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Pour one out for the Hip Hop Soda Shop


It took months before it finally opened. The one in St. Petersburg never got off the ground at all.

But now it looks like the much-ballyhooed Hip Hop Soda Shop in Tampa is closing. In a statement, parent company H3 Enterprises Inc. blames "regional business and real estate issues." They hope to try the concept -- casual food, gaming consoles, a recording studio -- at another location in the future.

Ah, the memories ...

The Hip Hop Soda Shop opened to much fanfare in December 2007, with guests including Winky Wright, Cassidy and Doug E. Fresh. That's Juelz Santana, Hip Hop Soda Shop CEO Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jim Jones and Wild 98's Orlando in the photo above. (See more photos from the grand opening here.) 

In January 2008, 2 Pistols shot part of his video for She Got It, featuring T-Pain, there. During Super Bowl week, the shop brought in a host of boldface hip-hop names, from Plies to Keri Hilson to Rick Ross to Fat Joe to Pepa. And of course, the Soda Shop was home to the improv comedy troupe Got Jokes?

We also can't help but recall the time tbt* took a bunch of local rappers to the Hip Hop Soda Shop to sample the food and give us their review. "The salmon's bangin'," said Katrina "K-Leigh" Fleming.

Alas, with the Soda Shop closed, the salmon shall bang no more.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*. Photo by Luis Santana, tbt*.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 21, 2009 6:58pm]


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