The Newport News City Council recently approved a conditional use permit for the Alpine Shoppes LLC to open a tattoo shop called Judgment Day Tattoo.
The property located in the Alpines Shoppes shopping center adjacent to the Newport Commons apartments is 0.88 of an acre and is zoned for commercial use.
It was previously a Boost Mobile store.
Per the conditional use permit, some conditions the tenant would be responsible for is getting a signage use permit from the planning department, having the signs take up no more than 25 percent of each window, having surveillance cameras approved by the police department and other permits and licenses such as occupancy.
The 800-square-foot space, 12592 Warwick Blvd., plans to have two open tattoo booths, a lobby, an artist draw/break area, a private tattoo room, a bio-waste room and an handicap accessible bathroom.
In addition, the tattoo parlor plans to use biodegradable equipment and the application to states a “zero tolerance policy to drugs, alcohol, racism, sexism, unmoral, unpatriotic and any unlawful actions.”
“We believe tattooing has come a long way from its negative image and reputation,” according to the application. “We would like to do nothing more than keep tattooing its progression towards being a respected and renewed craft that it is.”
At this time, the hours of operation will be Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and closed on Sundays.
Judgment Day Tattoo describes its clientele as serious collectors, tattoo enthusiasts and military men and women.
Customers can expect flash or pre-drawn or hand painted designs “ready to be tattoos”.
At the City Council meeting, one Councilwoman Patricia Woodbury, questioned the decision to approve the conditional use permit since the tattoo shop would be located across the street from another tattoo establishment: Anavrin Tattoo & Body Piercing Studio, right next to Schooner’s Grill.
“There is already a tattoo parlor, across the street within a block of each other,” Woodbury said. “It seems to me not very prudent.”
On the Alpine Shoppes LLC application, the zoning map below does not show the nearby tattoo shop, Anavrin Tattoo & Body Piercing located between Schooner’s Grill and Whitesell’s Automotive.
Sheila McAllister, the city’s planning director, spoke to Woodbury and noted tattoo establishments are limited to commercial 2 zones only.
“But just like with gas stations, we really can’t regulate where they go if the impact is the same across the street,” she said. “It’s very difficult for us to come up with a reason to deny it.”
“It’s only going to be two artists in there,” McAllister added.
“It seems to me that it would be counterproductive to business, to the one across the street, that is already established,” Woodbury replied.
William Haughton, one of the tattoo artists at Judgment Day, said he spoke with a woman who works at the other tattoo place and told her the location wasn’t his first choice.
“I could have went to Hampton, could have went to Norfolk, I could have went to other places but I was raised and born here in Newport News,“ he said.
“I was raised and taught good morals,” Haughton said, adding his grandfather, who supported his career choice, was a retired Newport News Police lieutenant. “I’m not opening a shop to have hooligans stand outside there.”
He also noted that despite media portrayal, his tattoo shop is patriotic and he doesn’t plan on raising a bunch of flags or causing problems.
“My goal is to not tattoo to every person who walks through the door,” Haughton said. “I don’t believe in tattooing every college student because a lot of them are using their parents’ money and their parents don’t know they’re getting it. I don’t approve of that, I was raised on good morals.”
Woodbury ultimately approved the conditional permit for the tattoo shop and said she would check in on the business since she lives a few blocks away.
“Well because of your grandfather, I will support it,” she said.