The HipHopSodaShop celebrated a successful grand opening yesterday (December 18), despite an altercation early in the event's opening ceremonies, which took place in Tampa, Florida.
Eyewitnesses told AllHipHop.com that a confrontation between members of Jim Jones and Juelz Santana's entourage and a group of men associated with rapper Cassidy interrupted the grand opening reception.
According to sources, Jim Jones and Juelz Santana left a VIP area of the club, when Cassidy and members of his entourage arrived.
Three members of Jones' entourage returned and were involved in a verbal altercation with a security guard for Cassidy.
"They were staring at Cassidy like they wanted to tear the fur off of his ass," an eyewitness told AllHipHop.com, who added that the men were unusually aggressive.
The men associated with Jones left after the verbal altercation, but returned approximately 10 minutes later with rapper Jim Jones in tow.
According to an eyewitness, Jones exchanged words with the security guard, who was then struck in the head with a full champagne bottle by an unidentified assailant and knocked out cold.
It is unclear if the security guard was treated for his injuries, which included a laceration to the face.
Dr. Ben Chavis, CEO of H3 Enterprises, the parent company of the HipHopSodaShop franchises, took to the stage and condemned the behavior, while calming a panicked crowd.
Eventually, the evening's festivities returned to normal, with the HipHopSodaShop reaching full capacity by 9:00 pm.
Over 500 patrons enjoyed performances by Doug E. Fresh and Busta Rhymes, who entertained the crowd that packed into the modern, 11,000 square-foot- venue, which features over 30 big screen TV's and a full service recording studio.
Celebrities like Andre Harrell, rapper Gucci Mane, Tango from season one of VH1's I Love New York and others mingled with fans throughout the evening, which ended on a positive note.
"I enjoyed myself despite the altercation," said one patron who requested to remain anonymous. "Dr. Bens concept for the HipHopSodaShop is a unique, strong vision."