At 2:02 a.m. on Jan. 1, the new year was rung in with gunshots near Night School, the Rosemary Street bar formerly known as Country Fried Duck. Shortly after, Night School lost its liquor license.
Chapel Hill residents Josiah Browning and Jordan Sanders, both 20 years old, were the suspects involved in the New Year's Day shooting.
"It is not believed that the shots were fired inside the Night School. Officers were already in the area and heard the shots fired, so they immediately responded over to that area to begin investigating," said Ran Northam, the Town of Chapel Hill's safety communications specialist.
North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission records indicate that the bar's liquor license was rejected on Jan. 4, which Northam said means they likely got shut down.
This is not the first time an establishment at the location of the Night School has been shut down in the past year.
Country Fried Duck was closed for the month of October following the rejection of its liquor license on Sept. 27, 2018 by the N.C. ABC.
Myles Bacon, the former general manager of Country Fried Duck, said this was due to an inability to control clientele.
Since the October shutdown of Country Fried Duck, the business switched ownership, was rebranded as Night School and applied for a new liquor license. The bar’s website is still under the name “Country Fried Duck” and has the same online reviews for the old establishment.
Yelp and Facebook reviews and comments show the bar attracted many Chapel Hill visitors and residents, not just UNC students.
The new bar, however, tried attracting a new clientele, largely targeting UNC students. To attract this new demographic, Night School threw a party during the last week of fall 2018 classes, followed many UNC students on Instagram, advertised cheap drinks.
For many in the Chapel Hill community, the shooting incident came as a shock.
“Honestly, I’m surprised that happened. As a UNC student, I’ve always felt very safe around campus. There’s always campus police driving around, and I have never been in a situation like this," said first-year Dallis Alvarez.
Alvarez is a member of UNC’s Latin dance team, Que Rico, and was planning on attending “Latin Night” at Night School last Friday. The event was to be hosted by Mi Pueblo, a UNC Latinx organization. Mi Pueblo had hosted a few "Latin Nights" at Night School during the fall 2018 semester.
Mi Pueblo members thought the shots fired on New Year’s Day caused Night School’s recent shutdown and cancelled their Jan. 11 event.
The bar's rebranding tactics seemed to make it an attractive option for undergraduates and student groups, including Greek organizations and a cappella groups like the UNC Clef Hangers.
Night School’s Instagram account boasted full occupancy on most nights with more than 600 people on some occasions.
The Daily Tar Heel reached out to Night School to see if they wished to elaborate on the events that have transpired in the recent weeks, but nobody affiliated with the bar responded by the time of publication.
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