Built on a Legacy
In August 2020, The Blue Light will open its doors as state-of-the-art student housing steps from Duke University, but it’s not the first time this unique piece of land is thriving with opportunity. The luxury apartment location is considered sacred ground by generations of people who have called Durham home. Driving by 1605 Erwin Road brings back fond memories of a flourishing place that served as a connecting point for the close-knit community dating back to the 1940s.
Throughout the years, a variety of businesses have occupied this address — all owned and operated by the entrepreneurial Boy family. Perhaps the fondest memory stemming from this hallowed ground is the namesake reason behind The Blue Light — an iconic drive-in-turned- diner that Duke students and Durham locals loved for more than 20 years, especially for serving as a means to cultivate community and for serving the best milkshakes around.
As a nod of honor to a rich past, The Blue Light student housing development anchors into the cornerstone of legacy established long ago, and will continue to faithfully serve Duke students and the city of Durham with excellence in the same manner the Boy family did so well for decades.
Carl Boy Sr. and his sons, Carl Jr., James, and Sam, began their family business journey by opening Esso gas station in the center of Durham — a convenient location serving students and locals.
The Boy family opens The Blue Light Restaurant — a drive-in-turned-diner with a classic menu of burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, milkshakes, and more, that served as a popular hangout for Duke students and Durham locals.
The husband-and-wife team of Sam and Gerry Boy saw a need to transition the restaurant into a top-notch convenience store called Sam’s Quik Shop that offered a large selection of beer, wine, newspapers, magazines, food items, VHS rentals, and more.
Sam and Gerry’s son, John, begins a new chapter in the family business as a third-generation owner by continuing to build on his parents’ legacy of operating Sam’s Quik Shop as a place that specialized solely in wine, beer, and community connection.
Development begins on The Blue Light — the first purpose-built student housing in Durham opening in August 2020 that offers luxury off-campus apartments near Duke University for students who savor an amenity-rich living experience.
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