In his relatively brief time as owner of Porco Lounge and Tiki Bar
, Stefan Was (along with his team of crack bartenders) has enjoyed many accolades. But being invited to compete in the Art of Tiki: A Cocktail Showdown hosted by Guy Fieri at this week’s South Beach Wine and Food Festival ranks among the best, he says.
The sold-out event takes place this Friday, February 26 at the Surfcomber boutique hotel in Miami Beach. Some of the best tiki-style bartenders have been rounded up from across the country to compete before a panel of judges.
“We were invited back in September to participate,” says Was. “We were recommended by some of our contemporaries in the bar business who had competed and judged the prior year. Win, lose, or draw, it's a huge honor to have been invited, and we simply wanted to share it with those who got us there.”
Participating bars are expected to provide 700 samples of their signature cocktail to ticket holders and judges.
“We're competing against other bars from around the country and feel we have a very solid offering with our cocktail – which remains under wraps until the day of the event,” he explains.
Was adds that travel and accommodations were provided for two staffers, but that didn’t sound fair to the employees left behind.
“In trying to figure out what bar staff to bring and still remain open for the weekend, we just decided to close down and bring everyone – 18 people total,” he says. “We decided that we really operate best as a team, plus it's a well-deserved vacation for a staff that has given their all in making Porco what it is today.”
As a result, Porco will be closed Thursday, February 25th through Monday February 29th. The bar will reopen for business on Tuesday.
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