Inked Out: Kings Avenue Tattoo

A few weekends ago, I had to drive my wife into Manhattan for an afternoon baby shower. I had plenty of time to kill in the city I loved the most. After lunch with my cousin, I dropped him off down by the Bowery when I passed a sign on the corner of Spring Street and the Bowery that read Kings Avenue Tattoo. What? There’s a new tattoo shop down here? I immediately pulled over and found a parking space since I still had some time to kill before I had to pick my wife up.

I walked upstairs to the second floor where Kings Avenue Tattoo was located, and I walked into this open space with two leather couches in the center of the room separated by an area rug. The room was “buzzing” with artists at work. It was almost like being in a mini tattoo convention, with the artists working around the couches openly. It was amazing to see, and kind of had this old school vibe. I really enjoyed the vibe of Kings Avenue Tattoo.

Back in November 2005, owner and artist Mike Rubendall opened the first Kings Avenue Tattoo in Long Island with the intention of creating one of the most influential tattoo studios in the world, in his hometown of Massapequa. Mike’s vision was to advance the medium by embracing both the past and the future of tattooing while delivering the highest level of customer service to his customers. When the Long Island shop opened, it featured only three artists, and as the demand for the shop grew, the need for a second location quickly became evident.

Mike Rubendall opened Kings Avenue Tattoo NYC in April 2011 on a street that played a pivotal role in tattooing history, The Bowery, overlooking the beautiful city of Manhattan. With now two busy shops drawing much respect and critical acclaim within the industry, the Kings Avenue’s family of artists seemed to have expanded rapidly. More than a dozen resident artists and a rotation of sought-after guests like Tim Hendricks, Horitomo, and Henning Jorgensen have come to Kings Avenue Tattoo to work individually with clients from New York City, catapulting the Kings Avenue brand into the upper tier of tattoo studios.

Kings Avenue Tattoo remains focused on integrity and quality, even as the shop continues to expand in size and their reputation grows. The professional artists at Kings Avenue are hand-selected from all over the world and specialize in many styles, including Japanese, American traditional, black and gray, and realism. They thrive on creating unique and original works of art. Joining Mike in the New York City studio are Grez, Justin Weatherholz, Chris O’Donnell, Phil Szlosek, Rose Hardy, Matt Beckerich, Zac Scheinbaum, Jason June, Clark Seiger, Matt Adamson, Becca Genné-Bacon, Chris Fernandez, and Will Lollie. Now, if you can’t find something from this roster of artists, there really is no hope for you as a client.

When I asked if the shop accepted walk-in clientele, I was told that walk-ins were welcomed as long as there was an artist available to accommodate the client, but the only way to guarantee a spot with one of their artists is through an appointment, which consists of a $100, $200, or $300 deposit required to book the appointment. The deposit amount is based on the size of the tattoo and the amount of sessions the tattoo will take to finish. There are policies, however, for appointments. Like, if you decide against getting your tattoo, your deposit is only 50 percent refundable. If an artist has drawn for your appointment, your deposit is non-refundable. Also, a 48-hour cancellation notice is required to cancel or reschedule, otherwise, a client’s full deposit is forfeited.

I asked if there was an age policy to be tattooed at Kings Avenue as well, and I was told that in the state of New York, you must be 18 years of age to be tattooed and that there were no parental consent laws to be tattooed in New York. Then, I asked about pricing, where I was told there was no set cost to be tattooed at Kings Avenue. There is a $100 shop minimum, but prices vary depending on size, detail, placement, but I was told the best way to get a price is through a consultation with one of the artists.

As far as the shop goes, it was completely immaculate and seemed more than sterile. If I had the time, I might have even sat down with one of the artists for a consultation. Kings Avenue Tattoo is open Monday through Saturday from 12 pm till 9 pm and on Sunday from 1 p.m. till 7 p.m. They are located at 188 Bowery on the second floor and can be reached by calling (212) 431-5464 or emailing with any questions. Or, if you’re in the Massapequa area, the Long Island shop is located at 844 N. Broadway and they are open Monday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m., and on Sunday from 12 p.m. till 6 p.m. For questions at that shop, they can be reached at (516) 799-5464 or emailing

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