Tattoo artists Erick Stylez and Zach Zombie have transformed the shell of the former antique shop, at the corner of Fifth Street and S. Townsend Ave., into a full-on tattoo-piercing-coffee shop, where anyone can go to grab some coffee, get some ink and feel at home.
Stylez says the unique shop has done well in a town that until recently sent its tattoo enthusiasts elsewhere.
“In Montrose and in Delta, there is a definite subculture here,” Stylez says. “It is kind of surprising. There is a real, young artsy community here and it doesn’t receive the attention it deserves.”
Stylez, who apprenticed at the renowned Fun City Tattoo in New York City, says the area lacked a tattoo shop specializing in traditional body art heavy with bold lines and solid primary colors that is comparable to the work of tattoo legends “Sailor Jerry” Collins and Ed Hardy.
“We love the art form,” Stylez says. “Nobody here is trying to get rich; we are just trying to support what we love to do and expand our skill set.”
Like most tattoo artists, Stylez and Zombie found their way into the profession by apprenticing at various shops around the country; Stylez has seven years under his belt, and Zombie five.
After attending the Third Street Music School in New York, Stylez was involved in a car accident that put him out of commission for a year. During that time, he happened to be talking with the owner of Fun City Tattoo about his options.
“He said, ‘Hey, you have an art background, why not give this a shot?’ From that point on, it was a love affair with tattooing,” Stylez says, of the day his tattoo apprenticeship started. Of course, he could hardly forget giving his first tattoo.
“Then one day, he said I was going to do a tattoo today and points to a big biker guy who wants a half sleeve of a mountain of skulls with a stairway into hell,” he says. “I was scared shitless but I picked it up and acted with confidence and pulled it off.”
Besides the traditional style of tattooing, Stylez and Zombie want to bring the Montrose area a shop that has a welcoming vibe.
“Our motto here is enter as a stranger and leave as a friend. That is how we treat every customer,” Stylez said.
“This is what tattooing is all about,” Zombie says. “Chilling out, doing some ink and trying to maintain an art form.”
Compared to other tattoo shops in the region, Stylez said the ink work done at Fifth Street Tattoo and Café is half the price, but top-quality. They accept walk-ins for tattoos as time allows, but, for larger projects, suggest an appointment.
And for those looking for body piercing? Fifth Street Tattoo and Café employs a full-time piercing artist who will do the piercings in places nobody else in town will do. All piercings are $25, and include a one-year warranty.
Call Fifth Street Tattoo and Café at 970/497-2661.