From its simple exterior, there is nothing to suggest that the Kill Devil Hills Stop N Shop is anything more than just another gas station or convenience mart — a place to fill up and grab a cup of coffee and a stale doughnut. There are the familar Exxon pumps outside and a rack of local newspapers by the door. Nothing you haven’t seen before. Step inside, though, and you’ll know: This place is different.
Located on the Beach Road at one of the busiest intersections in town, the Stop N Shop is certainly in a convenient location. But convenience is not what has kept customers coming back for 25 years. Inside, there is a tackle shop staffed by employees who know and understand the equipment and conditions. Surrounding the rods, reels, and fishing paraphernalia is a well-stocked beach shop with what may be the largest selection of quality sandals on the beach and sunglasses ranging from cheap to Oakleys.
But head to the back of the shop, past the three or four racks of gourmet spreads and sauces. Hmm, that’s different, you think. And keep walking, past the rows of fine chocolates just across from the freshly brewed Guatemalan coffee. Make your way to the sandwich counter, considered by some to be one of the best-kept secrets on the entire Outer Banks. You’ll likely stand in line, behind six or seven people waiting to have their name called.
These are true deli sandwiches here, thick Boar’s Head meats cut to order and piled high on fresh, homemade bread. A Wright Monumental Club gets you slices of ham and turkey layered with lettuce, tomato, and bacon with a “special spicy flying sauce”; the Veggie Weggie pairs Swiss, Muenster, and provolone cheeses with black olives and roasted red peppers on wheat bread; and the classic Reuben is just perfect — warm and salty, and the dressing seems to seep from the edge of the sandwich.
It sometimes takes a little while for a sandwich to be made, but this is a great store to wander around. The beer selection is amazing; there is a small but excellent wine collection; and there’s a rack, 20 feet long and three tiers high, displaying every kind of potato chip imaginable.
Jay Patel, who last year bought the business from its original founders, Tom and Vickie Byers, recognizes the shop’s winning combination. “We have the best deli around, and the staff is like family,” Patel says. “When someone from Raleigh arrives, they come here knowing they’re going to get service. Everyone loves it here, and we’re not going to change that.”
Kill Devil Hills Stop N Shop
100 South Virginia Dare Trail
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
Kip Tabb is a freelance writer and editor for the North Beach Sun. He lives in the Outer Banks.