The Boy family, who owned Sam’s Quik Shop for decades, plans to open a “spin-off” of the convenience store in downtown Durham and name it “The Quikie.”
Sam’s Quik Shop, a student favorite store known for its vast selection of craft beer on Erwin Road, closed January 2019, and the money from its sale is being reinvested into the new shop, which will be located at 618 Ramseur Street. Wilmorite, a New York-based commercial real estate development company, bought the property where Sam’s Quik Shop stood and is currently in the process of building a luxury student apartment complex, Blue Light Living, in its place.
Blue Light Living is slated to open by Fall 2020. The name of the apartment complex is a nod to The Blue Light Restaurant, which existed at the location of Sam’s Quik Shop from 1949 to 1974. In fact, Wilmorite’s office on Ninth Street features a mural photograph of the restaurant, according to Joe Morelle, Wilmorite’s vice president of student housing.
John Boy, the former Sam’s Quik Shop owner, said The Quikie will feature many similar services to the Sam’s Quik Shop along with all of its “good vibes.” Aiming to be opened sometime during the second quarter of 2020, the new shop will be owned by Boy’s partner, Holly Tucker, and daughter, Hollin Boy, making the Boy family’s collective operations a fourth-generation family business.
What Boy misses the most about Sam’s Quik Shop is the friendships developed with his staff over the years. He said that the family hopes The Quikie will foster this same sense of community.
Boy announced that Sam’s Quik Shop would be closing in a December 2018 Facebook post. He wrote that he was planning to “focus [his] efforts on Sam’s Bottle Shop,” a store located on NC Highway 54 that he said is identical in operations to The Quik Shop.
The Bottle Shop features 28 taps on draft, a bar upstairs and a 1,200 square foot upstairs patio. He has integrated many former Quik Shop staff as Bottle Shop employees.
Although the decision to sell the Quik Shop was “really emotional” for Boy, he said that working with the people at Blue Light Living was a positive experience. He “loved the fact that they were a third generation family owned business and [the Boy family] were as well,” and he appreciates their use of many Durham-based companies in the building and planning process.
Blue Light Living
The Blue Light Living apartment complex, according to Morelle, will have 80 two- and three-bedroom apartments, for a total of 211 beds. Because the apartments are fully furnished, Blue Light Living’s target audience is Duke seniors and graduate students who don’t want to buy furniture for a few years, he said, but anyone is welcome.
Morelle said that the complex is unique for its student-oriented financing system, as each person has their own lease and isn’t responsible for their roommate’s rent. Each renter gets their own bedroom, bathroom and walk-in closet, and shares kitchen and living room spaces with their roommates.
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Blue Light Living will boast amenities including a rooftop pool, a fitness center, high-tech study lounges and a 24-hour coffee station, according to its website. The complex will also be pet friendly, complete with a dog park and two pet wash rooms.
According to Property Manager Cynthia Whyte, two-bedroom apartments cost $1,500 per bedroom to rent, with three-bedroom apartments at $1,400 per bedroom.
The complex will include 80 parking spots but over 100 bike lots. The company also hopes that Duke will accept its request to place a bus stop in front of the property, Morelle said.
Wilmorite looked at university towns and cities across the country and decided to expand to Durham because the city “didn’t have this type of unique [off-campus] student-focused apartment complex,” Morelle said. The company has built similar apartment complexes in upstate New York at the Rochester Institute of Technology and Syracuse University.
Despite being a New York-based firm, Morelle explained the company’s engineers and architects are based in Durham because it’s helpful to have “people with a knowledge of Durham and its markets” working on the apartment complex.
Correction: This article has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of one of the owners of The Quikie, Hollin Boy. The Chronicle regrets the error.
Anna Zolotor is a Trinity junior and news editor of The Chronicle's 117th volume.