Artist Set to Open Tattoo Studio in Peekskill

Patrick Conlon's "Speakeasy Tattoo Studio" is tentatively scheduled to open in February.

It was a long time coming for Patrick Conlon, so another three-month wait shouldn’t be that painful.

Earlier this week, the Peekskill Common Council approved Conlon’s special permit for a tattoo studio on 25 North Division Street, which is adjacent to Westchester Community College’s Peekskill Extension. The studio will be named the Speakeasy Tattoo Studio & Gallery and Conlon is hopeful it will open in February.

Conlon’s studio will be the first one since September, when officials lifted a ban on tattoo shops that was enacted in 1990. Conlon had been working for more than two years to try and get the ban overturned.

The move to lift the tattoo ban was a controversial one that came with a few stipulations, including the requirements that studios need to renew their licenses every two years; that tattooing must be done in designated, enclosed areas out of public view; and that studios can’t be closer than 500 feet to any school containing grades K-12.

“This will be the first studio that I’ve owned,” Conlon said. “I’ve been in the business for 22 years. I currently work at the Eastside Ink in Manhattan and Graceland in Brooklyn, but I live in Peekskill. I’m happy to be able to open a studio close to home.”

Conlon, who is originally from Connecticut, is married to Sunny Cover, the owner of the Peekskill Coffee Shop. He started tattooing in San Francisco and moved back to the east coast after meeting Cover.

In addition to tattooing, Conlon paints and does illustrations. He described his tattoo work as being illustrative pieces which can cost anywhere from $150 to $200 an hour to complete.

In addition to offering tattoos, the studio will have a rotating art gallery featuring the works of Conlon and other local artists.

“There a lot of people who don’t like tattoos and associate them with a more raucous crowd,” Conlon said. “But from what I can see, there are so many people who are interested in the artistic side of tattoos and I’d like to serve those people. I’m not interested in opening a McDonald’s style tattoo shop.”

During a public hearing on Conlon’s special application for the studio, people still had concerns over the proposal.

Michelle Moran attended the hearing representing Alfred Weissman Real Estate, the owner of the Westchester Community College Extension building. Moran said there were concerns over the tattoo studio being so close to a college.

“It could be an influence on young people,” Moran said.

Conlon noted that the law already prohibits studios from being located within 500 feet of a primary or secondary school.

“In this case, the learning facility is a college and the kids are quite older and are of a legal age to get a tattoo,” Conlon said. “That said, I don’t want to tattoo someone just to make money. I want to make sure that I have a quality product that everyone is happy with.”

Initially, Conlon said he will bring in guest tattoo artists who are licensed and hire permanent artists as he gets more situated.

“I don’t want to hire just anybody,” Conlon said. “I want to hire artists who can produce a nice, quality product.”

LJ December 16, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Jo, I agree with you Peekskill coffee house is over price & judgemental I work right next door and refuse to step foot in that horrid place .... Peekskill needs to realize what it is & have business that cater to true clientele & not a select suck up few ..,to make things clear i have no problem with a tatoo shop ...I don't like PCH , their attitude or prices
phill December 16, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Leesther brown its talking about the dead
pam condron January 26, 2013 at 05:58 PM
Congrats!!! I will be there for my second Patrick Tattoo! Nothing better
Liz Claire January 26, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Relax, Mary. There used be a Speakeasy in Greenwich Village, that didn't imply anything that freedom loving people couldn't embrace. Tattoo removal is a licensed profession in NYC, most of them cosmetologists. Haven't you ever heard Groucho Marx's signature song "Lydia the Tattooed Lady"? It could serve a springboard to inspire Peekskill's students learn more about history. Associate something from dusty books with something funny, and they're more likely to remember it. Or don't they teach history in public schools anymore? See Groucho at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4zRe_wvJw8 That said, the Wall Street Journal reported in September that roughly half the people who get tattoos seek to have them removed. See http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2012/09/19/the-business-of-tattoos-and-tattoo-removal/ The longer you wait to have buyers remorse, the more colorful it is, and the larger it is, the harder it to have removed. Very expensive though. Maybe the City can license a tattoo removal doctor and tax the hell out of him/her like they tax the middle class to death. Could be a new lucrative form of revenue ;) Which restaurant will be the first to name a sandwich or drink after the Speakeasy? Cross-marketing is essential to the success of local merchants.
LP April 10, 2013 at 09:02 PM
@jillgertz according to dictionary.com: art 1 [ahrt] Show IPA noun 1. the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance. 2. the class of objects subject to aesthetic criteria; works of art collectively, as paintings, sculptures, or drawings: a museum of art; an art collection. See fine art, commercial art. 3. a field, genre, or category of art: Dance is an art. 4. the fine arts collectively, often excluding architecture: art and architecture. 5. any field using the skills or techniques of art: advertising art; industrial art. Am I missing something here? Who the hell died and left you in charge of deciding what is or isn't art? If you don't want to see a tattoo parlor in Peekskill, that's fine as you are certainly entitled to an opinion on what you believe will benefit your community. However, I feel it is a little over the line to judge how one chooses to express one's self thru ART! Try to keep an open mind and understand that your perception of graffiti, pole dancing, or any other art form you'd like to associate with tattooing is not necessarily an actuality. That being said, Congrats to Patrick and his project! I think it's great to see small, private businesses opening in this economy, especially one that is culturally relevant!


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