The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday March 21st

Thrill City will close its doors in May

Its store, located at 422A W. Franklin St., will be closing its doors in May.

UNC alumnus Ryan Cocca started Thrill City with a design based on UNC basketball player Kendall Marshall. Four years later, Thrill City has grown to be featured on national TV and in multiple newspapers and magazines.

“It’s grown from our dorm room to Franklin Street,” Cocca said. “It’s a mixed-emotion thing — it’s not an entirely sad thing.”

The store is known for its fun clothing items, frequently adorned with pithy references to UNC basketball.

Rohan Smith, UNC alumnus and co-owner of Thrill City, jumped on board with the business two years ago after meeting Cocca in a journalism class.

“Thrill City has been kind of our baby,” Smith said. “Ryan started it, and he was a large part of what it was, and since then it’s just been for the two of us and the culture we’ve created.”

The two said they had been speaking about closing since the beginning of the year. One reason behind this decision is the fact that Smith is originally from London, and his visa expires in July.

“I have to go back to London, so we were thinking of different ways — and if we were going to sell the business, find another partner for the business or just close,” he said.

Cocca said he had talked about other options, but decided they were too risky.

Carlos Tovar, previous store manager, said Cocca and Smith have accomplished great things.

“Thrill City might be closing for good, but we all just have to remember that creativity and progression only come from within us,” he said.

Thrill City will host its final block party on May 2, where there will be disc jockeys, prizes and its last line of products for sale.

Cocca said his next move is to continue work on a Kickstarter campaign for a furniture company called Nugget Comfort, which he said has become his full-time job. It was tough to keep working at Thrill City part time.

“Life is changing and we’re moving on to new things — you shouldn’t be complacent,” Cocca said. “We’ve been doing this for a while, and I’m excited about doing something completely different.”


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