It was a Sunday afternoon and summer is apparently over in Los Angeles but is it ever, really? Cooling down and heating up is an ongoing, simultaneous theme here in this city [literally for the weather and figuratively for the ragers]. Hence, Backyard Bowls in downtown, LA was the perfect location for an interview because a frozen snack with nutritional value is always a yes—açaí bowls, duh [*insert Billie Eilish’s lyric from this summer’s hit, “Bad Guy”].
Celeste Durve and Kelsi Kitchener are the co-founders of Viper by KCH, a VIP Event Relations Company that creates chic solutions to all of our soirée needs for the ultimate guest experience with logistics and class. Summer is ‘over’ but the parties will never cease to exist and these ladies know best since they pretty much run the show so they’re going to guide us on how to keep the spirit of summer alive, all year round.
After a few bites of our Power Bowls (highly recommended by yours truly), that is. Here was our warm-up as we cooled down:
First off, how was your summer?
Celeste: It was good! June and July were decent. August was a really slow month for us, event wise, just because people in the industry travel a lot in August. After Labor Day, things always get better so I’m excited it’s over basically.
Kelsi: Summer was good! I am incredibly happy it is over. August is a slow month in this city and every year I am reminded that I just need to plan a vacation this time of year. I’m excited to be busy with work!!!
Tell us about your company!
Celeste: Viper is a front of house operations and logistics team; we have about 40 girls that are known as the Viper Girls of LA—we run doors—so we basically created this concept around having a team of girls that operates guest experience and guest check-in. We even provide analytics for the clients in terms of who’s coming to their parties and etc. So we started 3 years ago and we run doors all around the city. If you see any major events in pop culture, we’re probably there; when Kanye West does his listening parties or the ESPY, the Global Globes, the AMAs, a lot of social functions like that, and then we have a couple of nightclubs that we’re at, so yeah! That’s about us—We run doors.
Kelsi: [What she said, haha]
Doors symbolize the passageway from one world to another in mythology and literature so Viper by KCH is doing this world a service and we commend you both for it.
So Kelsi couldn’t join us at Backyard Bowls (we missed you!) but thanks to technology, we were able to do the interview digitally. Having her business partner, best friend, and roommate was a huge help with the impressive predetermined responses [they are definitely a duo!]. Now, it’s time for the main course to keep summer from being famished for a year:
1. Summer anthem that can be played all year round?
Celeste: Anything by YG, Xavier Wolf, or Night Lovell has been on repeat for me all summer long and definitely all year.
Kelsi: Taylor Swift’s new Lover album. The Man is currently on repeat. The Jonas Brothers’ new album too. I am forever a teenage fangirl.
2. Go-to summer drink to keep the party rolling?
Celeste: Okay, well now I’m doing ‘Sober September’ because I needed to relax (girl, we feel you); there was a lot of drinking BUT I love beer so I’m all about it in the summer. I also do a vodka soda quite a bit but a Modelo or a sauvignon blanc I feel like were my summer vibe because they’re just so refreshing. I would drink beer, white wine, and vodka sodas all year round but I definitely feel like in the summer I was doing beer A LOT more than I have normally. Kelsi’s for sure is a Casamigos on the rocks!
Kelsi: It’s true, I LOOOOOOOVE Casamigos on the rocks. I also love pretending I am Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City with a cocktail (#same) but I can’t have all that sugar. The Taotini at Tao might be my fave. Gracias Madre and The Henry also have incredible cocktails.
3. Favorite brunch spot open all year round?
Celeste: We’re like Mid-Wilshire so we love this little spot called Angelini; it’s not like a trendy party environment or anything but the food’s good, the service is great, we LOVE going there. That’s probably my favorite. I know a lot of people do Sunday’s at the Belmont, EPLP, and Pearl’s are all really popular for brunch.
Kelsi: Depends on what your vibe is. Pearl’s is delicious and fun for a big group. If you are looking for just great food, Salts Cure. The pancakes are a go-to.
4. Best margaritas and tacos? [Since Taco Tuesdays are forever]
Celeste: For tacos, Tacos 1986 is the real deal. That’s my favorite spot right now. It’s in downtown, they don’t have margaritas though, it’s more of a legit taco spot but they’re incredible. El Compadre is a really fun spot all the time. Their flaming margaritas are always a go-to for me, always. I really like Petty Cash as well. Esquela is great for tacos but they don’t have a liquor license so you have to BYOB.
Kelsi: Agree to all of the above. Petty Cash has incredible margs as well. If you are vegan and looking for tacos, I would say Erewhon has the best jackfruit tacos.
5. What are some essentials you have with you at parties?
Celeste: I always have chapstick, a mini deodorant, and lip gloss. I used to carry hand sanitizer; I should probably bring that back. I normally have Advil on me too. It’s super random, I don’t know why, but I do (this sounds like a first-aid party kit so we respect this heavily).
Kelsi: hmmmmmm. My Chanel lip gloss and gum.
6. Favorite summer wardrobe that could be worn to parties all year round?
Celeste: I live in a flannel and a tank top, like LIVE. I’m in this outfit all the time: denim shorts, sneakers, a flannel, tank top, 24/7. And it’s like no matter what I should probably change it up at some point but…[insert woman shrugging emoji]. I’m always laid back, I wear sweats a lot too even in the summer but I’m just so mellow and laid back all the time. I don’t follow any of the trends at all. I just live for tank tops and something baggy over it so either like a bomber jacket, a flannel, boyfriend jeans, etc. I like to be comfortable more than anything else.
Kelsi: Currently obsessed with my Stuart Weitzman Nudist heels. They pretty much go with everything no matter what the season is. They can work with shorts, skirts, dresses or jeans.
7. Tips on hangovers?
Celeste: Several, actually (nice). You gotta do Advil the night before you go to bed when you get home from a night out. The next day, you have to do an Emergen-C. Also, there’s this new drink called The Plug—it’s a hangover recovery drink that actually tastes good. I just tried it a week ago because I threw a Labor Day party and they came to my event. You drink it before you start drinking or you can mix it with your alcohol or after and you just throw it right back! Literally, the next day, I didn’t have a hangover at all. So that one’s cool but definitely the Advil and Emergen-C. I get the worst hangovers. I also think it depends on what you’re drinking so maybe avoid the sugar. I’m pretty sure that’s how a person gets hangovers. I feel like if you just throw back straight liquor you’ll be okay, or better, maybe? But hydrate! You should drink a glass of water after every drink. I think hangovers are so much of just being dehydrated. So definitely water. But The Plug is really incredible. I drank mine after drinking but I felt fine the next day. But it was great, I was just like, “wow, I’m here for this.” (we’re here for you and these awesome life-tips)
Kelsi: Honestly, EAT. Eat before going out and eat when you get home but also follow everything Celeste said.
8. Where were/are the parties at?
Celeste: We work in nightlife so we’re in the nightclub scene a lot. I’m much more of a bar person but the best one I would say is Warwick on Wednesdays so that’s the spot to be. Poppy in Hollywood is always fun and so is 31Ten Lounge in Santa Monica. I actually really like Lock & Key in Koreatown, I always have fun there. Tenants of the Trees in Silverlake is also fun! I personally love The Abbey in West Hollywood since it’s a gay bar and guys don’t hit on you which is a personal preference. Black is a fun bar that I like. I also like E.P. & L.P. And then of course nightclub wise, Hyde, Highlight Room, those are the big ones in addition to Warwick and Poppy. Delilah’s is a really cool spot too.
Kelsi: The Abbey is the best for a night out of dancing. Warwick, The Rainbow Bar, Laurel Hardware, Perch, Ace Hotel rooftop, Los Globos.
9. Summer activity done all year round?
Celeste: Tattoos! I get new ones all the time but my recent favorites are these cartoon lips applying lipstick I just got. Noah is a good friend of mine and he tattoos out of the Phillip Lim [back studio] in the Arts District. He trained Kaliq so they’re definitely both great. Noah is going to be one of the greats for sure. He’s already on his way. He’s blowing up right now it’s so crazy. You gotta go see @_n.a.l and/or @liqfromthewood for the dope tats!
Kelsi: Mini-golf, race car driving, Dave and Buster. I am a child lol
10. Any upcoming events?
Celeste: As we start to flow into Halloween and the holidays we normally get super busy but a little hard to predict exact events because it depends which client decides to throw what! Follow us at @viperbykch to stay updated!
Kelsi: Holiday season is here so we are about to super busy with all the holiday usuals like Halloween events, Christmas parties and award season for the AMAs, Streamys, Golden Globes, etc.
11. Favorite city to party in where summer never dies?
Celeste: Weho is definitely where summer never dies, I don’t think anyone has a job there. I also like downtown, Los Feliz, & Echo Park.
Kelsi: Hollywood, I honestly wonder if anyone actually has a job. I just went to Portland to visit my brother and I realized that people in LA love to go out.
And that we do, Kelsi. Our dear Los Angeles is known as the entertainment capital of the world and I’m sure we don’t get that title for nothing. RIP to no one (since the party’s still rolling) and no season—especially not summer.