SALISBURY, N.C. -- It may perhaps be the only tattoo studio in North Carolina allowed to sell beer to customers.
On Tuesday night, the Salisbury City Council approved a special-use permit request allowing the sale of beer.
“It's always good to be first,” said Johanna Jones.
Jones and her husband own Inksane Tattoo & Body Piercing, along with another studio in Mooresville.
She says the idea came to light, after seeing countless customers heading to the neighboring bars in Mooresville to grab a drink before going through with a tattoo or piercing.
"It's all about the service and growing the business as a whole." she said.
'If you have been in this business as long as we have, you are use to the stereotypes, you learn to let it roll off your back and show people what it is about, that we are responsible business owners," she said.
The couple's Mooresville location was already zoned to allow the sale of beer. The studio in Salisbury was not.
The couple says they haven't been met with any major opposition.
The only concern brought up before the city council, was whether alcohol puts customers at greater risk during the procedure itself.
Mike Jones, who has been in the tattoo business for 22 years, says a drink or two beforehand, does not adversely affect customers. In his experience, it relaxes them.
He says their intention is not to turn the studio into an open bar.
“The permit stays with the building and must be followed within operating hours --12 p.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.
It’s not an open bar, you don’t just stop by the studio to get a beer. While you are there for a tattoo, you can get a beer,” he said.
The beer is only for customers and guests. With an 8 p.m. closing time, the city does not foresee any late-night problems.
The couple also sells action figures and nick knacks, and have set aside an area where patrons and their guests can play old arcade games to pass the time.
"You always bring people with you because you don't want to get a tattoo by yourself, cause you are nervous," says Johanna. "A tattoo can take 15 minutes to several hours."
The studio plans to sell only North Carolina craft beers, including one from New Sarum Brewery, located near the studio in Salisbury.
"We love to support our local business, and as long as my customers are happy, then I'm happy," she said.
Mike Jones says, if they make a profit, that would be an added benefit. If it doesn't, he says it will still be something, that sets their business apart from the rest.