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posted: 11/3/2020 5:30 AM

First stand-alone tattoo parlor to open in Arlington Heights

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  • Sean Kim is opening his first tattoo shop in Arlington Heights after working at various tattoo parlors in the suburbs for the past 13 years.

    Sean Kim is opening his first tattoo shop in Arlington Heights after working at various tattoo parlors in the suburbs for the past 13 years.
    Courtesy of Sean Kim

  • This tattoo is an example of the work of artist Sean Kim, who is opening a shop on the south side of Arlington Heights.

    This tattoo is an example of the work of artist Sean Kim, who is opening a shop on the south side of Arlington Heights.
    Courtesy of Sean Kim

 
 

What would become the first stand-alone tattoo parlor in Arlington Heights was approved Monday night by village trustees, in hopes of bringing more foot traffic to a strip mall beset by vacancies.

Space Cat Tattoo will occupy 1,050 square feet of the 33,000-square-foot Go-Go Shopping Center at the northeast corner of Golf and Goebbert roads on the south side of town. The strip mall is home to a liquor store, laundromat and dry cleaners, among other businesses, but there's been two or three vacant units there at all times in the last several years, officials say.

It'll be the first tattoo shop for Sean Kim, an Elgin artist who has performed work at a number of suburban tattoo shops for the last 13 years. He's leasing the space from Brian Properties.

Kim plans to operate three tattoo stations inside the storefront, where he and two apprentices will work. Guest artists may also work at the shop a few months out of the year.

Without any objections, the village board unanimously approved a land use variation for the tattoo parlor to operate in the Golf Road business zoning district. The proposal also had the endorsement of the village staff and advisory plan commission.

While Kim's store will operate as a stand-alone business, it's not the only place in Arlington Heights where you can get a tattoo. Alchemy Tattoo & Gallery operates within Sola Salon Studios in the village's downtown. Salons by JC also hosts tattoo artists in the Northpoint Shopping Center on Rand Road.

But those tattoo businesses didn't require additional approvals since they are considered accessory uses to their host's primary definition as a beauty shop.

Kim's shop will not offer piercings. Hours are scheduled to be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday on an appointment basis.