Best musical instrument store (Inside Chittenden County)
Winner: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010.
Mike Trombley, co-owner of Advance Music Center, suffered through six months of forced classical music lessons as a kid before ditching his guitar in a closet. When he pulled it out later to teach himself “Smoke on the Water,” he reluctantly gave due credit to his former teacher. Years later, he opened Advance Music. The store’s core audience now includes kids and their parents who are looking to buy or rent instruments and enroll in lessons.
SEVEN DAYS: Ever had any famous musicians take lessons or shop here?
MIKE TROMBLEY: Back in the early days, all the Phish guys shopped here, and three of them still do. We also did a lot of repairs for Grace Potter and have had the Allman Brothers, Jethro Tull and the Tragically Hip. We’ve had a decent run of the famous and semi-famous through here.
—LINDSAY J. WESTLEY