Spokane Journal of Business

Rainier Drum Shop hopes to keep beat with percussion market

Rainier Drum Shop, soundproof demo room to open this month

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-—Virginia Thomas
Rainier Drum Shop owners Logan Keith, left, and Nic Powell flank store manager Josh Fry at the company’s soon-to-open shop in downtown Spokane.

A vintage and used drum store, Rainier Drum Shop, will open next month in downtown Spokane.

Owners Logan Keith and Nic Powell joined with store manager Josh Fry at the beginning of the year to find a brick-and-mortar location for Rainier Drum Shop. The shop is located in a 1,400-square-foot space at 114 W. Pacific, just off south Browne Street. The shop entrance is located on the north side of the building, facing the railroad tracks.

There are few drum shops in the Pacific Northwest, and fewer still that specialize in vintage drums, Fry claims.

“There's a couple of shops in Portland and Seattle, but we're really the only place over here where you can buy a set of Camcos or an old set of Rogers,” Fry says. “You can buy them online, but there's nowhere to try it, at least in a general radius of four or five hours.”

Rainier Drum Shop has about 30 drum sets—most of which are vintage or used—for sale, as well as drumsticks, cymbal stands, drum parts, and other drum accessories.

“We're trying to offer full service in the used and vintage category with one shop,” Fry says. “We'll have some new stuff, but we're mainly trying to have stuff that's more accessible.”

Customers will be able to test out drums in the shop’s soundproof room.

An opening date hasn’t been set for the shop yet, but the trio says it’s likely to open within the next few weeks. Fry says the shop initially will be open noon-5 p.m. four days a week, and hours for Rainier Drum Shop will depend on demand, he says.

“If we have more demand, and people want to come in earlier or later, we'll adjust our hours,” he says.

Appointments are available on request. “The number goes directly to my phone,” he says. “So if they’re in town, they need something in a pinch, and it's within reason, we've got some ability to do that.”

Fry, who previously had sold vintage drums on his own from his home in Coeur d’Alene, sold a 1940s Leedy Drum Co. set to Keith a couple of years ago, and the two developed a friendship. Fry had been restoring drums since his teen years, and Keith wanted to get involved in restoration work.

Keith and Powell, both originally from Indiana, knew each other from their years in the Hoosier State’s drumming scene. Last year, they launched Powell & Keith Drum Co., a snare drum manufacturing company.

They decided to offer to buy Rainier Drum Shop and make Fry manager of the brick-and-mortar store he’d been dreaming of.

“I saw an opportunity, with having a team, versus just myself,” Fry says.

He moved to Spokane to manage the shop and its relationships with customers and manufacturers. Logan, who lives in Coeur d’Alene, handles Rainier Drum Shop’s e-commerce, marketing, and merchandising. He created the shop’s bass drum mascot, Thumper. Powell still lives in Indiana, where he teaches percussion and remotely deals with the shop’s business operations.

“They get the fun job of getting to touch pieces of American history all the time,” Powell says. “I'm the one doing conference calls with attorneys and budgeting and paying who needs to get paid.”

Fry says that he hopes to start offering clinics and small events at the shop to foster education and community with local drummers.

Some of those clinics and events could involve well-known drummers, Logan says.

“A lot of touring drummers have a respect for the drumming world, and more than likely will want to nerd out,” Logan says. “If they find out there's a cool drum shop nearby, the majority of them are probably going to want to check it out. They’re still drum nerds.”

Small bites

Betty Jean’s BBQ held a soft opening in mid-May on the South Hill. The restaurant is located in a 2,500-square-foot former Thai Bamboo building at 2926 E. 29th. According to Betty Jean’s BBQ’s Facebook page, temporary hours are 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, 1 p.m.-9 p.m. Saturday. 

Owners Omar and Ranelle Jones specialize in North Carolina barbecue. BettyJeans BBQ’s menu includes pulled pork sandwiches, po’ boy sandwiches, barbecue ribs, hush puppies, fried okra, and homemade southern sweet tea.

Virginia Thomas
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Reporter Virginia Thomas has worked at the Journal since 2017 and covers the health care industry. As a reporter, she loves learning about Spokane's many growing industries. She enjoys travelling with her husband, snuggling with her cats, and cross stitching.

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