I swear that ever since I took this column over, tattoo shops keep popping up from out of nowhere. On this day, I was about to play a gig at Mulcahy’s out in Wantagh, Long Island, opening for Big Noize featuring New Jersey’s own Joe Lynn Turner, when I noticed a tattoo shop around the corner while I was loading my equipment into the club. Of course, once I got my equipment in, I had to indulge my curiosity and take a look inside. The shop was called Da Vinci Tattoo Studio and it’s literally located around the block from Mulcahy’s on the Sunrise Highway.
I walked into this immaculate shop that was so clean that you can eat off of the floors. The walls were like a burnt red with framed artwork hung on the walls. Da Vinci Tattoo seemed to pull all of the stops to make sure that their customers were comfortable. I have to admit that if I was looking to get tattooed on this day, I probably would’ve. That’s how comfortable I felt. I haven’t felt like this since I stopped at Pure Ink in Ledgewood, NJ, which this shop sort of reminded me of. There was a reception desk up front made of glass and filled with body jewelry and other merchandise with a hallway of private tattooing rooms behind it and to the right. Directly across from the rooms was the standard wall of flash art. I guess a must-have for all tattoo shops.
Owner Frank Romano opened Da Vinci Tattoo Studio back in March of 1991. Frank’s been tattooing since 1983 where he got his start in Denver, CO. In 1985, Frank would move to upstate New York and work in a small shop for about a year. After that, he felt the need to come back to his roots in Long Island, where he continues to work today. Since he’s the boss, he only has to work Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 12 p.m. till 10 p.m. Frank is usually booked way in advance, so it’s usually hard to make an appointment with the boss. He enjoys doing cover-up work, Japanese art, and feminine designs.