From mom and pop shops and college bars to local restaurants, Chapel Hill and its surrounding areas are known for their college aesthetic.
Local spots — like He’s Not Here and Sutton’s Drug Store — help maintain Chapel Hill's college town feel. But, this fall, a new club is opening up on Franklin Street that could bring in a new going-out experience for Chapel Hill.
Still Life Chapel Hill, a nightclub and rooftop bar, will be located above Sutton’s Drug Store on Franklin Street. Its official opening date has not been released.
After losing many businesses on Franklin Street due to the pandemic, the addition of a nightclub to the area is a promising sign that life is coming back to Chapel Hill post-pandemic.
As COVID-19 numbers remain relatively low, bars and restaurants in Chapel Hill are able to function at full capacity. Unlike this point last year, going out on a weekend night in Chapel Hill is reminiscent of life before the pandemic began. This means that students and people in the community are eager to go out and visit bars, restaurants and clubs. Still Life Chapel Hill is opening at just the right time to capture this demand.
The nightclub is meant to serve as Chapel Hill’s premiere entertainment experience. That might just be what Franklin Street needs. As of now, nightlife in Chapel Hill is relatively limited to college bars.
The Library used to be a bar space with a lot of room for dancing, but it was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic this summer. Other nightlife spaces in Chapel Hill that have space to get drinks and dance are often crowded and have long lines. Anyone who has had to wait over an hour to get into Goodfellows knows what we are talking about.
While Chapel Hill is definitely a college town, the addition of a large nightclub will provide new and different options for going out on Franklin Street. With bottle service, a speakeasy and a rooftop patio bar, Still Life Chapel Hill will be unlike most nightlife spaces in the area.
Still Life has owned multiple nightclub spaces throughout North Carolina, including in Greenville at East Carolina University. The Still Life at ECU is a popular nightlife space — the Instagram account alone for that location has 20,000 followers. But not all Still Life locations have been successful. The Still Life in Raleigh closed this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although the location has yet to open, there is already anticipation for the Still Life opening in Chapel Hill. Social media accounts for the venue are popular and bouncers, bartenders and promoters are already being recruited.
Still Life opening in Chapel Hill is a promising sign that businesses are still attracted to the area, despite the high costs of renting space on Franklin Street. This venue is going to be a different experience than most of the nightlife spaces already in Chapel Hill, which is exciting when thinking about what Franklin Street will look like post-pandemic.
With so many businesses shutting down during the pandemic, it’s exciting to think about what’s new to the area. A nightclub — with all its trappings — is a welcome addition to the nightlife scene in Chapel Hill.
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