One of the Triangle’s most influential beer stores will close next month

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One of the Triangle’s most influential and popular bottle shop brands will close next month.

What is with you Sam’s Bottle Shop A South Durham beer shop will close its doors on February 11 after a decade in business, it has announced.

The closing ends a much longer chapter for the Sam name, which helped lead the Triangle for craft beer through Sam’s Quik Shop and Bottle Shop.

“I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work for 40 of the more than 80 years in this family business,” owner John Boy said in a video on Sam’s Bottle Shop’s Facebook page. “I have met more clients and industry professionals and made many more friends over these years. I cannot say how much I appreciate all the love you have shown us over the years. Saying goodbye is very difficult.”

Sam’s Bottle Shop opened in 2014, and although it closed a decade later, the brand’s legacy of supporting craft beer in the Triangle goes back even further.

History of Sam’s Quik Shop/Bottle Shop

Carl Boy and his family opened a gas station on Irwin Road in Durham in 1947 and later opened the Blue Light Restaurant.

When the restaurant closed in 1974, it was changed to… Sam Quick Storesmall store.

In the 1970s and 1980s, John Boy said his mother, Geri, was keen on stocking beer beyond the standard American label. Quik focused on imported beers, Boy said, and on the craft beers that existed at the time.

As the craft beer market continues to grow, John Boy said Quik Stop’s shelves are starting to transform from a traditional convenience store to a bottle shop.

In recent years, Carl’s grandson, John Boy, has focused Sam’s Quik on craft beer, both American and international. Sam’s was one of the few places in the Triangle where beer lovers could reliably find the West Coast’s freshest IPA, rare Belgian lamb stew, and everything in between.

“It just kept growing and growing,” Bowie said in a phone interview. “As we grew, another section of the store would disappear and we would convert it to craft beer… This wouldn’t have happened if my mother hadn’t started selling what was available in those times. No one else was doing it.”

Sam’s Bottle Shop in recent years

In 2018, John Boy sold the Erwin Road property to real estate developer Wilmorite Construction for $5 million, and Sam’s Quik closed at the end of that year. The site today is the seven-story Blue Light Living student housing complex, a nod to the former Blue Light restaurant.

In closing Sam’s Quik, Boy pointed to the property’s heritage and its various forms in Durham.

“I would like to thank the generations of customers and employees who have walked through the doors of The Blue Light and Sam’s Quik Shop,” Bowie said in a Facebook post dated December 31, 2018. Your soul is similar to your neighbor. This was not an easy decision to make, and I thought about many things, my parents, me growing up in this store, and the changing times from when I was eating dinner and in the car to a small store that offered movie rentals and a large number of stores. The beer store’s selection has become the leading beer shop in North Carolina today.

Sam’s Bottle Shop has continued to operate for the past five years, offering more retail and beverage space and a rooftop bar. The boy owns the Bottle Shop building and said no other business is poised to take it over.

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