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Capitol Hill gets a guitar shop: High Voltage ready to rock E Pike

Lomba wants to fix your electric six (Image: CHS)

Pike/Pine rockers will soon have a new place to buy guitar strings. Mandolins, too.

“If it has strings, we can fix it,” Chris Lomba boasts of new E Pike music store, High Voltage.

The new venture in the former unhappy home of art space Square Room is set to open Saturday with a big bash:

High Voltage Music is a new music store opening up in the heart of Seattle (Pike & Broadway) this weekend!

Our goal is to be a positive and convenient resource for Seattle’s music community. We’ll be stocking gear and accessories made by our friends/your friends locally, as well as gear you’ve always used, loved and relied on. This is a safe space, a space to feel wild in, and we’ll be growing and evolving to become an inclusive resource for all musicians! 

Consign your things! Help us fill up the store! Help yr gear find a new home! 

Come party with us at the grand opening Saturday (August 18th)!

“We want to get guitars, fix guitars and put guitars in good hands,” said Nate Ellis-Brown.

But, yeah, expect to find plenty of other stringed instruments and music gear on the walls and in the display cases at the new store. The High Voltage crew has been handling the build-out of the shop themselves. On a sweltering Seattle afternoon, that means rockers in shorts. It’s not pretty. Ellis-Brown isn’t currently performing but Lomba is a member of local band Fonzarelli and most other partners and employees come to the store after working at other music stores and as part of the Seattle rock and music scene. Seattle music producer Pat Gray rounds out the roster of partners getting High Voltage off the ground.

It was almost one year ago that CHS reported the E Pike spaces for Square Room and neighboring restaurant Ballet had been put up for lease. The beloved — and affordable — Ballet has remained in its home but Square Room moved on and faded out of the space over the past year.

The emergence of a bonafide guitar shop on the HIll marks the first time in recent memory such a venture has been attempted in the area. Ellis-Brown tells legend of a store that once operated on Broadway but besides that, guitar gods have had to turn to local DJ shop Platinum Records when the need for new string arises. Meanwhile, the live music scene in Pike/Pine has for the most part survived the upscaling of much of the food and drink and nightlife offerings in the area even if many of the underground performance spaces have been pushed out the E Pike core. The Capitol Hill Block Party — an event that defines the Hill to many people outside the neighborhood and in — builds its main stage a gaffer’s tape toss down the street from High Voltage’s new front door.

The store will specialize in repair and consignment — Ellis-Brown says there are just too many nice, vintage guitars in Seattle to bother with the new ones.

Learn more at

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14 thoughts on “Capitol Hill gets a guitar shop: High Voltage ready to rock E Pike

  1. I see how it is. Its all about the guitar players. No love for drummers. No, I understand…there is no glamour in that. Nah, seriously, its nice to see a music supply store of any kind on the hill.

  2. I welcome this shop with open arms, love that they’re having a party to celebrate, and I’ll definitely shop here for my musician friends. I’m not a musician, and even I’ve been grumbling for years about how there’s no guitar shop in the hill. It’s antithetical to the spirit and history of this neighborhood! The city should find ways to bring business to Capitol Hill that encourage music, not discourage it. (And I agree with the other posters that it’d be awesome if this store catered, even in small ways, to other musicians, like drummers, etc.)

  3. I’m sure somebody from High Voltage will pop in here but 1) they’ll definitely have a broader spectrum than just guitar stuff and 2) I got sense they’ll be open and fast to cater to feedback :) Nimble!

  4. Hey! Nate from High Voltage here, we will have sticks, heads, drum parts, used hardware and a bunch of other stuff! On the string side, we will have Uke, Mandolin, Banjo, Baritone and many other strings. Full repair shop for just about anything. We open up tomorrow, swing by!

  5. Just stopped by this place today. Great space and great owners. Its not just guitars, y’all. This shop is all about about supporting local musicians.
    If you don’t see what you need, ASK, I’m sure they will do their best to help you out.

    Totally psyched this place is here.

    Rock on Y’all!!!

  6. Jseattle, We are so happy High Voltage is in the neighborhood. Can you please qualify your statement ‘unhappy home’? We loved that space and we were there for almost 6 years. Due to our schedule and how much time we spend on the road, it didn’t make a lot of sense to renegotiate our lease with the landlord. We are still in the neighborhood and still going strong and still very happy. I find it curious that I’m still defending myself against your snide remarks. Good luck to High Voltage and welcome to the neighborhood.

  7. That’s good to hear, Brian. Sorry to mischaracterize your exit from the space. At one point when I talked to Square Room management, I was told about unhappiness with the situation and frustration at the situation with the lease. Again, apologies if things changed or if I misunderstood what you told me.

  8. Thanks J, I believe it was explained to you that we were unhappy that our landlord was trying to triple our rent. I think that would be common with any landlord/tenant and it was the same with the beloved Ballet. They chose to stay, we however found the perfect situation and immediately signed a new lease with our new amazing landlord. Our 5 years plus in the 910 location was a great experience for us and we are grateful to all of our friends and clients that have supported over the many years.