While you may be able to get a tattoo as easily as going to the mall, the experience will not necessarily stand out. Some parlors do a much better job than others when it comes to safety, cleanliness and design to make your experience memorable. Here are five tattoo parlors around Atlanta that can provide a memorable and safe experience for both the heavily-tatted and the first-timer.
Only You Tattoo
Price: $60 minimum
Hours: Mon to Thurs—Noon to 8 p.m., Fri to Sat—Noon to 10 p.m., Sun—1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
This tattoo shop in the Grant Park neighborhood is relatively new to the scene, having opened in 2009. It sits across the street from Oakland Cemetery near other venerable Atlanta places such as Ria’s Bluebird Cafe, Six Feet Under and Republic Social House. The shop does take walk-ins, but recommends an appointment so that both you and the shop can be fully prepared for your experience.
Sacred Heart Tattoo
Price: $160/hour, $90 minimum
Hours: Mon to Sat—Noon to 9 p.m., Sun—1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
This tattoo parlor is located in the Little Five Points neighborhood, right near the Star Community Bar and loads of other popular nighttime spots. While it has since opened a couple of other locations throughout Atlanta, you should go to the L5P location for the know-how it offers. This location provides an experience for the first-time visitor to remember, and ever artist acts very professional, making sure the tattoo is done right and that you care for it properly afterwards. The shop has been around since 1994 and shows no signs of slowing down.
13 Roses Tattoo
Price: $150-$200/hour, $60 minimum
Hours: Mon to Thurs—Noon to 9 p.m., Fri to Sat—Noon to 10 p.m., Sun—1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
This tattoo parlor is located in the heart of East Atlanta in the Edgewood/Ormewood Park neighborhood. It sits just down the street from the Earl and East Atlanta Lounge and on top of the Flatiron among other bars and clubs. She shop has five tattoo artists on staff and also features occasional guest tattoo artists. The owner has been involved with tattooing for more than 30 years, and the shop was rated as one of the best in Atlanta by various local publications in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
All or Nothing Tattoo
Price: $150/hour, $40 minimum
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily
This location serves local customers and out-of-state clients, walk-ins and appointments. All or Nothing boasts of being booked anywhere from three days to 11 months in advance, but has the track record and popularity to back up its claims. The store does run on a tight schedule, so if you book an appointment there and have to cancel, you must let them know more than 48 hours beforehand. This parlor can also be seen at tattoo conventions across the South and in some cases, overseas—the artists from All or Nothing Tattoo have gone to conventions in Europe several times over the past few years.
West End Tattoo
Hours: Tues to Sat—1 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sun to Mon—Closed
West End Tattoo (or W.E.T. as it is sometimes referred to) has been a mainstay in the West End area since 1993, and has been under its current ownership since 2000. In addition to providing customized tattoos and piercings, W.E.T. also doubles as an art gallery. It showcases various works of art created by the tattooists working there, as well as regular exhibitions of other local artists. W.E.T. has even put on tattoo marathons within the community to raise funds for charities and local foundations.
Michael Francis is a freelance writer studying at Georgia State University. His work can be found at Examiner.com.