A few months ago, my bud Danny Pain from Pure Ink in Ledgewood, NJ told me that he and his partners, Graig Berkowitz and Rich Pizzutillo, were opening a new shop in Bayonne, NJ and calling it the Bayonne Tattoo Company. Now, there were two reasons for me to visit this new shop. Number one, my wife is from Bayonne, and number two, I love the Pure Ink shop and have gotten all my tats from them. So, it was only natural for me to be curious about their sister shop in good ol’ Hudson County. Unlike the more suburban shop in Ledgewood, parking in the more urban Bayonne was hard to come by, especially since the day that I chose to visit, there was still tons of snow on the ground, making it difficult to find a spot. Luckily, I found a metered spot right across the street from the Bayonne Tattoo Company on Broadway in Bayonne.
I walked into the small blue waiting room adorned with frames of flash art on its walls with a reception desk on the left and a TV on the left wall. There was a chrome “Bayonne Tattoo Company” sign behind the desk and a leather couch on the right with a coffee table full of artist portfolios in front of it. How’s that for painting a picture of the entrance? If you walked straight ahead after walking through the front door past the front desk and through the partition, you’ll find yourself where the magic happens at the Bayonne Tattoo Company! That’s right! The artists’ work stations! The work area was out in the open unlike its sister shop that has private rooms for tattooing, but the open room allowed open conversation.
I was greeted by the shop’s manager and artist, Ian Spong, whose work station was conveniently placed at the front of the work area. Ian told me that they only opened Bayonne Tattoo Company at the end of October, so they’re still fairly new. Joining him at the shop are two other amazing artists in Anthony Pereira, who worked with Ian at Pure Ink before making the move to B.T.C., and Al Casais, an artist from the area. When I asked Ian what would draw me into this shop, he told me “the comfortable, friendly environment and its fun.” He also felt that the kind of work they do or are looking to do is different than everyone else. Just like Pure Ink, they’re mainly a custom shop. Ian says that customers use the flash art on the wall as inspiration for them to create something new.
I asked Ian why Danny, Greg and Rich decided to call the new shop Bayonne Tattoo Company as opposed to naming it like Pure Ink II or something. He said he wasn’t really sure, but he thinks they wanted to open up a business and have it associated with the sister shop, but run as its own entity at the same time. He says they’re all very “hands-on” with this shop, however, and that they’re definitely looking to expand to other locations. Then, I asked Ian what he thought about the location of this shop, and he told me it was great! There’s a lot of foot traffic. He felt that it’s definitely different than Pure Ink, where you rely on word of mouth and repeat clients. He says at the Bayonne shop, there’s so much foot traffic, it’s a different environment, and he really likes where they are: right in the heart of Bayonne! He also told me the shop has been consistently busy since opening. Walk-ins have been keeping them busy. As a shop, they try to book their appointments during the week and leave the weekends open for the walk-in clientele since Broadway is busiest on the weekends, which leads to more walk-in foot traffic. Sounds like a great plan to me!
When we discussed prices, Ian told me they based their prices on the size of the artwork, but they’re also willing to work with potential clients on pricing. When it comes to making an appointment, a $60 non-refundable deposit is required and is added to the final balance. There are no minors allowed in the shop and anyone less than 18 years of age will not be tattooed because of a law in the town of Bayonne. Ian also said they want everyone to feel comfortable when they walk into Bayonne Tattoo Company.
I asked Ian what the difference was between Pure Ink and Bayonne Tattoo Company and his response was pretty interesting. He told me the main difference was that Bayonne was more of a street shop that does custom large-scale work. They also probably get more walk-ins than Pure Ink does due to their city-type of location.
Ian runs a clean shop where everything is autoclave sterilized on a nightly basis and everything is disposable for the most part. That’s definitely something you want to see in a shop. My wife’s cousin and husband have been tattooed by Ian himself and they had nothing but great things to say about him and his staff. Not to mention, their tattoos came out great! I think Danny Pain and company did a great job with this new shop from staffing to location and I can’t wait to see where they open a shop next.
Bayonne Tattoo Company is open Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. until 9 p.m., Saturday from 12 p.m. until 9 p.m. and closed on Sundays. The sign on the front door says “No Minors,” so it’s not like they’re hiding that fact. If you happen to be in Bayonne and would like to check out the Bayonne Tattoo Company, they’re located at 668 Broadway in Bayonne. If you have any questions, you can give them a call at (201) 823-2088 or visit their website bayonnetattoocompany.com. You can also “Like” them on Facebook at facebook.com/bayonnetattoocompany. This is a great little shop in Hudson County that anyone from the area should consider for their next piece of skin art. I’m not only saying that because the owners are my friends. Their reputation definitely precedes them.
Well, I’m off to check out my next tattoo spot! Who knows what state it will be in! If you have a tattoo shop that you want to suggest, please e-mail me the name of the place and whom I should ask for at firstname.lastname@example.org.