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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.”

Wendy Kelly December 14, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Best wishes to Patrick and Sunny. Job well done!
Mary Crescenzo December 14, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Why "Speakeasy..."? It illicits something illegal and on the sly, and isn't that exactly what you want to reassure the public it is not? Or is it? Best wishes. I hope you have the ability to remove your art as well in case someone says, Opps!
Joe Duraes December 14, 2012 at 01:52 PM
It's about time!Congrats!!
jo December 14, 2012 at 02:22 PM
still waiting for a store that I can frequent.. outside of the C town.. there is not much to go down town for..sorry but the Peekskill coffee shop makes horrid coffee and are far too political...a nice store like the old Howlands would be great.. and a shoe store too... would like to spend my money in my City... since the Paramount went bust the downtown holds very little...too bad Jembro did not go downtown when they left the Beach Shopping Center.. I have been to Odd lots.. not so impressed
Tina Bongar December 14, 2012 at 02:30 PM
This is some of the best news of the season for Downtown Peekskill! I just like and respect Patrick, and his wife Sunny, and all that they bring to Peekskill. I know that they will show by living by example that they are responsible and civil-minded artists and business owners, and that body and skin ornamentation is an important form of self-expression, not only from our current culture and time either. Bless them and their business journey and can't wait until it opens.
leesther brown December 14, 2012 at 03:08 PM
"'Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD....Lev:19:28
sayitsnotsojack December 14, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Something is wrong this is not another subsidized, non profit, not taxpaying business. What is Peekskill coming to?
Jennifer Daddio December 14, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Congrats Patrick! Best wishes on many successful years!
JM December 14, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Patrick (new surname) Patience! Congrats, your hard work and perseverance finally paid off. :) I'm a little concerned that Michelle Moran argued about ''influencing young people'' when indeed that is what colleges do. Signed me.... who does not have a tattoo, nor will I ever get a tattoo, but I respect the art of tattoo making and applaud the city for thinking this decision through. You see Michelle, that is an informed and rational opinion, made in part, maybe, because I graduated college. Twice.
jessica jaroff December 14, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Get over it! And get "with it"!!!!
jessica jaroff December 14, 2012 at 04:00 PM
So incredibly happy for you Patrick. I can't wait to just stroll downtown to get my next beautiful tattoo, to add to my Patrick Conlon collection! This is just fantastic news. :)
Kirsten Berger December 14, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Then don't get one. But don't tell others what they can or can't do. Not everyone shares your beliefs.
Stina Stolzenberg December 14, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Good Luck Guys. I can''t wait .. InK4Life <3
Jill Gertz December 14, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Conlon is a "festish artist" with a wiki page. He does porno illustrations - girls getting ejaculated on and such (see Swarm illustrations). Just more garbage for Peekskill.
James December 14, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Who Cares.
Jill Gertz December 14, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Decent folks - there are some left in Peekskill
Wendy Kelly December 15, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Get with the progran everyone! Not my choice but I respect those that chose to to decorate their bodies this way with an art form.
Jill Gertz December 15, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Ah the call to fall in line. The same crowd considers graffiti an art form - oh and stripping too. Pole dancing is an art form. Peekskill should cut tot eh chase and really get in line with graffiti, strip clubs - hopefully pot shops soon when the slug NY pols want legal weed so they can collect the money off that. Heck might as well legalize prostitution too and really make a pile. Peekskill will be perfectly situated at the head of the line in its rush to become Newburgh 2.0
Patrick Conlon December 15, 2012 at 05:45 AM
Thank you Peekskill! Glad to see so many folks turn up in support of this art form. Looking forward to adding to the positivity of our home! See you at my studio!
leesther brown December 15, 2012 at 06:00 AM
@Wendy then you need to get with the program...Methadone is the way....you can't have it both ways...#youcan'tservetwoGods.......
Shaun McGuire December 15, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Good luck Patrick!! A shop less than a mile from my house! And for all the ignorant individuals out there, a small list of people with at least one tattoo - maybe you've heard of them? Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill (and his mother Lady Randolph Churchill), George Orwell, President Theodore Roosevelt, Princess Stephanie of Monaco, King George V ....
Stacie Moseley December 16, 2012 at 04:20 PM
If peekskill is suppose to be an "artist" community should it not be open to all types of art? Trying to set the definition of it to suit is just censorship. People get over your small town reservations,and understand that this one business will not mean the demise of our youth or morality.
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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