I'm going to make a bold statement. Centaur Guitar is the best guitar shop in Portland. While it doesn't have the selection of Apple Music, nor the size of Guitar Center, it has something 99% of the other shops lack: soul. Every time I walk into the shop, Kelly and Jason welcome me like an old friend. They invite me to try out whatever gear I want, and welcome any questions I may have. The selection of gear ranges from high end Les Pauls, Fenders, and Marshalls, to low end Corts and Crates, to crazy custom built effect pedals and guitars. There are two particular experiences that summarize my overall experience with the place. The first was when I was playing a show with my band and our bassist broke a string and didn't have any replacements. It was fairly late in the evening and Portland Music, the first shop we checked, was closed. We then ran to Centaur. It too was closed, but Jason and Kelly were still inside and let us in, sold us some strings, and were generally awesome about the whole situation. The second experience was when I set out to buy my first electric guitar last year. Although they didn't have the exact guitar I was looking for, they offered to call me if any came into stock, and also pointed me to a few other shops around the city that may have had it. Fortunately, I returned to Centaur and purchased an Epiphone dot. They gave it a full tune up for free, gave me a hardshell case for half off, and threw in a free t-shirt too. As long as Centaur stays around, I'll never go anywhere else for my guitar needs.
Pros: Best customer service ever, Summer parking lot shows