Chapel Hill bar The Library closing just as owner hoped to reopen

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- Chapel Hill bar The Library, which was forced to shut down during the pandemic is closing its doors for good, just as the owner was preparing to reopen.

The Library on E Franklin Street first opened in 2003 and has operated under several owners during the past 18 years.

Current owner AJ Tama said that after he was forced to close in March of 2020, he let go of his staff and undertook renovations, hoping to reopen the updated space and bring back his team this summer.

"To have this bond shared with so many people is just an amazing feeling," Tama said. "That's the dream as a business owner -- that's the main reason why I came into this place -- it's more than just a bar. It's more than just a name. The Library's family."

However, Tama said when he contacted his two landlords this month to renew his lease, he was denied and told to vacate by the end of June.

"Everything good does come to an end; I understand that," he said. "But for the place that this place has been, for the amount of people that it's touched, the town wants small business, the people of Chapel Hill want the small businesses to last. That's what Franklin Street was."

ABC11 contacted both landlords who said no decisions have been made as to who the next tenant will be.
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