It’s been about five years since I last visited my favorite tattoo shop in New Jersey. Yes, I’m talking about Pure Ink in Ledgewood, NJ, only the last time I was there, they were in a different location. Owners Danny Pain, Graig Berkowitz, and Rich Pizzutillo decided to pick up and move shop right up the road on Route 10 to an even bigger and badder location. My bud, Danny Pain, invited me up to see the new and improved Pure Ink, and I was quick to jump at the opportunity. I have to be brutally honest, though. On my first visit to Pure Ink back in 2006, these guys impressed me so much with their cleanliness, artwork, professionalism, and all-around family setting that they pretty much set the bar pretty high when it came to reviewing other tattoo shops in the years following. Not many reached that bar, but many, however, did come close.
As I drove by the old shop, which looked completely empty, I was pretty excited to see Danny and the boys in their new home, and wow, there it was! Right across from a shopping center on Route 10 with a Pure Ink sign that was clear as day! The new location is perfect and it’s right next to a Radio Shack, containing much more parking. I walked into this bigger location, where, right away, I heard the needles buzzing, which was a good sign. It meant the boys were in business and early! The waiting room was definitely way more ample than the previous location with two computers set up on the left wall for customers to scroll through flash art. Once again, when I saw this back in 2006, Pure Ink was the first shop that I’ve ever seen do this. Now, I’ve seen it in a few shops. Underneath the monitors were actual books with artwork from the four Pure Ink artists, which include owner Danny Pain, my bro and Saint Caine/Dropbox singer, John Kosco, who’s also a Pure Ink original, Patrick “Gump” Henderson, and new artist, Shawn Berhman.
In front of me was a rather large reception desk, and a great looking brick wall behind it with the brand new Pure Ink logo embedded into it. The shop was looking amazing! There were four private and cozy tattooing rooms on the right, occupied by Gump, Kosco, Shawn, and Danny, that had these amazing water faucets in them! Thanks for the idea guys! Anyway, right next to Danny’s room is the business office, and across from it, right next to the sterilization room, is the new private piercing room that is being used as a storage room for now until they hire a piercer. Yes, in the midst of all that, I said there was a sterilization room, which means for those of you who haven’t read my earlier tattoo reviews, yes, Pure Ink is one of the most sterile shops I’ve ever been in.
I was able to sit down with Danny Pain as he tattooed my right arm, and we discussed the new shop at great lengths. Danny told me that in 2012, the shop will be adding cosmetic tattooing to its growing repertoire. Cosmetic tattooing can help cover up scars left from surgery and other mishaps. Pure Ink will be one of the only shops in the area certified to do this making them tops in the market and ahead of the game, once again! I asked Danny if the location has helped with their foot traffic, and he told me that the traffic has grown immensely because people can actually see where they are now. Another thing that Pure Ink has added to their bigger location is the ability to host charity events. The day that I visited was actually the day after Pure Ink hosted a weekend for the Eleventh Hour Dog Rescue at their shop, which generated 130 tattoo customers for the shop including members from Rescue Ink. The shop actually raised approximately $4,000 in tattooing to donate to the Eleventh Hour Dog Rescue, which is amazing! Pure Ink’s next charity will take place from Friday, Feb. 10 to Sunday, Feb. 12, to support The Dylan Flinchum Foundation. Dylan is a two-and-a-half year old boy who is suffering from a disease known as metachromatic leukodystrophy, otherwise known as MLD. You can learn more about this foundation at mldfoundation.org.
Back to the shop, there is a big sign on the glass door that says, “Walk-Ins Welcome”, which they are, though appointments are preferred. The minimum age allowed to be tattooed in Pure Ink without consent is 18 with a valid ID. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a legal guardian. All IDs must have matching last names and 2 forms of ID are required from the minor. The forms of ID that the shop will accept include a school ID or photo ID with their name and date of birth present, and it must be accompanied by a birth certificate. Another thing that the boys from Pure Ink urge is that customers respect one another. They ask customers to not be loud and obnoxious while other clients are getting tattooed. They also ask parents who bring their children with them to have another accompanying adult to watch after the kid while they’re being tattooed. The shop is not responsible for your child!
Just in case you’re wondering, Pure Ink is a custom tattoo shop, but if you ask me, their colors are amazing and what sets them apart from other shops! They also specialize in black and grey work, portraits, traditional, new skool and any other style a client might be searching for. As for pricing, the shop minimum is $60, but it really depends on the size of the piece you’re having done. Your tattoo, though, will be at least $60, which also happens to be the amount of the non-refundable “appointment” deposit. If you miss your appointment and your 24-hour window to cancel your appointment, you will lose your deposit. If you change the original design from what was set up and discussed with your artist, you’ll also lose your deposit! Another deposit might be required before any work is to be continued on your project. Pure Ink does this to protect the time of their artists.
After five years, I have to say that Pure Ink is still my favorite tattoo shop in New Jersey, and I’m happy to see these guys move into a bigger and more improved location. If you want some tattoo work done and you’re in the North Jersey region, I highly recommend checking out Pure Ink! Not only have I reviewed that place twice, but I’m also a client! Pure Ink is located at 470 Route 10 West in Ledgewood, NJ. Shop hours are Monday through Friday 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 12 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. You can call them anytime for an appointment or any questions at (973) 998-0742, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to take a look at the shop online; log onto pureinktattoo.com, where you can also see some of the artist’s online portfolios.
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 email@example.com.