5 Tattoo Parlors We Love in St. Louis
With the saturation of talent and creativity in St. Louis‘ thriving tattoo scene, it can be difficult to narrow your choices when considering some new ink. Whether you’re a blank canvas or a seasoned pro, shopping tattoo artists is equal parts fun and intimidating. Here are five well-respected St. Louis tattoo parlors we love for tattoos in a range of styles, from realist to watercolor to good old American Traditional.
Trader Bob’s Tattoo Shop
Trader Bob’s is one of the oldest tattoo parlors in St. Louis. The shop has lived at its South Jefferson location since 1976. To get tattooed at Trader Bob’s is to carry a piece of St. Louis history with you. While the American Traditional pieces are particularly striking, the diverse and professional team of artists can execute any style. Vibrant florals and dynamic movement appear throughout Alan Thompson’s portfolio, while Dave Morgan and Lena Breydo showcase surreal designs with colorful flare. We love Billy Rath’s realistic renderings, Omar Powers’ strong linework and Matt Thornton’s whimsical, humorous animals. Mike Klein at Trader Bob’s is one of the names on everyone’s lips in the city, from classic pieces to more delicate representations. Make an appointment or just show up—they take walk-ins!
Lucky Cat Studio
In an industry that tends to be dominated by men, Lucky Cat Studio in Benton Park stands out as one of the only women-owned parlors in the city. Artists Amanda Pepper and Amelia McCormack each have years of experience, crafting unique creations in a range of styles, from realist to abstract. The Lucky Cat Instagram feed is vibrant and cheerful, chock full of splashes of watercolor, bright florals and adorable pet portraits. The appointment-only shop maintains a $90 minimum, with larger pieces priced at an hourly rate. We love that they offer reconstructive tattooing services for breast cancer survivors.
Tower Classic Tattooing
The detail in the tattoos coming from Tower Classic is astonishing. Their six resident artists’ elaborate sleeves and large-scale chest pieces will stop you in your tracks. We’re particularly taken with Jeffrey Meyers’ unique designs and brazen use of color, whether it be a greyscale skeleton or a wistful, doe-eyed mermaid. Located on Manchester Avenue in The Grove, the shop is open seven days a week.
TRX Tattoos and Piercings
Situated on the bustling strip of South Grand, TRX has garnered respect for both tattooing and piercing. The diverse team of experienced artists is almost evenly split between women and men, a rarity in the business. Evonne’s meticulous work in black and grey conveys a sense of emotion through her shading. Palos specializes in realistic greyscale portraits but doesn’t shy away from vibrant color in his floral world. Greg’s shading is equally impressive, as are Jamie’s sugar skulls and elaborate, ornamental color tattoos utilizing complementary tones. Get in touch with a specific artist on the website or find walk-in slot alerts on the Instagram feed.
Alchemy Tattoo Collective
Also staffed almost entirely by women, we’re obsessed with Alchemy Tattoo Collective’s range of delicate black and grey florals, lifelike animal skulls, luscious botanicals, exquisite mandalas and more. Even tattoo newbies will want to follow along with this Cherokee Street spot as Alchemy’s innovative artists test out new styles of illustration, from sketchier linework to baroque shading. Check out your chosen artist’s hourly rates and make an appointment through the website.
Update: Since this article first ran, former Alchemy team member Jessie Langs-Hendricks has gone on to become a founding member of standout parlor Arch Nemesis Tattoo and Piercing.
This story, originally published on May 21, 2018, has been updated by Christina Wood.