The Heel is located in the former space of Chapel Hill nightclub The Thrill, which closed July 11 after two years in business.
The new bar is student-focused, said owner Glen Turner, who also owned The Thrill.
Turner said he partnered up with Buzz Rides CEO Joey Skavroneck and some other UNC students to create a concept for a restaurant and bar that would capture students’ attention. The group spent time getting feedback from students and applying it to their business plan.
Turner said there didn’t seem to be any bars in Chapel Hill that catered directly to students, including his.
“Chapel Hill isn’t a club town,” he said. “It’s more of a friendly bar town. We want to cater to the right group of people, and we felt that The Thrill wasn’t drawing that group that we wanted.”
Peter Wu, a junior economics major, said he’s sad to see The Thrill go.
“Between that and East End closing, it’s a shame,” he said.
But Elizabeth Commitz, a Durham resident who visits Chapel Hill and Carrboro often, said she welcomes a bar with a more laid-back atmosphere.