that they only wanted to make drinks a collect tips. That is such a short sighted attitude that many bartenders have. My philosophy is to be of maximum service and chances are I will be asked back time and time again.

Ella Freyinger was the private chef for this dinner party and she served up a great meal. She made an excellent mixed green salad and then served rosemary roasted chicken with cauliflower cous-cous with pomegranate and pine nuts, and then had pasta with kale pesto. An apple tart was the dessert, along with expresso. Ella said she has several private clients and also does catering for parties as big as 500 people. You can contact her at ebelle2385@gmail.com.

This weekend I will bartend a wedding in Westlake Village and am taking my son to help me. I have people contacting me every day to do parties and I am already booked two months in advance. I still have October 18th available and most Fridays and Sundays in October. I still have Friday October 31st available for a Halloween Party. I will dress up as Lloyd the Bartender again and still have the costume.

 

Wine bottles at Beverly  Hills dinner party

Wine bottles at Beverly
Hills dinner party

"I've always been the bartender"

“I’ve always been the bartender”

Beverly Hills Estate

Beverly Hills Estate

Redondo Beach 50th Birthday Party

10 Sep

The day before Labor Day I bartended a 50th birthday/End of Summer party at a home in Redondo Beach. The house was on the hill almost on the border of Palos Verdes Estates, where there is one of the most fantastic views of the South Bay and the Santa Monica Bay. As I have mentioned before, I have a lot of history in this area. There were about 40 guests at this backyard party and they had tables set up in the yard, along with a taco cart, and stage for a live band.

One of the guests brought her Margaritaville brand margarita mixer and premade margarita mix that already had the tequila added. That made it easy for me. She showed me how to operate the machine, and I made many pitchers of blended margaritas. I walked through the crowd and refilled margaritas, as the crowd and band warmed up. I also served Coronas, red wine, and made a few Blue Hawaiians, and Sea Breezes. The South Bay weather was perfect as it always is.

As the sun went down and the band got into full swing, many of the guests got out on the dance floor. I even saw an elderly lady in a wheel chair roll up to the dance floor and then get up and dance. I admired her tenacity. She refuses to quit living. What is everyone else’s excuse? The host told me that most of the people at the party didn’t know each other, but everyone was getting along great. Good food, good drinks, and excellent atmosphere make for a great party. I have done many 50th birthday parties and it really is an important milestone in anyone’s life.

The South Bay is my favorite area in the Los Angeles basin, and I know there must be hundreds of people needing bartenders for all kinds of parties and events. I love going down there and hope to do many more birthday parties, weddings, fundraisers and other events. I am late writing this blog because I went to Montana on Labor Day and stayed for a week. It was a nice escape for a week, and now it is back to business. I had a cocktail party scheduled in Beverly Hills the first day back, and then have a wedding in Westlake Village this coming Saturday.

Sunset in Redondo Beach

Sunset in Redondo Beach

No excuses!

No excuses!

Shots!

Shots!