St. John’s — After a St. John’s man was reportedly turned away from the Martini Bar on George Street for having above-the-collar tattoos, two local entrepreneurs put their heads together and came up with a winning plan for a hybrid business.
“It’s a show of solidarity, but it also makes good financial sense,” said longtime bartender Rita Drost, who has been hoping to break into the tattoo-artistry game for years.
“We were going to just open a bar that’s a ‘safe space’ for people who are covered in tattoos, somewhere they could never be turned away, but we thought, ‘Why not take it a step further and tattoo you while you’re here?’ Lots of two-for-one businesses do well — like those Tim Hortons and Wendy’s combos, or a barber shop that serves beer.”
“Oh, and the tattoo artists will also be drinking,” added Tom Hollister, Drost’s business partner and amateur tattoo artist. “I find a cocktail or three actually helps me relax while I’m laying down a permanent picture on some stranger’s skin.”
The pair has secured a bank loan for their startup, which will be called simply: DR[ink]. Drost already has specials in mind, such as a free tattoo with their signature cocktail, or discount tattoos on ladies’ night.
Tattooed people from across the province are excited about the new hotspot.
“I’m so sick of getting booted out of fancy bars because of my tats,” said Jessi Marks, whose tattoos cover her entire body. “I didn’t choose this way of life — it chose me. I dunno what other tattoos I can get at the bar, though…maybe they can ink inside my eyelids. They’re just blank canvases at the moment.”
Some Newfoundlanders, however, have concerns about the business.
“I’ll just come out and say it…you should NOT be drinking alcohol while operating one of those little tattoo needle things! I mean, come on, people! How dumb are you!” accused Martin Everton in a Facebook post about DR[ink]. The Manatee messaged him privately and asked him to elaborate on his view. It turns out, his main issue is that he’s trying to open a competing business and is hoping to get a bigger market share by ensuring DR[ink] fails.
“So…don’t tell anyone, but it’s going to be a gym that’s also a bar,” he wrote, adding a lot of GIFs depicting people drinking and lifting weights. “You can get a beer to sip while you’re on the treadmill, some shots of vodka to pump you up after you pump up — it’s gonna be wicked.”