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Sam's Quik Shop, a student favorite for more than 50 years, closes

1981 | Chronicle File Photo
1981 | Chronicle File Photo

After more than half a century between Duke’s East and West campuses, Sam’s Quik Shop has closed. 

The iconic local shop on Erwin Road, known for its vast craft beer offerings, shuttered its doors Dec. 31. John Boy, owner of the shop, announced the closing Dec. 4 in a lengthy post on the shop’s Facebook page.

“This is not an easy decision to come to and I thought about so many things, my parents, me growing up in this store, the changing times from when it was a diner [and] drive-in to a convenience store with movie rentals and a large beer selection to the premier beer store in North Carolina it has become today,” Boy wrote. “I have watched my parents make a living for us and create a family business I’ve had the honor of continuing.”

The shop claims to be the top retailer of craft beer in North Carolina, carrying more than 1,500 varieties, according to its website

The store’s history began in 1946 when Carl Boy Sr. opened an Esso gas station on the property, followed soon after by a drive-in grill known as The Blue Light. In the ’50s and ’60s, it began to become a favorite spot for Duke students. In 1974, it closed and reopened, now branded as Sam’s Quik Shop. 

Boy said that the property is being bought by developers, and that the end product will be called Blue Light Living. He said there is more information to come. 

The Erwin Road location was not the only bottle shop owned by Boy’s family. A few years ago, he opened Sam’s Bottle Shop, also in Durham. He wrote in the Facebook post that he intends to refocus his efforts on that location. 

“Now I’m going to focus my efforts on Sam’s Bottle Shop and make that what I’ve always envisioned it to be,” Boy wrote.

The shop, however, went out with a bang. According to a Facebook event posted on the shop’s page, it held a farewell party—“End of an Era: New Year’s Eve at Sam’s Quik Shop” until 1 a.m. on Jan. 1.

“Our time has come to an end in Durham, and we couldn’t think of a more fitting way to go out than with one last hurrah!” the post said. 

Bre Bradham

Bre is a senior political science major from South Carolina, and she is the current video editor, special projects editor and recruitment chair for The Chronicle. She is also an associate photography editor and an investigations editor. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief and local and national news department head. 

Twitter: @brebradham



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