Tiki’s Kevin Prior Is This Year’s Iron Barback


By Sammi Baum

Tiki’s Grill & Bar’s Kevin Prior recently was awarded a title that gives him and the bar major bragging rights: Bacardi Iron Barback.

The second annual Iron Barback challenge tested the strength, speed and agility of barbacks from all over the island. Barbacks had to carry kegs through obstacle courses.

Prior was nervous before each round because many who entered the contest were physically stronger than him. So Prior, who prefers surfing to lifting weights, had to rely on other strengths.

“They were trying to hold a lot of stuff at once, and I figured I could carry one heavy thing from start to finish quicker than a lot of heavy kegs at once,” Prior explains.

Smart decisions like that landed him among the top competitors during each round. But he never expected to win the entire competition.

Rachel Breit Photos

Rachel Breit Photos

“I was just hoping they wouldn’t call me in (last place), and as the names went by, I kept cheering until they said, ‘Kevin Prior, first place,'” he recalls. “I was screaming, everyone was screaming. A lot of bars were hating and I got a lot of boos, but I couldn’t really hear them over my friends.”

According to Christian Self, competition judge and Bevy owner, Prior “won the Iron Barback due to pure hard work and speed, being able to get the job done and not dropping any bonus points. He may not have won every round but was the best overall and put his heart into it.”

Prior has his girlfriend Lindsey Wong to thank for secretly entering him into the competition at the last minute. Prior hadn’t thought to enter, but Wong saw his potential.

As Iron Barback, Prior gets custom-made Bacardi Iron Barback Nike trainers and more than $500 in prizes, including an Element backpack, concert tickets and bottle openers.

The best part? “I got a WWE-styled belt, but it’s Bacardi,” says Prior.

To witness the spectacle in action for yourself, head to Tiki’s Grill & Bar, where Prior works most nights.

And if you want to experience an industry competition, he is judging the second annual Bacardi Iron Server competition, which continues at The Republik through the rest of the month.