So far, 2016 has been good to Mike Doyle (above, left) and Tim Weigel. The barmen were offered and accepted dream jobs, both of which come with big changes in lifestyle and location. Doyle had to come in from the road, and Weigel will have to take up a life of near-constant travel. But the professionals are embracing the changes and throwing themselves fully into their new roles.

Mike Doyle
Over the course of the 18 months Mike Doyle spent crisscrossing the country with Road Soda, the former Rose.Rabbit.Lie. lead bartender covered 50,000 miles and served 80,000 draft cocktails from the event company’s converted Airstream trailer.

Now, plugging back into the Las Vegas scene as a beverage development specialist, Doyle brings his well-rounded spirits credentials and practical, worldly perspective to the team at Breakthru Beverage Nevada (formerly Wirtz), assisting Andrew Pollard and team leader Drew Levinson on everything from cocktail menu development and spirit category training to special events and even bar design.

Of all the tasks he will do at Breakthru, Doyle says he’s most excited about the cocktail menu development and training. “I love telling stories about the different spirits and why we use them. Sharing that knowledge and enthusiasm with a larger audience— especially the bartending talent in this city—is why I’m excited to be back in town.”

Advising Weigel on what awaits him on the road, Doyle suggests not to always seek familiarity. “You need to step outside your comfort zone and grab those new experiences.” Also, carry a multi-tool. “Someone always needs scissors, a knife, a screwdriver or a pair of pliers.”

Doyle says that while he largely enjoyed the solitude of the road, he’s looking forward to once again being part of a team and among friends. “I traveled 50,000 miles looking for my next home, and I narrowed it down to two places: Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Las Vegas, Nevada,” Doyle says with his native Arkansan drawl. “You can travel all over this country, and there are lots of really cool places, but home is where your friends and family are.”

Point: Las Vegas.

Tim Weigel
Hakkasan Restaurant lead bartender Tim Weigel is only a few weeks into his new national gig as mixologist for Hakkasan Group’s 18 U.S. restaurants, but he already knows his primary objectives: “Creating new cocktails and new menus. Second is training the staff how to make them properly.”

A Hakkasan Las Vegas employee since Day 1, Weigel deftly maintains a balance between creativity and precision. That’s why the group’s U.S. beverage director Constantin Alexander chose Weigel to be with him on the road. Setting off next month, the team will strategically implement menu consistency across the company’s brands, including Hakkasan, Searsucker and Herringbone, as well as the four new restaurants the company will open in 2016. “It’s going to be a crazy year, to say the least,” Weigel says. “I pretty much hit the ground running as soon as I started.” First up for the team is New York, then San Francisco.

Advising Doyle on settling back in, Weigel suggests a bar crawl. “He’s been away awhile. … Check out a different casino every day. There’s so much talent here.”