The Library, a bar and club on Franklin Street, has closed after nearly 18 years of service. The establishment was a Chapel Hill staple where students and residents gathered and socialized pre-pandemic.
“It is with a heavy heart that we must announce the closing of the Library," the establishment wrote in a statement on Instagram. "We appreciate every single person that has been part of our journey and became part of our family. We love you all.”
The statement also said the business is being forced to shut down to make space for a national brand.
AJ Tama, the owner of The Library, said he had to let go of his staff after the business was forced to shut down in March 2020 due to Gov. Roy Cooper's shut down of N.C. bars and restaurants.
Since his business also did not serve food, Tama said he had to keep The Library closed longer to abide by Cooper's restrictions.
“To make it through the pandemic, even with our ups and downs and finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, we were super excited to be back, but unfortunately that’s not what happened," Tama said.
He received an outpouring of support from thousands of customers on Facebook and Instagram, he said, in response to the staple being forced to shut down.
Godwin Dooley, who graduated from UNC in 2020, said the closure announcement caught her off guard because she often visited the bar with her friends.