The 11 Best Tattoo Shops In NYC

Posted by SCOTT HEINS on Mon, Oct 24, 2016 @ 03:03 PM

KINGS AVENUE TATTOO: The first time I walked into Kings Avenue Tattoo "SpottieOttieDopaliscious" was playing on the shop speakers and you could see the sunset streaming in through the windows—which is to say, the vibe here is just right. Their second-floor loft boasts 10 tattoo stations, and the staff has held itself to high standards of kindness and expertise ever since their Manhattan location opened in 2011. Mike Rubendall, famous for his Japanese full bodysuit work, is the marquee artist here, but no matter who's tattooing you at Kings, you'll walk out with a beautiful new work. Plus, the shop's windows look out on the famous 190 Bowery, so you'll be able to ponder the buffing of decades of graffiti history as you add a little ink to your own skin.

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Kings Avenue is located at 188 Bowery between Spring and Kenmare Streets in Nolita, (212-431-5464,

Tags: Mike Rubendall, Art, nyc, bowery

Upcoming Guests

Posted by AJ & Dylan on Wed, Sep 14, 2016 @ 03:31 PM

The next round of guest artists coming through the LI and NYC locations are set and now taking appointments. Sadly the days are getting shorter and the weather’s getting colder. Beach days and BBQ’s are coming to end, what better time to get tattooed!

Kicking off September we have:

Sarah Carter ( back with us working out of our NYC location. Before the end of the month resident guest and one of the best dudes in the industry Lucky Matthews ( will be in both locations. During that same time frame black and gray wizard Wilson Pan ( will be back for another round in the LI location.

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October bring back handsome man and resident guest Max Ireland ( in our NYC location joined by the super talented Dean Sacred ( on his way to SFO. Kings Ave regular Kevin Marr ( will also be back in October. Closing out the month we will have the very talented Laura Parisotto ( doing her black and gray thing in both locations!

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November kicks off with resident guest Chad Chesko ( back for the second time in as many months. Always great to have him! One of Texas’s best Sunny Lovan ( will back in both locations as well. Sunny’s a super talented and super nice guy. Looking to get a cover up, some slick traditional work, or a killer Japanese tattoo, we’ve got your guy – Will Lollie ( will be back in both location. Keep your eye on Will as you may see more of him around these parts in the months to come!

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Stayed tuned for the winter line up, but locked in so far from the other side of the pond we have Sarah B. Bolen ( doing that symmetry thing in NYC.

Wandering the globe making art, this February Rory Pickersgill ( will take a break from the nature trail and stop by the big city. He’ll be working in both locations.

We’re very excited to have these extremely talented artists join us in the upcoming months. To schedule an appointment with any of the mentioned artists or of course one of resident artists feel free to contact either location at your convenience. We look forward to having everyone!!!  

Tags: Guest Artists, Tattooing, travel,

The 5 Best Tattoo Parlors in New York City

Posted by Alec Banks on Fri, Jul 15, 2016 @ 03:39 PM


Specialty: Traditional Japanese, American traditional, religious

Boasting a shop on Long Island and Manhattan, Kings Avenue Tattoo features 12 permanent artists and notable guests like Juan Puente and Tim Hendricks.

The owner, Mike Rubendall, has been called one of the city’s “Top Inkers” by New York Magazine who noted that his style and aesthetic is the result of meticulous research which not only makes the tattoo aesthetically pleasing, but that it also fits in with the mythology of Eastern tattoo attributes.


“If you’re doing a sleeve, you wouldn’t mix cherry blossoms and chrysanthemums,” he says. “If you’re going to do it, you should do it correctly, and with respect for the culture.”

Those that score an appointment with Rubendall – which often takes a year to secure – can rest assured knowing that the design you get will never repeated on anyone else.

“I will never do the same design twice unless its a logo or a special circumstance,” he says. “I will not duplicate someone else’s tattoo.”

View the Full article here:

Tags: kings avenue tattoo, Tattoo, New York

"Merch Game Strong"

Posted by AJ Garavuso on Thu, Jun 16, 2016 @ 03:25 PM

Just in time for the warm weather Kings Avenue Tattoo has new apparel in both locations and online.

This seasons line includes:

A new Raglan style (baseball tee) 3’s Company designed but the elusive Grez featuring his eerie skull!

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Two new t-shirts are now available as well. What started as a crewneck sweatshirt (still available) has now become a camouflage pocket t-shirt featuring Mike Rubendall’s Silent Flight graphic on back. Also, from the archives a Brian Paul design titled Death Crescent giving Mac Tonight a run for his money.

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“Suns out, Guns out” as the kids say… we now have a brand new tank top available with lettering by the master BJ Betts. Great for staying cool and showing off those tats!

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Lastly, we now have our first patch available. Designed by Mike Rubendall and done by Lucky’s tattoo supply this iron on patch is a great addition to all of your apparel. Get all these new designs and check out our extensive line of Kings Ave apparel online and in stores.  

Tags: Mike Rubendall, Grez, Brian Paul, InkFxCorp, BJ Betts, New York City, Luckys Tattoo Supply, Merchandise, Apparel

Inked Magazine / Mike Rubendall

Posted by AJ & Dylan on Wed, Jun 01, 2016 @ 04:26 PM

Screen_Shot_2016-06-01_at_3.55.15_PM.png    Mike Rubendall was recently featured by Freshly Inked Magazine. In this issue, he had an extensive interview with Yallzee. This interview was very different for Mike and was filled with many non-generic questions, touching up on several new topics. It's Mike's first interview in almost 5 years.  The interview conducted by Yallzee was so well-prepared and went so smooth for Mike that, unfortunately, the full version found inside the magazine was heavily edited and stripped down to a fraction of the full interview.  However, you can find the full unedited interview online at   We hope you enjoy! 


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Tags: Mike Rubendall, Yallzee, Freshly Inked Magazine, Kings Ave, Inked Magazine

Coming to a Kings Avenue Near You!

Posted by AJ & Dylan on Tue, May 03, 2016 @ 09:44 PM

The weather is getting warmer and you still have enough time to get a new tattoo to bum out your family at this years BBQ. For those of you who haven’t booked your appointments yet, we’re bringing in an A-list group of tattooers to meet your needs.

 Cash Scott ( is with us bringing in the month of May.  Clark Seiger ( is with us mid-May.  Also, keep an eye out for Clark’s starting date as he joins the Kings Avenue Family full time!  Closing out May we’re excited to have Sunny Lovan ( stop by for a few days in Long Island.  Followed immediately by a familiar face: the veteran, Bryan Burk ( who may very well pilot his own plane out here! Bryan was also featured by LA Weekly as one of the “Top 10 Most Awesome Tattoo Artists” in Los Angeles.   


We’re going to be kicking off the month of June with a bang as the one and only Paul Anthony Dobleman of Spider Murphy’s ( stops by both locations.  Keeping with the west coast theme, Megan “Lady” Wilson ( will be gracing us with her presence in NYC the second week in June.  Finishing up the month of June, we’re very excited to have Alex Nunez ( with us for all the photo-realism freaks.   

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July opens with the very talented Nick Alvarez ( who will be doing his thing in NYC.   Next up is Wilson Pan ( putting his own black and gray spin on Japanese imagery along with his killer photo-realism.  Then, back by popular demand, the southern boy Will Lollie ( will be back at it again if you missed him the last time around.  Bryan Kachel (, one of the nicest guys in the business, will be back for a quick 2-day weekend stint near the end of July if you want to get a really solid tattoo by a solid dude!  Making their way across the pond from the U.K. for another round at Kings Avenue NYC is Matt Adamson (, Flo Nuttall ( and Heinz (  This time around, Adamson will also be making his way out to the Long Island location.

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August brings the amazing Teide ( back to NYC just before heading to the Pagoda City Tattoo Convention (                                                            

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The fall starts out strong with the lovely and talented Miss Juliet ( and the bone collector Ty Pennington (

For appointments with any of our guests or our resident artists, please feel free to stop by either location at your convenience.  We look forward to an awesome summer bringing you all the very best tattooing has to offer! 

The New York Times visits Kings Ave

Posted by Alix Strauss on Fri, Feb 05, 2016 @ 05:03 PM

With this Tattoo, I Thee Wed:

Valentine’s Day often finds couples speaking of love and lasting commitment. Some have concluded (for better or worse) that there is no finer way to celebrate eternal love than by showcasing it on one’s ring finger with a tattoo.

“Once you get it, there’s no turning back,” said Christopher Forsley, who was married last July to Sarah Patterson in Santa Monica, Calif. For Mr. Forsley, 30, a comic book writer, and Ms. Forsley, 28, a cake maker, the factors driving their decision to get inked came down to cost, minimalism and timing — oh, and the fact that Mr. Forsley’s brother is a tattoo artist.

“We’re both broke and not materialistic,” Mr. Forsley said. “We liked the idea that this wasn’t an object, but rather something that was going to become a part of us.”

The bride added, “This matched who we are.”

Mike Martin, the owner of Flesh Skin Grafix Tattoo in Imperial Beach, Calif., said, “I see maybe one couple a week, which is a lot considering five years ago almost no one was asking for them.”


                                            (Tattoos featured above done by Zac Scheinbaum at Kings Ave NYC)

Given the permanence of tattoos, inked-on rings are generally for those who have recently been married rather than simply engaged. Surprising one’s intended with an unexpected trip to a tattoo parlor, perhaps on one knee, may not go over as expected.

“A proposal isn’t always forever, and the wedding might not happen,” said Mr. Martin, who is also the president of the Alliance of Professional Tattooists. He said he has never had calls for tattooed engagement rings. Like the ink itself, he added, “Once the knot is tied, it’s far more permanent.”

Tattooed-on wedding rings come in an array of designs. Among the most popular are branding the wedding date, spouse’s name or initials onto the finger. Some designs are simple; a monochrome squiggle line or the infinity symbol around the digit. Some favor words: “always,” “forever” or “together.”

For her marriage to Jay Z, Beyoncé had a Roman numeral inked onto her ring finger. Behati Prinsloo, who is married to Adam Levine, had three dots tattooed onto her ring finger.

Others are intricate works of art, incorporating objects like arrows going off in different directions, a heart and key, or an outline of the state where the couple fell in love. Dax Shepard, who is married to Kristen Bell, has a bell-shaped tattoo inside of which are three initials: K, L and D, for Kristen, Dax, and their daughter Lincoln.

Those who go for inked-on rings are often looking for a different kind of wedding experience to go along with them. “I never wanted to have a traditional wedding,” said Molly Serena Dorsman, 29, a music teacher in New Jersey, who married Dzermin Mesic, 32, a chef, in 2012.

She contends that those who favor the traditional gold ring often get divorced. “We want to be married forever,” she said, “and this cements that.”

For their ceremony, held in a courthouse in New Jersey, Ms. Dorsman and Mr. Mesic bought stand-in rings from a flea market. He got a basic silver band and she got a thick-banded ring with vintage roses on it, silver as well.

A few days later, the couple visited her friend’s store, Aqua Santa Tattoo, a parlor on West 18th Street in Manhattan, from which they each chose a simple band; she had a heart added to hers.

In addition to “increasing the feeling of permanency of a couple’s faith,” said Myrna L. Armstrong, a retired professor from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, a ring tattoo represents a “distinctive choice to have this done, and the understanding that no one else will have anything like theirs. These intense meanings are very appealing to couples.”

 “Tattoos make people feel good, special and unique” and are particularly appealing to millennials, said Ms. Armstrong, who has studied tattoos for 25 years. “It’s become a common and comfortable means of providing a message to themselves and to others.”

Anthony Botiglione, 43, who is to marry Jennifer Fiorenza, 35, a publicist, on Feb. 28 in Baiting Hollow, N.Y., said, “You can’t take it off, you can’t lose it, you can’t put it in your pocket, which some men do to show the world they’re not married.

“I don’t want to be that guy,” Mr. Botiglione said. “I want to look at my hand and know this huge commitment I’ve made is forever.”

Because he’s in construction, he cannot wear jewelry; he will get a simple black tattoo band when the couple return from their honeymoon in March. But she will stick with a traditional ultrathin rose-gold band with pavé diamonds.

Those seeking tattooed wedding rings, said Mr. Martin, want to step out on the edge a bit. “But they don’t want to freak anyone out,” he said. “It’s acceptable at work, and no one will fire them for it.”

Gold wedding bands typically cost $300 to $700 each, according to a representative of the Jewelers of America trade association. Mr. Martin said his shop typically charges about $60 for a simple design that the couple brings in. If he is creating it, and there are a number of colors or it’s a technical piece, it could be $100 or more.

The latter price is what Mr. Forsley’s brother said that he would have charged per ring to other clients. But for Mr. Forsley, the fact that the rings were free was not as important as “having my brother design and tattoo us. It was far better than going to a store and having a salesperson talk you into something.”

Ms. Dorsman and Mr. Mesic recall paying the personal friend who inked their wedding bands about $50 each. That doesn’t mean that Mr. Mesic skipped over presenting her first with an engagement ring.

“My husband did give me an engagement ring,” she said. “It was a plastic one from 7-Eleven. I was pretty gung-ho on not wanting a ring.”

Tattoos can cost less than traditional jewelry, but that doesn’t mean they are cost-effective or long-lasting. Inked rings do fade with time. The skin on hands sheds more quickly because of constant use, and gets the most exposure to sun. To compensate, tattoo artists must inject the ink deeper than the customary two levels of the dermis.

Happy Holidays from Kings Avenue

Posted by AJ & Dylan on Mon, Dec 07, 2015 @ 07:03 PM

The holiday season is upon us and the crew at Kings Avenue Tattoo would like to take a moment to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy Holiday and a Prosperous New Year!

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As always, Gift Certificates are available in both locations and online at Tons of new merchandise is available just in time for the holidays as well. New “Silent Flight” crewnecks featuring front graphic by Mike Rubendall and back lettering by BJ Betts along with new hat designs and several new t-shirts are all available as well.   Both locations will be open Noon-5pm on Christmas Eve for those last minute shoppers. 20151204_193254.jpg

Once the holidays have come and gone and you have your Gift Certificates, come on down and set up an appointment with one of our artist or one of our resident guest artists. Dates are set for the new year featuring the talent of Melissa Baker, Lucky Matthews, Clark Seiger, Kevin Marr, Johan Svhan, Florencio Rojas and Max Ireland.


Also, keep an eye on Mike Rubendall and Matt Beckerich’s publishing company “Neversleep” as Mike and Matt prepare to release the company’s first publication “Cor Mysterium.” You can check it out at, and on Instagram at Neversleepnyc for details and merchandise.   “Cor Mysterium” will be a multi- volume encyclopedia of tattoo symbology. Each volume will feature a diverse selection of artwork from the world’s best tattooers and will define the symbolic meaning found in each component of every image. Volume one: “The Classics,” will focus on the traditional and iconic tattoo images that serve as the foundation of the craft.


Tags: Happy Holidays

Posted by Anne & Julien on Fri, Nov 13, 2015 @ 03:06 PM

“A historical object of anthropological, ethnological and sociological studies, tattooing is currently the object of popular and media curiosity as well as an object of consumption for advertising and fashion that exploit and use its specific imagery to sell other messages. The Academic History of art from which we come from in Europe has banned popular art to earn a respectability only granted to what is commonly called "The Great Art". Two issues - a non-commoditized support and a work thought by two persons - that ended up to definitively denying tattooing from any artistic rhetoric. Besides this difficulty of acceptance and discernment, tattooing has always been independent and at the heart of the three main pillars of the artistic gesture: subject, composition, technique - constituting over time a specific iconography defining its own classics. Thus, the more open prominence taking place today around the tattoo has to take into account an artistic history constituted of fundamentals, classics, initiators and heirs that have not been waiting for the spirit of the times to exist. The Tattoo Art collection fits in this evidence: a presentation of the different active generations and the founding artists who are impossible to ignore today as historical significance; a proposal of strong and original works in the current landscape. We wish to establish a first anchor point toward the art collectors and the world of the art market.” Anne & Julien

Rose Hardy on Ink Master

Posted by AJ & Dylan on Tue, Sep 01, 2015 @ 04:27 PM

IMG_1847 Tune in tonight September 1st at 10pm EST to Spike TV's "Ink Master" to see the lovely Rose Hardy in her 2nd season as Guest Judge.  It's a Kings Avenue take over this season as Rose will be 3rd Guest Judge from Kings Avenue Tattoo to make an appearance!  See what Rose thinks of this years contestants and who goes home tonight!  As always Rose will be joined by Chris Nunez, Oliver Peck and Dave Navarro.  Tune in and Enjoy!

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