50 Cent visits Water Street Tavern


50 Cent was in Chicago promoting his new cologne, Power by 50 Cent.

Jacob Ruffo

Hip-hop artist 50 Cent promoted EFFEN Vodka at Water Street Tavern in Kent Friday night. The event started at 9:30 p.m. as people lined up around the building were allowed inside. 50 Cent, coming straight from the Cleveland Cavaliers game in Cleveland, arrived at the tavern around 11:30 p.m. He stayed for a while, promoting his vodka and taking pictures with people, before leaving at 1 a.m. The artist did not do any musical performances.

Prior to the event, Mike Beder, owner of Water Street Tavern, said via e-mail, “They called us with the opportunity and I instantly knew it would be huge with our customers.”

With big events, though, comes increased security.

“We are expecting a huge crowd and are staffing in the same manner we would a Halloween, Blues Fest, St. Patrick’s Day or any of the other big nights we have downtown. It will be a busy one,” Beder said.

For $150, guests could purchase a VIP package that included a pass to skip the long line outside the tavern and a bottle of EFFEN Vodka. 

According to those who purchased the VIP package, “We don’t have to wait in line to get in. Also you don’t have to wait in lines to get any of your drinks,” said attendee Elizabeth Young.

“You get unlimited mixing drinks and 50 Cent signs the bottle that comes with the package if you finish it,” she said.

Lauren Trecaso, a senior visual communication design major at Kent State, also purchased the VIP package with friends. She said that it was $150 for a group of four and together they had to finish a whole bottle of EFFEN Vodka.

According to security, the maximum capacity for the bar was 225, including staff. With 130 spots reserved, that left only 60 general admissions. Regardless of the limited capacity, people still waited outside in the hopes of getting into the tavern to see 50 Cent. When the singer arrived, the long line of people erupted in cheers.

“When 50 Cent comes to town that changes the game,” Trecaso said. “I don’t go out very much, but I came out for 50 Cent.”

The Water Street Tavern embraced  the #50Kent hashtag on Twitter, retweeting and sharing pictures with the singer during his visit.

According to 50 Cent’s Instagram, “The Ohio takeover is real.” Following his visit to Kent, he has upcoming appearances in Akron and Columbus.

Jacob Ruffo is a student life reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]