Business

Durham bottle shop Sam’s Quik Shop to close at end of year

The Sam’s Quik Shop property on Erwin Road could become an apartment building targeted at Duke University students, according to plans submitted to the city.
The Sam’s Quik Shop property on Erwin Road could become an apartment building targeted at Duke University students, according to plans submitted to the city. The Herald-Sun

Sam’s Quik Shop in Durham, one of the city’s original bottle shops, will close its doors at the end of the year.

Owner John Boy said in a Facebook post that he has decided to sell the property on Erwin Road.

In July, The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun reported that Wilmorite Construction of Rochester, N.Y., had a contract to buy the property and had submitted plans to the city for an 80-unit apartment building on the Sam’s Quik Shop property. At the time, Boy declined to comment to The N&O, but he later posted on the company’s Facebook page that he had spoken to several real estate developers over the years and had nothing to report. He added that the business would continue to serve the community.

On Tuesday, his Facebook post was more direct.

“I’ve come to the decision to sell this property and am closing Sam’s Quik Shop on December 31st,” Boy wrote. “This was not an easy decision to make but ultimately it was the best one for me and my family.”

As of yet, no sale has been recorded with the Durham Register of Deeds.

Paul Wilmot, the president of Wilmorite Construction, told The N&O in July that his company had been interested in the property for nearly two years, and that the company wanted to put apartments for students there. The 1.2-acre property is near Duke University’s East Campus and a future stop on the proposed Durham-Orange Light Rail transit project.

The Sam’s Quik Shop building’s history goes back to 1946, when Carl Boy opened a gas station on the property, according to Sam’s Bottle Shop’s website. In 1949, the Boy family opened up the Blue Light Restaurant on the property. The restaurant closed in 1974, when it was converted into a convenience store called Sam’s Quik Shop, the website says.

In recent years, John Boy, Carl’s grandson, also built a second, larger store in South Durham called Sam’s Bottle Shop. John Boy said that he is now turning his focus to running that store.

“I would like to thank the generations of customers and employees that have walked through the doors of The Blue Light and Sam’s Quik Shop,” Boy said in the Facebook post. “Thank you for your support, loyalty and your neighbor-like spirit. 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 & 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.”

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Zachery Eanes is the Innovate Raleigh reporter for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. He covers technology, startups and main street businesses, biotechnology, and education issues related to those areas.
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