Thunder Road Guitars' Seattle storefront.


Thunder Road Expands to Oregon

Seattle-based Thunder Road Guitars is on-track for a September opening of its second shop, located in Portland, Oregon.

"Portland's the nearest major city to Seattle and I love it; I always thought it would be cool to expand our brand and store to another city," said Frank Gross, owner of Thunder Road Guitars. "But with a growing family and the store here in Seattle taking a lot of time, it was never really in the cards until recently."

One of Gross' employees, Will York, moved from Seattle to Portland to manage and handle the day-to-day operations of the Nob Hill location, which encompasses roughly 1,000 square feet and will mirror the same business model as Thunder Road's flagship Seattle location.

Thunder Road Guitars began exclusively online in 2011 and moved to an 800-square-foot shop in West Seattle a few years after building the brand and establishing a customer base. The team of three moved to a 3,200-square-foot space in June 2015.

"I'm a little bit of a control freak when it comes to the store and the brand — partnering with somebody else to open another store was a little bit of a leap of faith," Gross said. "But I'm excited. I don't know if we'll have hundreds of stores like a big-box retailer or anything, but I think, in the long term, it would be cool to have a few more stores on the West Coast or in the Midwest."