Those of us who attended Duke between 1916 and 1982 have fond memories of a burger, milkshake, or cherry Coke served by "Mama Ruthie" or one of the many other friendly staff members who made the Dope Shop on West Campus a special gathering place to eat, shop for "sundries," or shoot some pool.
"Dope," a slang term used for cola drinks, probably came from the once-popular, though mistaken, belief that Coca-Cola contained small amounts of cocaine. At one point, there was a Dope Shop on East Campus, in the Crowell Building, in addition to the one on West, down the dark stairs to the basement of the Union Building. The opening of the Bryan Center, with its array of food services, marked the end of this campus tradition.
The Dope on Snacking
June 1, 2004