Oh hey, this is kind of awesome for you guys in south Durham: you’re getting a Sam’s Quik Shop of your own near Hope Valley Commons!
I moved to Durham almost exactly the same time that Sam’s became the best damn beer store in the area, which was in the wake of changes to NC’s prohibition on high alcohol brews. Sam’s was way ahead of the trend, and this weird old gas station / drive-in quickly became the dominant player in the microbrew retail space.
A fond memory of your’s truly was the kind-of secret Sam’s “Brew Club” – still have the card, member #601 – which entitled you to lower prices for high alcohol beers and a t-shirt that has sadly been lost to time.
Sam’s was nearly displaced several years ago by one of Durham’s many half-baked public transit schemes. The TTA had drafted plans to put a train station nearby and imminent domain the Sam’s property for use as a parking lot, but the rail project (predictably) fell through and Sam’s has continued rocking the original location to this day. The Herald-Sun’s article linked above makes it sound as if this project could still happen, but it’s pretty clear that any movement would be years out at this point.
As NC’s (and Durham’s) beer industry has continued to grow, so has Sam’s selection, and the store is basically just wall to wall beer and wine now. It’s killer. The dudes who work there are awesome and seem to really dig the job. Sam’s also happened to be one of the first locations I started seeing food trucks go with frequency, and there’s almost nothing better than ordering some crazy food in the lot, going inside to grab a 6-pack, and having crazy food ready by the time you get out.