Maplewood P&Z votes to recommend tattoo studio

The Maplewood Plan and Zoning Commission on Monday voted to recommend to the city council that the owners of All Star tattoo studio be permitted to move their business from its current location in University City to 2801- 2803 S. Big Bend Boulevard.

Most members of the commission, and two neighbors that spoke in the hearing, were mostly concerned with parking. One owner said there could be 10 – 12 cars parked there at any one time.

Owners Nate Strautkalns and Alan Thompson said they plan to buy all three parcels and use the now empty lot to the north for a parking lot, which can accommodate 14 spaces, City Public Works Director Anthony Traxler said.

Neighbor Susan Johnson said she wasn’t opposed to a tattoo studio but still wished it was opening on Manchester Road, though she said she preferred this to a Jack in a Box at that location. She said she lives one door down, and parking for businesses there in the past have been a problem. Cars have parked on the curb, making it hard to turn onto Big Bend.

Commission member Pickett Lema, the only dissenting vote, said she’s not a fan of the tattoo studio, mainly because it would sit a block and a half from the high school. She pointed out that kids as young as 12, at the middle school, will be walking right by the shop. She said her kids have tattoos but they got them while in college, not high school.

“They’re very popular now. Times change, I realize that,” Lema said. “But when other people go, what stays are the pawn shops and tattoo parlors — word of warning.”

Owner, Thompson, said the state has strict regulations about the minimum age for tattoos. “In general, we leave it to the discretion of each artist. I personally don’t tattoo anybody under 18. I haven’t in over probably 10 years,” he said.

“It’s strict. We keep a tight paper trail as far as the consent of the parents, documenting with proper identification. The state has what they allow, and in addition to that, we just say no sometimes,” he said. “This is our career, so it kind of shines on us — most of us just pass on that business.”

Maplewood City Council will consider the commissions recommendation at its next meeting, on June 12.

All Star owners Alan Thompson and Nate Strautkalns

18 thoughts on “Maplewood P&Z votes to recommend tattoo studio

  1. I never understood why there are so many comments on here referencing fried chicken. It doesn’t make sense to me. Is it because of the fast food places within walking distance to Gus’? If so give me a break. What’s the bid deal?

    • Tim…Because there are already plenty! There is a Porter’s Fried Chicken on Big Bend, a KFC right up the street from that at the corner of Big Bend and Shrewsbury, then Gus’s Fried Chicken opened on Manchester and then the intersection at Manchester and Big Bend became another Fried Chicken place, Raising Cane. There is also a Popeye’s chicken just past Laclede Station on Manchester. Although a couple of them are not officially in Maplewood, but right on the border. Still, there are plenty of chicken places around here and most folks agree we don’t need any more of them and are hoping for other business types to fill empty spaces or buildings when they become available.

      • That’s hogwash. Porters, which is way on the other end of town had been around forever and they run a nice establishment. Gus’s is a very nice sit down family restaurant in our business district. Canes doesn’t matter because it’s on the fast food section of town. The other two do not count because they have nothing to do with Maplewood. There are two Chinese restaurants within blocks of each other in Maplewood, one right across the city line in Brentwood and Webster has several not very far from one another. Nobody complains about them

        • He also left out Chick Fil A. It doesn’t matter if they’re outside of Maplewood, as long as they’re in the same general vicinity.

          • Nah. That doesn’t make sense. If that was the case you could say that about every new restaurant that opens in your neighborhood.

            • Huhh?? Most people have cars and can travel around a lot more than Maplewood. Brentwood, Richmond Heights, etc. are all just 5 to at most 10 minutes away.

        • Porters is the only fried chicken place we need. The others are all trash. (except maybe popeye’s…I could keep that one.)

          • I’ve been to Gus’s once since it opened. A little pricey but I thought it was pretty good.

        • Tim, I never said Gus’s or Porters were not fine establishments. Porters has been here for years and I have been there many times. I like the Chicken and the Jack Salmon. Never tried Gus’s yet, but also heard they’re a bit pricey.

          You asked why people were commenting about chicken places and I tried to explain why some folks were commenting negatively and were against getting any more of them in Maplewood. The fact is…there is an overabundance of chicken places around this area and plenty of options for folks already. So…why not go a different route in Maplewood when space becomes available for a NEW business?

  2. How dare my baby walk through smog covered traffic past the gas station filled with alcohol, tobacco, and sugar, and several fast food places build on the gunk that fills arteries, toward the place with friendly artists. How. Dare. You.

    Eff that noise. Come on All Star! Can’t wait to become a client!

  3. Does Lima realize you have to be 18 to get a tattoo? or 16 with a notarized parental consent form?

  4. Pickett Lema needs to get a grip. This is a reputable shop. Kids won’t be getting tattooed there. If they are 18, that’s their choice. I got my first tattoo in high school and never regretted it a single day nearly 15 years later.

      • I guess we are fine with them walking by 40 fried chicken restaurants every day and getting the diabetes but god forbid they walk by a business that will literally not have any effect on them.

        • Yup. Okay with clogged arteries but a little ink under the skin? NOT ON MY WATCH

          • Pickett Lema needs to bring herself in to the 21st century with this issue. Tattoos do not hold the stigma they once did back in the day. The kids will be fine. If that’s the “worst” thing high schoolers would do, then Hallelujah, we’re good. Welcome, welcome, welcome All Star Tattoos!