Did you know Black History Month was first recognized by President Gerald Ford? He encouraged U.S. citizens to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” With the same mind, RNDC turns its eye to the relevance of representation. We will explore why it is important for our associates and our business. We will also pay homage to the deep history and rich culture embodied in the Black community. Join us as we embark on this journey and stay tuned for more exciting details about the month ahead!

RNDC is excited to present, Alcohol Industry Pioneers, a campaign centered around America’s earliest African American mixologist, restaurateurs and master distillers.

John Dabney

Renowned African American Restaurateur

After spending the first 41 years of his life in slavery, John Dabney, an African American bartender, was able to purchase freedom for both himself and his wife with his earnings. Dabney opened his own restaurant in the early 1870s, working for himself until the week of his passing in 1900. Read more about his story here.

Tom Bullock

First African American to Write a Cocktail Book 

Tom Bullock worked as a bartender for nearly 25 years before writing “The Ideal Bartender,” the first cocktail book written by an African American. The book contains more than 170 pre-prohibition recipes. Read more of his story here.

Mr. R. R. Bowie

Founder of the Colored Mixologist Club

In 1898, Robert R. Bowie and a group of other leading black bartenders in Washington D.C. founded the exclusive “Colored Mixologists Club.” The Colored Mixologists Club was a professional organization for African American bartenders who used bartending as a vehicle for wealth and a certain degree of social acceptance. Read more of his story here.


Nathan ‘Nearest’ Green

Taught Jack Daniel the Art of Whiskey Distilling

Nathan ’Nearest’ Green,  was born into slavery circa 1820 and emancipated after the Civil War. In the 1850s, he was working for a preacher and distiller named Dan Call in the hills above Lynchburg, Tennessee. Call asked Green to teach a young boy, named Jack Daniel, the craft he’d perfected. Read more of his story here

*Pictured is Nearest son, George.