Inked Out: Coffey Shop Tattoos – Long Island City, NY

After a Yankees game one Saturday in April with my cousin and his girlfriend, my wife and I went back to see his new apartment in Long Island City. First of all, have any of you been to Long Island City in a while? Holy smokes! Hoboken where? This was the new trendy hot spot for young professionals and hipsters. My wife and I fell in love with the “new” Long Island City. Secondly, who doesn’t love a tattoo shop with an ingenious name? While my cousin took us for a walk through his new neighborhood, my wife was actually looking for a cup of coffee, when we stumbled across Coffey Shop Tattoos. Now, obviously, this wasn’t a coffee shop, but went in to check it out anyway.

We walked into a small but sharp looking shop with wood paneling to give it a really rustic and artsy look. I then noticed that Coffey Shop Tattoo was owned by none other than Gene Coffey, who used to tattoo at Tattoo Culture in Brooklyn, NY. I met Gene a couple times at the Philadelphia Tattoo Convention. What drew me to Gene’s booth at the Conventions was the unique style of tattooing he was doing. His style was a bit more abstract, but looked more like a watercolor painting style of tattoos. It was definitely more on the unique side because you rarely see this style and this is what caught my eye at the Conventions.

Gene Coffey opened Coffey Shop Tattoos in September 2015. He said in a blog post on the shop’s website, “After 9 years working at Tattoo Culture in Brooklyn I have decided to venture into the great unknown wilderness of owning and running a small business. I love Tattoo Culture and everyone there, but the time finally came when I wanted to drive my own destiny. The shop is going to be small and quiet. The surrounding neighborhood is filled with artists’ spaces and rehearsal studios. When I walked around trying to decide if this was the right space for me, the neighborhood is what finally sold me on it. There is a vibe and energy here that reminds me of why I fell in love with NYC when I moved here over 20 years ago. This industrial area of NY shoved between the modern new constructions of towering condos and the low rise brick and mortar shells of factories long since forgotten is where I have made my home for the past 18 years. There are museums. There is music. There’s great food. There are amazing parks. There are breathtaking views of the city. And I couldn’t think of any better place to open my new shop than right here in the heart of Long Island City.”

It seemed that Gene was the only one at this small shop on this day, but he was also busy. He does surround himself with guest artists throughout the year including one regular Russian guest artist named George Bardadim, who is currently taking appointments. Tattoos at Coffey Shop Tattoos are done by appointment ONLY! There is no walk-in policy currently due to Gene’s busy schedule. Only this week, Gene began booking new appointments for July through September. He has been booked solid, but he urges prospective clients to stop in like we did to say hi and check out the shop. Gene also said that he’s looking forward to more weird tattoos, so definitely go in there and challenge him.

Coffey Shop Tattoos is conveniently located just a couple blocks away from MoMA PS1, what is left of 5 Pointz, and a lot of other great sites that Long Island City has to offer. Gene says, “There is a booming art scene and some really great eats here in Long Island City. And now some unique custom tattoos!” The shop’s hours of operation are random and based on the appointments made. This is an extremely clean shop and if I had the cash on me, I might have made an appointment right then and there with Gene.

So, my wife never got her coffee on this walk…Not the kind of coffee she wanted, anyway, but we did get to briefly meet Gene Coffey and we got to check out his Coffey Shop Tattoos, which is located at 21-36 44th Road in Long Island City, NY. If you have any questions at all about the shop or Gene or both, you can email Coffey Shop Tattoos at or call them at (718) 433-4228. You can also visit their website,, for even more info! Long Island City and custom tattoo work! You can’t go wrong!

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