While I was out in South Philly one night, a friend of ours was raving about this new tattoo shop he goes to when he wants to some new body artwork done. So, I asked him to take me there so I can check it out. He brought us to what looked like an art-based t-shirt shop called JINXED. On the second floor of this t-shirt store was where Eastern Pass Tattoo Co. was located. My wife, a sucker for art-based t-shirts, decided she wanted to take a look at what JINXED had to offer. My friend and I headed upstairs to check out Eastern Pass Tattoo Co. This place was immaculate and more spacious than it seemed from the outside.
I walked up the steps to a half wall with a couple of frames with flash art hung on it. In fact, every wall was adorned with frames of flash art. Behind me was a spacious waiting room and a desk that looked like it was there for a receptionist. Beyond the half wall was where two stations were set up for the tattooing to happen. This is where owners Scott Bakoss and Mike Hooligan made all the magic happen in front of a large window that overlooked East Passyunk Village. The wooden floors were also a nice touch for this shop also.
Both Scott and Mike were with clients, so I only asked a couple of questions about the shop when each of them took a break from their clients, but for the most part, I just took a look around the shop. I also looked through both of their portfolios and I have to admit that both of their tattoo work was very clean, which means their lines were very precise and clear, signs of pretty good artists. When I asked why a prospective client like myself would choose Eastern Pass Tattoo Co. as my tattoo shop of choice, I didn’t get the typical answer of, “Because we’re a friendly and family-oriented shop.” I was told, “Our shop offers a beautiful, private, and creative space where artists and clients can work together to push creative boundaries while staying true to the craft and tradition of tattooing. Our shop is for those who value art as well as the art of tattooing.” That might be the best answer I’ve ever heard.
Scott and Mike opened Eastern Pass Tattoo Co. back in 2014. They say that they chose the East Passyunk area because they loved its artistic community, warm vibe, fantastic food and drink, boutiques, and vintage inspiration. The neighborhood, just like Eastern Pass Tattoo, thrives off that magic mix of old school and cutting edge, which you can tell by their tattooing and artwork.
Scott and Mike are currently the only artists in the shop. Scott Bakoss is a 20-year tattoo vet, who worked in some of the most reputable tattoo shops in the country and alongside some of the best tattoo artists in the world. He specializes in both traditional Americana and Japanese art, but he’s best known for being highly capable of tattooing in all styles and on all people. Scott prides himself on working closely with his clients to create the tattoos they love. Mike Hooligan, also a 20-year tattoo veteran, opened his first tattoo shop, Hooligan Ink, back in 1999. He currently owns two other tattoo shops in Pennsylvania, but is pretty psyched to finally own a tattoo shop in his hometown of South Philly. Mike specializes in everything from traditional American tattoos to detailed black and grey tattoos and portraits. He’s created an excellent international reputation for himself as well as a loyal local following of clientele. Mike and his wife Stacey used to own the antique furniture shop, Era Etomica, below Eastern Pass Tattoo, but the shop closed last year and JINXED opened up.
As I looked around the shop, I mentioned how clean it looked to my friend, and Mike overheard me and responded, “We uphold the highest standards of sterilization here in the shop. We keep up-to-date with new and upcoming material, trends, and practices allowing me and Scott to keep our clients and ourselves safe, healthy and happy! The latex or nitrile exam gloves are checked and changed throughout all tattooing procedures. All equipment used during the tattoo process is single service and disposed of in proper biohazard containers. The tools are cleaned, processed, and sterilized before every use. And all work surfaces, tables, and chairs are disinfected continually throughout the day, after each customer. Scott and I have training in Blood-borne Pathogen, Infection Control, CPR, First Aid, and Preventing Disease Transmission in Tattooing.” So, to say that Eastern Pass Tattoo Co. is clean would be an understatement. They pride themselves on it.
When I asked if they took walk-in clients, they told me, “It’s always best to make an appointment, but we will take walk-ins as time permits. We encourage clients to come into the studio to meet us and check out some of our cool artwork! When making an appointment, there is a $50 non-refundable deposit required, which is credited towards your tattoo.” As far as prices go, I was told that they can’t give quotes out over the phone or online and that the best thing to do is come into the shop and get a consultation about your design and placement of it. Then they will be able to let you know how long your tattoo will likely take and how much it will cost. As for their age limits, you must be 18 years old to get tattooed. No exceptions!
My bud was right—if you’re in the South Philly area, Eastern Pass Tattoo Co. is the place you want to go to. They are located at 1835 East Passyunk Avenue on the second floor. Just walk into JINXED, through the store, where you can check out some great vintage pieces, and head up the stairs to your right. They’re open Monday through Saturday 12 p.m. until 8 p.m. and on Sundays 12 p.m. until 6 p.m. For more info or to make an appointment, call (267) 606-6567 or email them at Easternpasstattoo@gmail.com. You can also check them out online at EasternPassTattoo.com or “Like” them on Facebook at Facebook.com/EasternPassTattoo.
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.