Thunder Road Guitars Opens Second Location in Portland

Frank Gross — owner of Thunder Road Guitars in Seattle — has worked in music stores and guitar shops nearly his whole life, but he never intended to own one. It just kind of happened.

"I was closing the chapter of my life that involved playing in DIY punk bands in the Seattle area and the question was, ‘What do I want to do now? How can I still be involved in music but not necessarily tour 250 days a year and sleep in a van,’" Gross said. "And the idea came up to take what I learned from my time in guitar stores and launch an online version of that."

Initially an online-only store, Thunder Road Guitars quickly built up a local reputation and buzz that enabled Gross to open an 800 square foot brick-and-mortar store in Seattle. In 2015, the store graduated to a larger location — more than three times the size of the original — down the street. And this fall, the brand hit yet another milestone with the opening of Thunder Road Guitars in Portland.

I love the history of guitars. I love buying and selling guitars. Even if I didn’t do it for money, I’d still find a way to do something similar on the side because I enjoy it so much." - Will York

Owned and operated by former Seattle location employee Will York, Thunder Road Guitars in Portland features the same vintage and classic inventory that has attracted customers to Thunder Road Guitars in Seattle since its inception. Similar to its sister store, the Portland location strives to have a consistent flow of both vintage and modern guitars from classic brands like Fender, Gibson, Rickenbacker, Marshall, and more.

According to York, running the store gives him an opportunity to stay close to both the music industry and something he loves: guitars. "I love the history of guitars. I love buying and selling guitars. Even if I didn’t do it for money, I’d still find a way to do something similar on the side because I enjoy it so much."

Both Gross and York are confident that the shop will benefit Portland’s dynamic music scene and complement the music gear stores that already call the city home.

"Portland does have a lot of great music shops, and it’s a cool community to be in. If someone comes in, and I don’t have the exact guitar he or she is looking for, I can send him down the street to one of the other shops."

Take a spin through the pictures below, visit the shop in Nob Hill, or check out the Thunder Road Guitars PDX Reverb shop.


comments powered by Disqus