NEW YORK - Daredevill Tattoo been a downtown fixture for more than 20 years. Located in the heart of New York City's tattoo history and culture, it closed during the shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic. It has reopened and hopes customers can adjust to a new normal.
One very happy customer is Danny Burton, who's been coming for 20 years. While he got a Statue of Liberty tattoo and he expressed no worries about the safety of being at the shop.
"Zero. I know they're doing all the proper cleaning and taking care of everybody and making sure there's not too many people in here," he told NY1.
Co-owner Michelle Myles has been providing tattoos since before it became legal 23 years ago, but her rulebreaking days are behind her.
"I worked for six years underground before tattooing was legalized in New York City, but during the lockdown the only tattoos I did were on my husband," Myles said. "But I didn't work on anyone else outside of that. This virus is deadly serious and we didn't want to take any chances."
Before reopening, Myles worried if the feel of the shop would change if customers couldn’t bring friends along. But with fewer people in the shop, a digital check-in, and a strict schedule, she says they're able to get more tattoos done.
Myles bought the storefront space six years ago. She's using Small Business Administration loans to help with the mortgage. Shops that pay rent have had a much harder time and some have gone out of business.
"As tattooers, we have blood-borne pathogen training and we are very familiar with keeping a sterile a very clean and sanitized environment, and when we did open, I have to say it did feel a bit arbitrary," she said.
The shop has tons of artifacts chronicling the history of tattoos in New York City. It usually attracts tourists from around the world, but for now that part remains closed to the public. Customers can check out the collection during breaks from what can be hours on the table receiving a tattoo. Burton spend about four hours getting his tattoo.
"I actually enjoy it, it's a stress relief for me and I get art on my leg that lasts forever," Burton said. "I can't stop. I won't stop unless someone tells me I have to."
For now, customers can continue to get inked.