Small-Batch Stringed Instruments, Expert Repairs & Workshops


Chicago GuitarSpace is an instrument manufacturing and repair shop that sits on the Chicago River in the no-man’s land between Chinatown, Pilsen, and Bridgeport. In our basement studio, we design and manufacture small-batch instruments, with a commitment to durability, and hand-craftsmanship. We are also proud to honor and play some small part in the tradition of Chicago made instruments—the Kays, Silvertones, Harmonys, Supros, and other affordable instruments that poured out of the city to the rest of the country via mail-order catalogs for much of the twentieth century. The designs and innovations of some of these guitars provide inspiration often outlasting the instruments themselves.

The True Repairman Will Repair Man

With years of professional experience, our techs can fix virtually any instrument. We specialize in major restoration work, but we do set-ups, install new pick-ups, and touch up finishes, too. Check out our repair rates or swing by for an estimate.

Effect Pedal & Noisemaker Workshops


Our electronics workshops teach students how discrete components work together to create noise, amplify, crush, squash, reverberate, and so on. But theory ain’t nothing without practice, and we spend as much time building, testing, and modding as we do talking. We’ll build everything from sweet-sounding overdrives and reverbs to goofy, lo-fi synthesizers and other farting, unpredictable, noisemaking dinguses. All materials and tools provided, and every student walks away with a finished project.

Shop Time & Instruction

We used to do this out of our apartment (our landlord is a saint), so we understand how hard it is to build cool stuff while living in a city. We are a full-fledged woodshop, and if you’re interested in using our space and tools to work on any wood-based projects, let us know.

About the Owner

Twenty-odd years ago, Richard Phillis built his first guitar to replace a 1967 Fender Jaguar that he sold during a particularly lean winter. Since then, he has built and designed dozens of stringed instruments. With a background in guitar playing, fine arts, and furniture building, Richard combines these disciplines to design and manufacture good-looking guitars that won’t give up on you. He also has over a decade of teaching experience, having led classes in fine arts, design, and all areas of guitar repair and building.