Tag Archives: Woodland Hills

First Three Holiday Parties in December

6 Dec
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Vine Street in December

I have 25 holiday parties scheduled so far for December, and still have some open dates available. The Christmas decorations are up and Santa even made an appearance at a December 1, company party. So, far, so good for the first three and only 22 more to go and I’m sure I will pick up more. New Year’s eve is still available and I’m holding off trying to book that, and am waiting to see if one of my repeat customers wants to do a party that night.

Woodland Hills Company Party

An engineering firm in Warner Center had their company Christmas party on December first at their company office. They had an island in the center of the office that worked perfectly as a makeshift bar. I provided glassware rentals. I can get any kind of glassware rentals my clients want. One thing that I have found, is that the guests attending parties don’t really care and are perfectly fine drinking out of plastic cups. It is nice to have real wine glasses on occasion and especially real martini glasses.

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Santa sitting on my lap

I made cucumber mint Moscow mules, and cranberry Old Fashioneds for the guests at this party. They hired a taco caterer to come and make tacos, but one thing they didn’t think about is that you can’t make tacos for 40 people inside an enclosed office space. The smoke will set the sprinklers off. They quickly came to a solution and the taco man setup on the roof of the building and brought the finished product down to serve.

Simi Valley Christmas Party

The second of December found me in Simi Valley at the home of a repeat client. They really go all out for Christmas and put up extensive decorations. They have a very nice bar inside their home and it is a pleasure to work from. I served martinis and other holiday themed cocktails to approximately 80 guests. They had a DJ and the hosts and guests danced up a storm. They brought in food from Simi Valley restaurant, Viva La Pasta.

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Christmas decorations on Simi Valley home

The host told me they may have another party before the month if over. I still have the 22cnd of the 23rd available. I am booked on Christmas Eve. December is always my busiest month and it usually slows down considerably in January. All the bartending companies will be competing for morsels until the wedding season starts again in March.

Hollywood Holiday Party

Last night I traveled to Hollywood for the third annual company holiday party of a television production company. This company has a hit television series going on its fourth season, so they have much to celebrate. They usually have over two hundred guests so that keeps two bartenders very busy for four hours.

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Hollywood company party

Pink Taquiza catered the tacos. My son helped me and we served a Pomegranate Moscow Mule. I premixed a big batch to save time serving and that worked out well. The signature cocktail was a hit and we served out of it by the end of the night. Tomorrow I have a corporate holiday event in Culver City. Friday night I am sending multiple bartenders out to locations in Hermosa Beach, and Silverlake, while I bartend a party in San Clemente. One Saturday I return to the San Fernando Valley to bartend a holiday party, and then on Sunday I go to Manhattan Beach to bartend a party for the Christmas fireworks show. Please follow us on Instagram.

 

Shaken Not Stirred Teams With Goodfella’s Tacos for Two October Events

18 Oct
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Tables set up for dinner at Sacred Sands

Last weekend Shaken Not Stirred and Goodfella’s Tacos killed it at two wedding events in two fantastic Southern California locations. On Friday we combined our services for a rehearsal dinner at a beautiful San Marino home, and then on Saturday we traveled all the way to Joshua Tree for a memorable wedding. The clients at both events were extremely happy.

I have done several events with Goodfella’s Tacos and I highly recommend them. They have an extensive menu of options that goes way beyond just tacos. Scott is highly professional and has a great crew. I am happy to be associated with him. I only hope I can help him get more business as he has done for me.

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Desert flora at Sacred Sands

The Friday event in San Marino was one part of a three event wedding weekend. The groom was from Holland and many of his friends and relatives flew in from Holland and other global locations. I served pomegranate and citrus margaritas as mariachis performed for approximately 60 guests. I enjoyed talked to the European guests and told them about my friend from Holland, who is a very popular emerging musician there, Big Pete. He fronts a band called the Red Devils, and they toured across Europe last summer with ZZ Top. I was sorry that I was not able to bartend the wedding that was happening on Saturday night, and they had contracted another catering company and bartender.

Goodfella’s Tacos Catering Options

  • Tacos
  • Kabobs
  • Burgers
  • Breakfast
  • Taco Cart

The Joshua Tree event was at an incredible venue just a short distance from the Joshua Tree National Park, called Sacred Sands. It sits atop a hill overlooking the valley and you couldn’t ask for a more beautiful location. If the wedding would have been held in September it probably would have been scorching hot, but in mid October, the weather was just perfect. It even was a bit cold after the sun went down. I served standard mixed drinks to over 100 guests and I had a helper provided by the Goodfellas. The hosts and the venue owners were very happy with our service.

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Shots!

As the holidays approach I have been inundated with calls for corporate events. I have booked several events in November and a few in December. I am doing a corporate event in Woodland Hills today, and have three in West Hollywood next week. I also have an event in Newport Beach this weekend, a Halloween Party in San Bernardino next weekend, and a wedding in Coachella the weekend after that. Please follow us on Instagram.

Three End of Summer Events in Southern California

27 Sep
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Instagram stars at West Hollywood promotion

Shaken Not Stirred wrapped up the summer of 2017 with three big events last week. I did a associate appreciation party for a law firm in Woodland Hills on Tuesday, a promotional event at a retail store in West Hollywood on Wednesday, and then traveled to Mission Viejo for a wedding on Saturday. Three more great events under my belt.

I have done many corporate events from 10 to 300 people. The law firm in Woodland Hills just opened their new office there. They invited associate professionals like CPA’s that refer clients to them. Their turnout for this event wasn’t too good, but they plan on having more events like this. I think that having a bartender is a nice touch. I served beer, wine and soft drinks. I like doing events like this one weekdays and will do as many as I can.

The next day I drove to West Hollywood to do a promotional event at a clothing store on Melrose Avenue. They invited 100 Instagram stars and gave away free clothing in exchange for promotion. A good idea, for sure. The young ladies that showed up were definitely fashionistas, and very photogenic. Some had photographers with them continuously taking pictures. I served Veuve Clicquot.  It was a fun event for sure.

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200 plus guests at Norman P. Murray Center

Bartender for Events

  • Corporate Events
  • Birthday Parties
  • Engagement parties and weddings
  • Reunions
  • Grand Openings

On Saturday I picked up a barback at the Artist’s District in Downtown LA and we drove to Mission Viejo, to the Norman P. Murray Senior Center to bartend a wedding. This is a very nice venue. It is situated in a beautiful park that is perfect for photo opportunities. The weather could not have been nicer. We set up a portable bar and served wine, beer, and soft drinks to over 200 guests. We served completely out of beer in the last hour, and were down to a few bottles of wine by the end of service. I got a note from the bride on the next day, congratulating me on my accuracy on the shopping list. They didn’t have much to carry home.

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Barback takes an order

This weekend I am doing a company party in Culver City, and then a 20 year class reunion in Burbank. I am sending another bartender to a wedding in La Verne. The busy holiday season is fast approaching. My Instagram page is gaining momentum, so please follow us.

 

A Bunch of Events, New Orleans, and Fractured Ribs

27 May
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Famous Maple Leaf Bar, New Orleans

Today is the first day I have felt like sitting at a desk and writing since returning from my trip from New Orleans and recovering from fractured ribs. I visited New Orleans for the first time last week and had an accident falling out of the hotel shower where I fractured my ribs. I returned to LA and have been laid up in severe pain this entire week – I finally feel much better today, but am not 100 percent. Shaken Not Stirred was very busy the week before I left on my trip, and I have even done a couple events since I’ve been back and haven’t written about any of them on this blog.

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Interior, Maple Leaf Bar

The week before I left on my trip I did five big events. I bartended an alumni event in Burbank, did a bris celebration in Studio City, traveled to Indian Wells to bartend a rehearsal dinner for Goodfella’s Tacos, drove back to Castaic to bartend a graduation party, and then on Sunday bartended a Mother’s Day party in Woodland Hills. I left for New Orleans the next morning. That was one of my busiest weeks since I started the company.

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Alumni event, Burbank

I went to New Orleans to attend the wedding of my friend, Jason Ricci. He is one of the best harmonica players in the world today. My accident happened on the day before the wedding. I was able to attend the wedding ceremony, but was in so much pain, had to leave shortly after and missed the big jam session at the famous Maple Leaf Bar where the wedding party was held. I was very disappointed about that. Despite my accident, I loved the city and people of New Orleans, and will return for sure. The food is incredible, and we Yankees could all learn a thing or two about Southern hospitality.

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Indian Wells Rehearsal Dinner 

The flight back was excruciating with broken ribs, and had not the nice lady sitting next to me given me a Vicodin, I can imagine the plane having to land in Nashville or somewhere because I was moaning so much. I returned on Thursday and had two upcoming gigs on Saturday and Sunday that I had no idea how I was going to complete. I could not bend down, turn my body, or lift anything above four pounds without wincing in pain.

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Mariachis perform at Castaic graduation party

I called some other bartenders and tried to get somebody to take my gigs, but could not find anybody on short notice. I decided to get a friend to help me and I could sit on a stool and mix drinks. I will never cancel a gig I have taken a deposit for, and will to the best of my ability get the job done. My friend drove me to Fontana and we got the job done and I bartended a birthday party for 60 people. It was painful, but not as bad as I thought it would be.

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Shots!

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Irvine Graduation Party 

The next day we turned around and drove to Irvine to bartend a graduation party of 100 people. Once again, we got the job done, and I couldn’t have done it without my friend, Steve, who had no previous bartending experience. While we were doing that gig, I had three other bartenders doing a fundraiser event in Beverly Hills, which came off very well I have heard.

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Guests enjoy cigars at Fontana birthday party

I spend all of last week laying around letter my ribs heal. I went to the doctor and got xrays and at least three ribs are fractured. I have several events already scheduled for this month, but am not taking on any new ones until I am completely healed. Tonight I am bartending a birthday party in Santa Monica, and my friend is coming along to help me. Next week I am doing a birthday party close to home in Van Nuys. Hopefully, by next month I will be fully recovered and ready to roll for the summer party and wedding season.

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Injured bartender in Fontana

Villa Park Dinner Party

14 Oct
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Guests mingle for cocktail hour

One of my best clients called me to provide bartending service for a Wednesday night dinner party she and her husband were hosting at their home in Villa Park. Villa Park is a very nice upscale community near the city of Orange in Orange County. The dinner was a business event and 25 guests were invited. I was there to make cocktails before dinner and assist with serving the dinner.

I have said this before, but these clients have the best backyard bar I have ever worked at. It is well stocked with top shelf liquor, and is better equipped than many restaurant bars. It is a real pleasure to work from. I was serving Veuve Clicquot champagne and many of the guests drank that at cocktail hour. It is an exceptional brand of champagne. I made a few cocktails and the catering service, Jillian Fae Chef Services, put out some amazing appetizers, including oysters on the half shell, fresh scallops, and a wonderful spread of cheeses.

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Oysters on the halfshell at Villa Park dinner party

After the cocktail party the guests moved to their tables for a four course dinner. I poured wine and kept the cocktails coming, while a waiter from the catering company started serving the dinner. When I wasn’t busy pouring wine and making drinks, I helped the waiter serve the food and clear the plates. It is something I have quite a bit of experience doing, because I worked in fine dining for years. The chef put out an excellent dinner that included a pear salad, short ribs, and many other goodies.

Dinner Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Find a caterer to go with theme
  • Invite interesting guests

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    No cheap wine served in Villa Park

The dinner party in Villa Park was a big success because it was well planned and executed. Hopefully I will return there many more times. Tomorrow I will travel to Woodland Hills to bartend a birthday party, and then next weekend I am going to Sylmar to make drinks for a 70th surprise birthday party. Call are starting to come in for the holiday season and I booked two repeat holiday parties in November yesterday. There are still many dates left in December, but they will go fast.

La Quinta Cocktail Party

11 Oct
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La Quinta Rental home across from Desert Trip

Sunday I got a last minute call to bartend a cocktail party in La Quinta. The call came at 10 am and they wanted me there by 1pm – La Quinta is 150 miles from my house. I told him I could be there by two. I put on my mobile bartender suit, loaded my cooler and bar kit and drove out there. Desert Trip, the three day music festival was going on just across the road from where I was bartending and 90,000 people were in town for that.

My job was simple, set up my portable bar by the pool and serve cocktails for an hour or two, and then serve wine at dinner. There were ten guests in from Maryland to attend the Desert Trip show and I was to serve them drinks before the show. I served Moscow Mules, Mexican Mules, and Kentucky Mules. The people that hired me were somehow connected to the Desert Trip promoters, and the guests I was serving were VIPS, also somehow connected to the promoters.

This was the second time Shaken Not Stirred went out to the Coachella Valley in two weeks. I go out there, when it is worth my while, and I always enjoy the area. The dramatic landscape just makes me feel good for some reason, and it is always nice to get a reprieve from LA. The group I was serving were all very nice and I made them all a couple of drinks a piece. This was a typical intimate cocktail party.

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Tequila shots at La Quinta cocktail party

Cocktail Party Procedure

  • Serve specialty drinks
  • Craft cocktails
  • Use appropriate glassware
  • Serve drinks on a tray

After the guests had a couple of cocktails, they all moved inside for dinner. A private chef was there and she prepared a fantastic four course dinner. She didn’t have a card and said she would email me her info, but has not done so yet. The meal included a rabbit pate appetizer, wild King Salmon filets, roasted chicken, and various fresh roasted vegetables. I served the wine and cleared the plates. I have alot of experience doing this and enjoy doing it for groups like this.

After dinner, the guests quickly left to attend the third night of Desert Trip. The Who and Rodger Waters were playing. I packed up and finished just in time to take in the presidential debate. On Wednesday I will be driving to Orange County to bartend an event for some of my best clients, and then on Saturday, I will be staying close to home and doing a birthday party in Woodland Hills.

Woodland Hills 30th Birthday Party

25 Jul
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Sun poking through the smoky sky

On Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred traveled across the smoky San Fernando Valley to bartend a 30th birthday party in Woodland Hills. The huge Sand Fire burning in Santa Clarita was pumping ash into the air and it was falling like snowflakes over the SFV. It was an ugly, hot day and seemed like we were approaching the apocalypse, but the party did go on.

The birthday girl hired me to bartend and she is a repeat customer. I bartended her wedding nearly a year ago in Malibu. I love repeat business and her and her husband couldn’t be nicer. They have a nice home on the hill just south of Ventura Boulevard with a great view of Warner Center. I set up my portable bar and table in the backyard – smoke be damned.

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Cooking steak sandwiches

As the sun went down, people forgot about the smoke, and jalapeno margaritas, Moscow Mules, and classic Old Fashioned help them do that. I brought a server with me to help out with the food. The birthday girl is from Argentina and she served empanadas, and churrasco steak sandwiches that were really good. Everyone helped out with the food.

30th Birthday Party Ideas

  • Hire a Bartender
  • Have a back yard party
  • Theme cocktails and decorations
  • Pool party

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    Birthday girl and friends celebrating 30th birthday party

Many of the guests recognized me from the wedding. Everything was going quite well, but there was one mishap. One of the guests was moving quite rapidly through the living room and ran face first into the sliding glass door and cracked it. Fortunately, it didn’t shatter and fall into a million pieces. In the guy’s defense that ran into it, that door had been open for the entire party, and someone had just closed before he ran into it. The guy was embarrassed, but it could have been worse. We have all done stuff like that.

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Shots!

This coming weekend I am bartending an anniversary party in Beverly Hills for one of my best clients. I have bartended at least ten business related parties for them, and this will be my first time doing a more personal party, so it is a great honor. The summer is flying by and people are already booking December holiday parties. Book yours now to be safe.

 

Diamond Bar Center Wedding III

20 Jul
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A bride’s final moments as a single woman

On Sunday, Shaken Not Stirred returned to the Diamond Bar Center for the third time to provide bartending services for a wedding reception. I believe the bride found me through this blog when I wrote about a previous wedding I had done at the venue. They have a very efficient system setup there for the vendors, and I have the system down.

I had done a big wedding in Solvang the night before, so I was tired after the long drive and everything, but this is wedding season in Southern California. I always like doing Sunday weddings. I had planned the bar service with the bride for several months, and made a shopping list for her. Everything was there when I arrived.

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Bride and groom at the Diamond Bar Center

They have two very nice portable bars at the Diamond Bar Center, and they are easy to setup, and move them if you have to. The plan for this wedding was to have a cocktail hour in the reception area just after the wedding ceremony, and then move the bar into the dining room while the guests were eating dinner. I was able to do that no problem and it took me less than fifteen minutes, thanks to the bar on wheels.

Diamond Bar Center Weddings

  • Nice hilltop location with scenic views
  • Large dining room can seat up to 300 guests
  • Reception area and back patio
  • Great yard for ceremonies
  • Portable bars

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    Shots!

Approximately 80 guests were in attendance and I served out of vodka fifteen minutes before the party ended. I made simple drinks and served wine and beer. Chris Christopher provided DJ services, and Belladonna Catering did the food. Another great Diamond Bar Center wedding completed.

This coming weekend I will be traveling across the San Fernando Valley to Woodland Hills to bartend a birthday party for a client I did a wedding for previously. It is always nice to get repeat business. Later this month I will be bartending an anniversary party in Beverly Hills for a couple that I have done many business cocktail parties.

Two Woodland Hills Parties

14 Jun
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Prepping bar in Woodland Hills

Saturday and Sunday I returned to my old stomping grounds of Woodland Hills to bartend two very nice parties. On Saturday I went to the home of a previous client to bartend his wife’s retirement party, as she put in 20 years of service as a PE teacher at LAUSD, teaching junior high kids (also known as hard time!) On Sunday, I went to a neighborhood just a few blocks from my old house and bartended a baby shower.

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Host gives award winning speech at retirement party

The Saturday night party was held in the backyard, and I had done a party there before. The host had everything pretty much setup for me when I arrived. A local brewer donated some kegs for the party and we had four different types of beer available. Everyone really enjoyed the beer and had nothing but good things to say about it.  The brewer had started making beer in his garage, but it grew into a business. I guess he will be opening a brewpub sometime next year in Glendale. The name is Paperback Brewing, so watch out for it.

The host is a fun guy and he made a very good speech on a megaphone about his wife’s retirement, and ended the speech by playing “Take this Job and Shove it!”. I was training, Maria, my barback to make drinks. She got pretty good at making Cadillac Margaritas, and then I showed her how to make Mai Tais. We also served some really nice French wine.

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Portable bar at Woodland Hills Baby Shower

On Sunday the baby shower party started at 1pm, so I was on location at noon to set up. I have done a few baby showers, and sometimes it’s all women, but other times everyone is included. This wedding shower was coed, and a everyone in the family showed up. I made Margaritas, Mojitos, and Moscow Mules. Traditional Mediterranean cuisine was served. The weather was just perfect, because I know that section of Woodland Hills can be one of the hottest areas in the San Fernando Valley.

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Hosts and friends at Woodland Hills baby shower

Next weekend I only have one party booked so far – a wedding in San Diego. It is supposed to be 100 degrees in LA, so hopefully it will be a bit cooler down there. Later this month I have events in Hemet and  Beverly Hills, and then the month is over. Time flies when you are having fun.  

Palmdale 21st Birthday Party

11 Jun
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Summer clouds in Palmdale

I drove up to Palmdale last night to bartend a 21st Birthday party. It was actually a dual birthday party, because the host and his son had birthdays just days apart and it was a joint celebration. I have done several parties in the Palmdale/Lancaster area, and it usually a nice drive out there.

This was a party that booked the day before, so I didn’t spend a lot of time preparing and talking to the host about it. He texted me and said they would be having Mojitos, Margaritas, and another drink called a Flying Dragon. I just showed up and set up my portable bar, though we hadn’t discussed that. I always carry it with me, so if I need to use it, I can.

21st Birthday Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Invent theme cocktails
  • Take the car keys
  • Call Uber to take people home
  • Hire a band

The Flying Dragon consists of Dragonberry Bacardi rum. That is rum infused with strawberries and dragon fruit. You pour two parts rum, one part Sprite, and one part lemonade. People described it as tasting like a popsicle. It was definitely a hit with the younger crowd. Tacos were provided by Taquizas Diana (661) 878-0936. They also rent tables, chairs, jumpers, and linens. The host also got a jumper for the kids. I remember when I was a kid, the only time we got to use a jumper was at the annual carnival, and how excited we were.

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Jumpers keep the kids busy

The weather has been very weird here this month. Talk about June Gloom. I have a back yard retirement party tonight in Woodland Hills, and the weather is not nice at all. I have a baby shower in Woodland Hills tomorrow during the day that is also going to be outdoors and the forecast calls for drizzle. I am ready for some heat after this extended gloom. Next weekend I am driving to San Diego to bartend a wedding, and hopefully this gloom will have lifted. 

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Friends celebrate 21st birthday party