Sam’s Bottle Shop didn’t just come from out of nowhere. It’s been a long time in the making. Sam’s began long ago and our story is a part of Durham’s history. The following paragraphs will give you a general understanding of where we came from, but the true history is one that many folks in this town weave for themselves. You’re sure to hear some fun stories from the old timers!
Sam’s Quik Shop’s history goes all the way back to 1946 when Carl Boy Sr. opened an Esso gas station along with his sons Carl Jr., James, and Sam. The Esso stood roughly where the carwash is today. In 1949 the Boy’s branched out and opened another business on the property, a drive-in grill known to this day as The Blue Light. The Blue Light enjoyed a long history through the 1950′s and 60′s when it would become a favorite hangout for Durham locals and Duke University students and athletes. It was in this period that Sam’s brothers moved away and Sam continued running The Blue Light with his wife Gerry, who he married in 1950.
The next chapter of the business began in 1974 when Sam and Gerry closed The Blue Light and reopened as a convenience store aptly named Sam’s Quik Shop. Sam and Gerry grew their business by carrying large varieties of goods such as newspapers, magazines, wine, and beer. They were also one of the first places to rent VHS tapes in Durham. By the beginning of the 90′s Sam and Gerry passed the keys to the family business to their son John who runs the store still. It was years ago when John’s mom turned the store into the direction of carrying a nicer selection of wine and beer, but John took this idea and pushed it further once North Carolina “popped the cap”.
And now we have Sam’s Bottle Shop. A place destined to create its own history on the southern side of Durham. So come over and enjoy an outstanding beer off one of our twenty-six taps and help us in continuing the story of a true Durham original!