Libertyville, IL, Thinks Your Tattoos Lack Moral Fiber

The village board of Libertyville, IL, hears about tattoo parlors and apparently envisions seedy, run-down places that stay open all hours of the night to service beer-swigging bikers and their leather-clad lady friends. And in order to keep this stereotype from being shattered, they recently changed their zoning laws to smash one businessman’s dream.

Earlier this week, after getting word that a new tattoo parlor was set to open up in Libertyville’s downtown neighborhood, the village board met to figure out a way to legislate the business out of town.

Tattoo parlors are classified as “personal service” businesses according to Libertyville’s village code. So to keep the new ink outlet from opening, the board voted unanimously for a moratorium on all personal service businesses in the downtown area.

The 29-year-old tattooist, who had leased a location and was ready to put up his sign, attempted in vain to convince the board that tattoos are no longer just for criminals and sailors and that his business would fit in with the area. The studio would have also had a gallery to sell the works of local artists.

But, sayeth the Libertyville mayor:

It is my personal opinion that it is not a good idea to have a tattoo parlor downtown… Two of my three kids have tattoos. I understand it is common among younger people and I was impressed with [the parlor owner’s] presentation.

I think he is a very smart, talented young man… It has nothing to do with him. It is just a question of if this is an appropriate location.

The village board’s senior member was even more patronizing in telling the studio owner why she was nixing the idea. “Everyone might not carry your same moral fiber,” she said, “and that is what is driving my desire… I’m definitely not comfortable [with a tattoo shop] in downtown.”

What I’d like to know is: What happens to all the other “personal service” businesses that are currently located or slated to open in the downtown area?

No tattoos for you in downtown Libertyville []


Edit Your Comment

  1. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    …and what, exactly, did they name their little town after?

    • Mr_D says:

      Moral superiority, obviously.

    • c!tizen says:

      “Liberty” was what they called the switch that was broken off a tree and used to beat the bad children in town when all of the city council members were kids. It’s a common mistake, don’t feel bad.

    • Maximus Pectoralis says:

      The same root word that “liberal” is derived from…?

      • ARP says:

        Sorry to say, Libertyville (and Lake County in general) is a firmly Red part of the Chicago metro area. This is your judging of morality.

        • YouDidWhatNow? says:

          Yes…also, such an act by this board seems to me much more likely a result of being ridiculously right-wingish, rather than left-wingish.

    • Chumas says:

      Mayor Terry Weppler
      4 year term of office (2009-2013)
      Ph: (847) 362-2430

      The six trustees of the Village Board are elected to serve overlapping four-year terms and may be elected for an indefinite number of terms. The Board formulates policy and enacts local laws, usually in the form of resolutions and ordinances. The Village Board is directly responsible to the citizens of Libertyville.


      Trustee Donna Johnson
      4 year term (2007-2011)
      Ph: (847) 362-7954

      Trustee Nick Proepper
      4 year term (2007-2011)
      Ph: (847) 918-1721

      Trustee Drew Cullum
      2 year term (2009-2011)
      Ph: (847) 522-7555

    • kc2idf says:

      I consider it to be akin to the “Democratic Republic” of the Congo.

    • mythago says:


    • Mr.Grieves says:

      Libertyville, the place where you can find liberty and justice for all!

  2. DarthCoven says:

    This is what happens when you legislate morality.

    • Riroon13 says:

      I think it’s more a criminal worry than a morality. I’m a Christian who grew up in a time when tattoos were considered downright sins. In the past decade or so, more churchgoers seemed to be getting inked than ever, especially to promote their faith. I wouldn’t doubt that this guy might have attracted a church crowd.

      • DarthCoven says:

        I see more religious tattoos than any other form. Tattoos of the cross, of Christ, Ohm, scripture, etc. I even have a chai (Hebrew for “life”) as one of my tats. Note i didn’t say “this is what happens when you legislate your religious beliefs”. This has to do with a mid-20th century mentality in a 21st century world.

      • wjstone says:

        I think it’s totally a matter of morality. I think that what you are doing is wrong because my bible says so… blah blah blah.

        If a person is of age and wishes to permanently inject ink into themselves so be it.

        A 2000 year old book should not have an effect on current laws.

        • BDSanta2001 says:

          Heck, ALL religious texts old or new should have no effect on current laws. Each one has it’s own “ff the deep end” sections that are impractical to apply to human beings if universal fairness and equality are the end goals.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        It should be noted that the verse specifically telling Christians to not get tattoos is in the Old Testament, which Christians are no longer required to follow (I mean, it also tells Christians to not eat red meat). The surrounding verses refer to God telling those particular Christians to separate themselves from the pagans who lived nearby. The implication here was “don’t be tattooed (as the pagans are)” but did not specify whether all tattoos were banned or just the types of tattoos the pagans had.

        And even more important than what the Bible says regarding it, God gave people free will for a reason. If there’s something you want to do, understand the consequences of your actions, but whatever they are, you’re responsible. It’s not just tattoos, it’s about everything.

        • Wei says:

          I assume you mean LEV 19:28 ““Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD”

          You are correct that Christians no longer follow Levitical law, and that our free will governs us (this of course doesn’t mean there aren’t any activities that could be defined as “sins”). People need to start understanding the context of these kinds of verses – namely that marking yourself like that was by its definition mutilation (the methods weren’t exactly surgically precise), and it was another way the Hebrews were integrating with the surrounding nations – which they were commanded not to do.

          I would say that modern tattoos neither inherently destroy the flesh, nor cause people to assume you are “one of them” unless they themselves are narrow-minded

          • qualia says:

            My understanding is that the restrictions on food are gone, but the sexual stuff isn’t. Also, Paul seemed just as adamant women should cover their hair and STFU as he was about gay people being icky, but you don’t see a lot of denominations asking women to even wear hats in church anymore (which is how they used to interpret that), never mind the full veil Paul clearly meant. Christianity’s rules are basically anything goes.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      It’s not so much actual morality as it is the perception of what isn’t moral. Motorcycles used to be a sign of immorality or a wild lifestyle, and even now when the Rolling Thunder motorcycle convention comes into Alexandria, VA (I love those motorcycles, btw) and all the bikers are tattooed and clad in leather, some unsuspecting tourists kind of gawk.

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        …and more to the point on that, having been to Daytona bike week more than once, starting in 1988…

        The business owners and general populace, as far as I can tell (talked to many of both), are FAR more happy about the bikers coming to town then they are the college students for spring break.

        Sure…any time you get a bunch of people in one place where there’s beer, there’s going to be some altercations…but bikers don’t trash their hotel rooms, they don’t vandalize the neighborhood, they don’t pick up your VW and place it on someone’s lawn…etc.

        • knoxblox says:

          Agreed. I wound up getting a free lug nut from one of the nice guys at Daytona Bolt & Nut when my kickstand nut vibrated off.
          Sure, it didn’t cost much and I would have gladly paid, but it was still a nice gesture.

  3. sir_eccles says:

    No personal services means no rub and tug for the village board members.

  4. dolemite says:

    Wow, it’s a HOA for businesses. Old busybodies worrying about other people’s moral fiber. “Back in the 50s, I remember walking by a tattoo “parlor”. There was a scantily clad woman wearing a skirt cut above the knees kissing a man ON THE LIPS, and I do no believe they were even married. That man later became the leader of HELLS ANGELS. I rest my case.”

  5. dragonfire81 says:

    It’s their town, they can choose to allow or not allow whatever businesses they want. It might be stupid and backwards but it’s their right.

    • dolemite says:

      They are not owners of the town. It’s EVERYONE’S town that lives there. Not just the old busybodies drunk on power.

    • bsh0544 says:

      I would suggest that it’s not *their* town. They’re on the town board and supposedly represent the population, but given the state of politics in this country they could just be the old farts who actually care about local politics.

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      But like some have said here…
      just because you can do it, doesn’t make it right.

      In a nearby town, a man bought a storefront to sell motorcycles.
      He was there for three months, and then suddenly the city wanted him to move out of town in one month. ONE COMPLAINT from a neighbor about him revving an engine in his shop spurred the move- despite the fact that the space is a SALES floor and not a garage.

      The city rallied against him and the building is now vacant- the City Council has become the HOA for the town, and it’s pathetic.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      But the owners chose that particular area because it was already zoned. There are other “personal services” places there as well. The town is incorrect to take back its zoning madates because it doesn’t happen to approve of what is going to be there when “personal services” isn’t anything illegal. It’s not like they’re violating the zoning – if the town didn’t want a tattoo parlor there, it should have modified the zoning before the guy and his wife set up their entire business based on that location. It would have still been idiotic and shady, but at least the guy and his wife wouldn’t have been out so much money, time, and effort.

    • LandruBek says:

      Not only it is stupid and backwards, it’s also manifestly unfair to the tattooist who invested himself in this business. Fortunately (snark) for the town council, he’s young, probably broke from paying for that lease, and I bet he can’t afford the legal representation to fight them, even if there were statutes that would be on his side, which I doubt (ianal).

    • runswithscissors says:

      No, it is the townspeople’s town, including the tattoo artist.

      The board don’t own the town. It isn’t theirs to do what they want with it.

  6. DarthCoven says:

    Is the village board going to reimburse this guy for the money he has already invested in a business they are forcing him to close before it even opens. The article says he’s already leased a space. Is he going to be stuck in that lease? I smell a lawsuit.

    • NightSteel says:

      He should convert to a strip club.

      • craptastico says:

        or a porn store. it says the zoning is for no personal service businesses which may include stripping, but porn is a good, not a service.

    • LandruBek says:

      His reimbursement will be personally delivered by flying monkeys just as soon as they emerge from the village boardmembers’ ample posteriors.

  7. pop top says:

    I don’t understand why places want to outlaw legitimate businesses (strip clubs, adult novelty shops, etc.). I can understand not wanting them near certain places, like an elementary school for instance, but why would you actively prevent a place that will bring in money from doing so? The business will have to pay taxes, the employees will pay taxes, customers will pay taxes and so forth. I don’t see why people are so picky about things like that, especially in this economy.

    • evnmorlo says:

      Politicians cultivate a “moral” image so that in their actual actions they can be completely immoral.

  8. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    He’s a professional artist by trade, and tattoos are only one of his methods, so I wonder whether he could skirt the entire issue by opening it as an art studio and gallery, and then adding in tattoo services. There are stores that sell cookware and bakeware, and they’re not classified as restaurants if they sell food or as schools for having cooking classes. Why should his studio be labeled “personal services” if he could change it to be an art studio and gallery that happens to include tattoo services?

    • Gramin says:

      Usually it’s based upon a percentage of sales. If he’s mostly selling art with a few tattoos here and there, he might be able to pull that off. However, if most of his sales are coming from tattoos, he’s got no leg to stand on.

      • iopsyc says:

        What if he separates the drawing of the tattoo from the actual inking of it? So, I walk in, want a tiger tattooed on my butt and they charge me $300 for making the drawing and $1.35 for the process of inking me? Suddenly, most of the money comes form an artistic consultation and drawing.

        OK, I admit it might not work, but it’d be nice if he could stick it to the man.

  9. Rachacha says:

    As he has already leased the space, he should find a way to show them how ridiculous this policy is:

    Like the story of a man in Alexandria VA who wanted to put an addition on the top of his building to expand it. He was willing to abide by any historical easements that the city placed on him, but they would not approve the expansion. He leased the building to the raunchiest lingere/adult store he could find and they put very risque models in the front window. ( I am trying to find the article from a couple of years ago)

    • Rachacha says:
      • dolemite says:

        On one hand, I’m glad he stuck it to them. On the other, I’m upset because apparently he now has judges, mayors, and other officials all working diligently on taxpayer dollars trying to figure out a way to close his completely legal business, because a few busybodies object.

        They probably think they are being “patriotic” or “American” or something. If people don’t like it, they can boycott it and it will go out of business on its own. If they do like it, it is something the majority of people want, and it will succeed. You don’t need to try rezoning the town, passing laws etc because YOU object to something.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Ahh, that case. I remember it very well. I think the owner was totally jipped by the city board, who seems to share the same uppity sentiments as the board that rules over Georgetown’s historical aesthetic, but at the same time, the owner did rely on ONE board member and if he was just telling the truth about how much historical property would have been lost, I don’t blame the council for rejecting his plans.

      That being said, now people just walk right by it. I don’t even notice it when I walk by it. It might stick out, but I don’t think people really care that much anymore, especially when a lot of the people putting money into the city economy are in their 20s and are a lot less uppity about the type of shops that “fit in” with the area.

      • Doubts42 says:

        jipped – The word you are looking for is gypped, and it is a racial slur against the Romany.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          I did not know that, though I’m pretty sure not even my Romanian friends know that. I did some Googling, though I’m not even sure I see evidence of this..or rather, maybe it’s just such an old word that no one really knows whether that’s 100% the case.

          Gyps is also the genus name of the Indian vulture.

          • chiieddy says:

            Gypped = Gyspied = Romany

            This is a reference to the transient Romany tribes in Europe (and later the US) who had a reputation for thievery and conning people in towns. They were often run off in unpleasant manners.

            This is still very much a sore subject. France just this week chased out several “Gypsy” camps forcing inhabitants to find new places to reside.

          • AI says:

            It’s more confusing than that. It’s not Romanian people, it’s Romani people. Not all Romanians are Romani, and most Romani don’t live in Romania.

    • Wowbagger.the.Infinitely.Prolonged says:

      THANK YOU! Every time I go through Old Town I wonder how in the hell someone managed to slip a sextoy store into that stuffy old place and why anyone would think it was a good market. I’ve just promptly forgotten in the haze at Ireland’s Own or the Chipper and failed to find out for myself.

  10. grucifer says:

    “Hey, yous over there!”

    “Yea, yous!”

    “There’s no dancin’ in this here town! Git out!”

    -in the scruffy voice of a way too anal sheriff

  11. Erika'sPowerMinute says:

    Well, pulling the rug out from under the poor guy is a jerk thing to do…but if the good citizens of Libertyville don’t want to look at a tattoo place in their adorable downtown, well, that’s why they elect people to town councils or village boards or whatever, to direct the course of their town’s development. I personally like the idea of having a little influence over the atmosphere of the town in which I live.

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      I agree, we should have influence about the business and legislation in our towns. That’s democaracy.

      But there’s a difference about being PROACTIVE
      (limiting “personal service” buildings to only hair salons, nail shops and barbers)
      and being REACTIVE
      (pulling the rug out from under a legitimate business legally operating under the current law, because “OMG TATTOOS ARE BAD!”)

    • pop top says:

      It doesn’t sound like the town wanted the guy out. It seems like the board didn’t like the idea of a tattoo parlor based on personal feelings and voted the guy out. Politicians making decisions based on their personal feelings/beliefs instead of what’s actually right or good for their constituents is what has caused a lot of the country’s problems.

      • LandruBek says:

        For better or for worse, that’s how representative democracy works: “the worst system there is, except for all the others.” (I think Churchill said something like that.)

    • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

      Yeah, I’m pretty much with you two there. I don’t have a problem with designing zoning codes or whatnot to steer things in a certain way, but it’s sleazy to change the rules after the fact. And leave some guy hanging with a lease, a small business loan, or whatever. Feel for him. Do it right next time, Libertyville.

  12. c!tizen says:

    “Liberty” was what they called the switch that was broken off a tree and used to beat the bad children in town when all of the city council members were kids. It’s a common mistake, don’t feel bad.

  13. JMILLER says:

    So an accountant would be a bad service for a downtown neighborhood? A hair salon is really a bad idea for a downtown location.I just went to my downtown hair salon this morning, which happens to be a block and a half away from a tattoo salon. The campaign office of the republican nominee for governor of the state of Michigan is a block away from the tattoo shop. Amazing that both businesses pay RENT, and TAXES. I guess Libertyville does not need to fill their business district with taxpaying, rent paying businesses.

  14. karsen says:

    So the “Lover’s Lane” isn’t considered to be in downtown libertyville? Isn’t there a tattoo shop in that section, as well? What gives?

    • frugalmom says:

      Apparently north of the hospital anything goes. South of that, you can only sell overpriced microbrews or fancy cakes.

  15. ARP says:

    If you’ve ever been to Libertyville, it would be even more absurd. It’s a middle class suburb (with a few McMansion subdivisions), not upscale by any means. So, if they’re trying to “class up” their town, they have a long way to go.

    • Blueberry Scone says:

      Hee, I was hoping someone would say that!

      I hope another town steps in and offers this guy a place right away – maybe even give him a tax break, or offer to pay for his first month’s rent. They’ll end up looking very business-friendly, too.

    • humphrmi says:

      They’re trying to be like Vernon Hills.

  16. NarcolepticGirl says:

    Pretty soon people won’t be able to do ANYTHING in Illinois (or NY or CA)

    • ARP says:

      Chicago is corrupt and overpriced in some ways, but we’re fairly liberal (Not San Francisco liberal, “normal” liberal). We have plenty of Tattoo shops, our bars are open to 3 (4 on weekends), etc.

      Now, as for the suburbs, that’s a bit different.

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      Which means that eventually people in IL, NY and CA will grow increasingly more frustrated until start ignoring the laws and doing whatever they please.

      I’m really looking forward to the next revolution.

    • DoubleBaconVeggieBurger says:

      Hey, I’m down here in the freedom-lovin’ South, and we didn’t have tattoo parlors in my state until a couple years ago. They’re still not allowed in downtown Charleston – they operate near the city limits, by the strip clubs.

  17. The Porkchop Express says:

    Would be nice to know what the parlor is going to be called if he finds a new spot. you know so people can go there if they want a tat and want to help a guy who is probably out some money now.

  18. Mike says:

    Isn’t the mayor of this town a guy who speaks at Tea Party events?

  19. Chumas says:

    Mayor Terry Weppler
    4 year term of office (2009-2013)
    Ph: (847) 362-2430

    Trustee Donna Johnson
    4 year term (2007-2011)
    Ph: (847) 362-7954

    Trustee Nick Proepper
    4 year term (2007-2011)
    Ph: (847) 918-1721

    Trustee Drew Cullum
    2 year term (2009-2011)
    Ph: (847) 522-7555

    If they don’t want the riffraff with tattoos in their town, let’s call them and let those people know that we won’t visit them.

  20. hosehead says:

    Open up an adult bookstore in the space instead and display gigantic dildos in the window. When these hypocrites try to shut it down, have fun with the lawsuit funded by the ACLU and bankrupt these backward little ninnies.

  21. Chumas says:

    Mayor Terry Weppler
    4 year term of office (2009-2013)
    Ph: (847) 362-2430

    The six trustees of the Village Board are elected to serve overlapping four-year terms and may be elected for an indefinite number of terms. The Board formulates policy and enacts local laws, usually in the form of resolutions and ordinances. The Village Board is directly responsible to the citizens of Libertyville.


    Trustee Donna Johnson
    4 year term (2007-2011)
    Ph: (847) 362-7954

    Trustee Nick Proepper
    4 year term (2007-2011)
    Ph: (847) 918-1721

    Trustee Drew Cullum
    2 year term (2009-2011)
    Ph: (847) 522-7555

  22. Dre' says:

    Libertyville? Try Lameville.

  23. pantheonoutcast says:

    Why does he not just change his business plan and sell Bibles and offer a free tattoo with every purchase?

  24. brinks says:

    Any time I’ve ever been in the studio where my tattoos were done, I’ve seen nothing but college kids in there. Yeah. College-educated people are the kind of people you really want to keep out of your town.

    Every sorority girl has tattoos these days. And so does my suburban mini van-driving mom.

    • JMILLER says:

      But does a tramp stamp on a sorority bimbo really count? I kid I kid

    • Blueberry Scone says:

      “Every sorority girl has tattoos these days. And so does my suburban mini van-driving mom. “

      Yeah, that’s the part that I don’t get. Everyone and their brother has a tattoo, so it’s kind of not a big deal by this point. I’m really disappointed with the mayor didn’t stick up for the guy. He’s like “yeah, I know that tattoos aren’t a big deal….but I’m still voting against him.”

      I can see where they want to retain the “look” of the downtown, but this is insane.

  25. FlashFlashCarCrash says:

    I fail to see why it’s you or anyone else thinks you should get a say in what kind of business someone else runs. If you don’t like tattoo shops, don’t got to them, don’t fuck it up for people who do. Keep your morality to yourself.

  26. Random Guy on the Internet says:

    Yet there are bars in Libertyville…so while you can go out and get plastered, drive drunk, and kill your neighbor trying to park your car in the swimming pool, you cannot have a tattoo shop. Yeah that moral fiber, can you get that in a box of Total?

  27. UnbelieverDjak says:

    The fact that there’s a Naval Training Center a stone’s throw away from Libertyville might have something to do with it. I don’t think they want a bunch of AITers showing up downtown.

  28. TJ_in_IL says:

    Interesting…. forbid tatoo’s but allow soft porn? They allowed a Lover’s Lane to open a few years back, and still there…. hmmm…..

  29. quirkyrachel says:

    Woooohooooo! My home town made the news. Go us.

    But seriously? It’s probably related to the down town environment. It’s pretty classic looking, and they win this Main Street USA award. The buildings have to follow certain appearance codes and whatnot.

    • quirkyrachel says:

      I should also note that there’s a tattoo parlor not too far north of the “downtown” area. It’s just this one section that they’re touchy about.

  30. Ohgodyoudevil says:

    I was going to roll my eyes at this, and then I realized I’m in Elmhurst!

  31. piscesdreamer222 says:

    Is this the tiny town from Footloose?

  32. stormbird says:

    I’m not a lawyer but this sounds like a bill of attainer ( They decided to stop ‘new’ personal service businesses explicitly to ban his business and have been open about it. It’s so illegal it’s specifically mentioned in the Constitution (Article 1, section 9). ACORN, the community organizers that were caught helping a conservative activist set up an underage illegal alien brothel in six states, was banned by an act of Congress from receiving federal funding but successfully fought the law by claiming it was a bill of attainer.

  33. DGC says:

    When tramp stamps are outlawed, only outlaws will have tramp stamps… …or something.

  34. oldwiz65 says:

    So no new barber shops, no beauty shops, and what else?

  35. jtrain says:

    i freaking live near there and those board members are a bunch of old farts who try to “keep their town clean” all the time. the funny part is, their HS has one of the highest rates of substance abuse in the lake county area… that is what i call “high brow” living

  36. aaron8301 says:

    This is in Illinois. Does it surprise anyone? One of two states the does not allow concealed weapons at all. Call it a red part of town all you want, the state is home to our Blue President.

    • qualia says:

      Because if I think of anyone who is accepting of tattoos and not a controlling asses with a moral outrage streak, it’s Republicans. Wait, no, Libertyville is run by teapartiers who are (SHOCKINGLY) hypocrites when it comes to small business and staying out of people’s lives. If you’re not a super white middle class Megachurch-style Christian, Republicans, tea party or not, want to screw with your liberties.

  37. Twonkey says:

    So…this story is about how a bunch if ignorant, self-righteous dicks abuse their authority by legislating whatever they find morally objectionable? Business as usual then?

  38. Conformist138 says:

    So… the guy’s kids have tattoos, he was impressed by the tattooist’s presentation, he thinks the tattooist is smart and talented… so not parlor for you!

    I just want to fully understand this town: During a terrible recession, a young man has found a way to open his own business to support himself and perhaps a family and you shut him down because maybe there’s a chance you might not like one of his customers? You are crushing a small business owner because you personally don’t enjoy his product?

    I got my last tattoo at the nicest little shop near my house. Cool guys, most of them with wives and children. They ran a neat and clean parlor and were wonderful. They had some of the kids there that day, it was fun joking with them and they were quite interested in the design I wanted. Fun times.

    These people are just idiots if they think this is how society should function.

  39. dg says:

    Libertyville is one of those blue-collar towns that has a bunch of people in it that claim to be church-goin’ and good, but are actually pretty hypocritical when you get right to it… There is a GIANT catholic high school up there – Carmel (I believe) – and this town basically lives for it. There’s also some kind of retreat for a bishop too (right across from Carmel), and a gazillion churches…

    So ummm, do the math about a tattoo parlor… Not sayin’ it’s right by any stretch of the imagination, but that’s Libertyville…

    This guy should just go to the next town over – Mundelein, or to unincorporated Lake Bluff, or Rondout over on 176 and he’ll be just fine…

    I’d break the lease, ask for the deposit back, and sue for it if necessary. He signed the lease with an expectation of being able to open a business, the town said no pretty much after the fact – so that’s not his fault.

  40. TabrisLee says:

    I’m a 30 year old part owner of a tattoo parlour in a smaller midwest city, and I feel this guy’s pain. We’re not even close to our downtown and we had a TERRIBLE time finding a location that would lease to us because of the old stereotypes. It didn’t matter we’re a little older, financially responsible individuals with spouses and children, because in their eyes we’re apparently all drugged-up dirty biker alcoholics that invite the bad seed.

    That sort of resistance was expected when we ventured forth to open our establishment, but it certainly took our realtor by surprise. The industry has improved by leaps and bounds in terms of artistic merit, quality of work, tools, and cleanliness, though it is unfortunate the old stereotypes still ring true for a lot of tattoo establishments. We consider ourselves of the better breed, and no matter the looks we get, we stick to our guns and bring our customers a better service and experience than most would expect.

    It’s too bad this guy got shot down because of a snobby lady not wanting to expand her horizons. I hope he finds another location in town and does awesome in spite of this setback. That’ll teach ’em.

    • everyman says:

      The “personal service business” of the town of Libertyville is mailing cheap “As seen on TV” crap. The largest clearinghouse for the various companies that sell products not found in stores for $19.95 (but wait! If you’re among the first 17,000 callers we’ll double your order and send you…) is the lion’s share of its economy. Of course, this has nothing to do with the virtue of tattoo artists or their customers, but the kind of people who contract tattoos rarely buy The Clapper. I can see where His Honor the Mayor may have a problem….

      My daughter was born there, and she has an ugly tramp stamp. She got it a couple klicks west in Mundelein.

  41. plas says:

    If I remember correctly, Libertyville has a pretty budding hardcore scene, so this business likely would have been successful too. Bummer.

  42. MoonstarGem says:

    As I’m reading this, I can’t help but think of the giant sign at my local mall saying that they’re going to be opening up a tattoo/piercing shop soon. Never heard of one inside a mall, but I figure, “Hey, why not?” I personally won’t go inside simply because I have a fear of needles, but I certainly wouldn’t say they can’t be there.

  43. DRFS Rich says:

    Libertyville’s known for this kind of idiocy, this mess happened 2 years ago:

  44. JadePharaoh says:

    What’s funny is that by the mayor’s own admission, two of his kids have tattoos. He could’ve used them as an example of how people who get tattoos are not the stereotypical morally-bankrupt Hell’s Angels that our society seems to assume they are (unless of course, his two kids actually ARE Hell’s Angels…).