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A management and consulting company for the hospitality and spirit industries

A great idea is a good start. On its merit alone you can launch your concept, gain media attention and public affection.

However, without careful planning, even the best ideas can fall short of your aspirations. That’s where R&D Hospitality comes in. We’re a management and consulting company for the spirits and hospitality industries. Our focus is on innovation and sustainable practices.

Gallery photo credit: Dean Hurst



(813) 810-6671



Turn to the cocktail list first, opening it up to reveal the mad genius of Dean Hurst’s “gin matrix.” There’s floral in this quadrant, savory over there, juniper up top, and citrus below. Peer at it, furrow brow, mouth things like “angelica root,” and then capitulate — order a gin drink knowing full well that this gin cocktail program is silly good. Hurst is a titan on the national mixology scene, the author of the exceptional whiskey and rye program at Bern’s and Haven in Tampa and SideBern’s before that, and avocationally a tiki-drink nut. The guy’s got range.
— Laura Reiley

The Gin Joint’s secret weapon is the genius of spirits, Dean Hurst. His Gin Matrix profiles flavors of more than 50 gins, and it’s a work of art that demands study. Our multiple G&Ts are served in elegant stemware (not in traditional rocks glasses) with a single, large spherical ice cube — all the better to savor the aromas. Looks like there’s serious homework to be done.
— Jon Palmer Claridge

The cocktail program is courtesy of Dean Hurst, who you may know from his outstanding work at Bern’s and Haven. The cocktails at CW’s Gin Joint are the real deal. I could go on about the quality and creativity of the individual drinks, or the fact that the menu actually includes a sherry cobbler (bonus point awarded), but just believe me when I say that this program is as solid as the giant blocks of ice that the bartenders chisel into for ice cubes (seriously).
— Justin Grant
  Photo credit: AJ Hurley

Photo credit: AJ Hurley

Dean Hurst | Owner

Dean Hurst has spent the past 30 years in the hospitality industry, and his experience ranges from short-order cook to fine dining management. Hurst most recently served as the Director of Spirits for Haven, which boasts a whisk(e)y list of over 450 selections. The Bern’s Steakhouse Group – including SideBern’s Restaurant, Haven Restaurant, and the Epicurean Hotel – has been Hurst’s home for the past 16 years. Career highlights include several award-winning cocktails; the development of a signature solera-style bourbon unique to Haven; and the culmination of a 2-year effort to create a rare Scotch whisky blend for Bern’s with Compass Box Whisky. In April 2016, Hurst left the Bern’s group to embark on a new endeavor, R&D Hospitality. 

The creation of R&D Hospitality allows for a more diverse portfolio of projects providing management and consultation for the hospitality and spirits industries. Building bar programs, managing spirits portfolios and developing new product lines are currently underway. Bern’s Steak House remains a client.

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For Rachel, wine is the wonderful convergence of culture, nature, hard work, and serendipitous occasion. The result of the right time, place and the perfect amount of human intervention. A way to visit far off people and places. Coming from a large family where the dining room was always the center of animated human theatre, her interest in wine developed at an early age. She grew up working in restaurants and explored every facet of the industry throughout her travels. After living in LA and working for a restaurant group, she decided it was time to take her passion for wine to the next level. She enrolled in the International Culinary Center's Intensive Sommelier Training Program in New York City, where she graduated on Dean's List. Shortly after she traveled to Champagne, FR to take a position as a tasting room and harvest intern with small grower Luc Merat. Upon her return to the states she began working at Bern's Steak House as a wine steward where she quickly was promoted to Assistant Sommelier, and soon after Sommelier. She has since transitioned to consulting to expand the reaches of her creative reaches and love for wine.