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Country Fried Duck replaced with Night School after losing liquor license

Country Fried Duck Night School
Country Fried Duck lost its liquor license, however it reopened with the new name "Night School" and a new liquor license.

The building that housed Country Fried Duck looks exactly as it did months ago. A large mechanical bull still sits in its ring, the walls are lined with metal siding and the letters “CFD” are spelled out on the bar in bottle caps. However, Country Fried Duck quietly underwent significant changes while it was closed for the month of October. 

A new business, Night School, has taken the place of Country Fried Duck following the rejection of Country Fried Duck’s liquor license in late September. 

The rejection of the liquor license, which officially took place on Sept. 27, meant that Country Fried Duck could no longer serve liquor on the premises, forcing the venue to close. General manager Myles Bacon said the bar has since changed ownership and is serving under a new name and liquor license. 

“We lost (the license) for almost an inability to control our clientele,” Bacon said. “I say almost because we never really 'lost control.' There were times when the police came. We would have events, and people would be drunk outside and wanting to loiter. We try to encourage them to leave the premises and then they just want to hang out on Rosemary Street.”

Bacon said the recurrent visits by police ultimately led to the rejection of their liquor license. 

N.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission Public Affairs Director Kat Haney said the number of visits police make to a venue does not matter, but the nature of the visits does. 

“Often times (the police are) quite helpful,” Haney said. “A lot of times that’s good community policing and (the restaurants) are glad to have them there, and the police are glad to be there.” 

Just as Night School opened soon after Country Fried Duck closed, it is not uncommon for a restaurant or bar to reopen under a new owner after losing its license.

“Sometimes that’s all that it takes, the management,” Renee Metz, ABC Commission chief counsel, said. “We actually look at both the location’s history itself and the individual’s history. Between the balance of the two, maybe there was no problem with the location, but the applicant just didn’t seem to have the ability to run the place properly.”

However, it's difficult to tell whether Night School’s new owner will have success avoiding the problems Country Fried Duck experienced. 

“Sometimes it doesn’t matter who the permittee is, who the applicant is — it’s a bad location," Metz said. "For whatever reason, it attracts trouble."

There has been no police presence at the building since Night School opened on Oct. 25, Bacon said. 

Night School’s opening signals a rededication to the University by the venue, Bacon said. Though Night School is operating under a business model similar to Country Fried Duck’s, the new plan targets students specifically. 

The venue will require students to show their One Card upon entry. Customers will also have their IDs checked at both the door and the bar when ordering drinks to ensure no one underage is being served. 

There has been some confusion following the new business name. The Country Fried Duck website is still active, and there are no Night School signs on the the building. 

Bacon said the opening of Night School will become clearer as they put up new decorations over winter break and begin booking more events under the new name. Even the drink names will change to fit the new theme. 

Though Night School is still feeling the effects of not being open during October, Bacon said they had a good first week of business, and the new management is eager to remind the Town that Night School is a college bar. 


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