Downtown Owensboro will be the home to, not only one, but two tattoo shops in the very near future. An announcement was made by Rosemary Conder via Facebook on Wednesday, sharing the news that The Hooded Crow would be coming soon to 223 St. Ann Street, most likely in the spring.
The Hooded Crow’s owner, Mike White, has been tattooing in Owensboro for eight years. The Hooded Crow currently resides at 1730 Sweeney St. between Triplett Street and J.R. Miller Boulevard. The Hooded Crow’s relocation to downtown Owensboro will make it White’s third tattoo parlor he’s opened.
“We’ve been trying to get a shop in downtown Owensboro for five years,” White said. “We’re drawn to downtown areas. We’ve traveled quite a bit, and we’ve always been drawn to the downtown areas, wherever we’ve been.”
Rosemary and Larry Conder own the downtown property that will feature The Hooded Crow. White said he and the Conders worked together in the decision to lease the space out to White for his business.
“I talked to Larry about it, and he gave me an opportunity to make it happen,” White said.
White said there’s a stigma about downtown Owensboro and tattoo shops, and he’s well aware of it. While White feels there have been some run-down tattoo parlors that have raised eyebrows in the past, White says he’s always strived to create businesses that are clean, well kept and aesthetically pleasing–both on the inside and out.
“It’ll be a brand new shop. Everything’s going to be brand new,” White said.
The Hooded Crow will be joined by a neighboring tattoo shop, Legendary Tattoo Company, which is owned by Jeremy Higdon. Higdon will be moving downtown into the McAtee building between Byron & Barclay and the The Sturdy Hinge.
Higdon said he doesn’t have a problem with two tattoo shops making their way to downtown Owensboro. In fact, Higdon said he’s happy that tattoo shops get to make an imprint on the downtown area at all.
“I’m happy they’re getting to move downtown, to be honest. They’re a good group of guys,” Higdon said. “Yeah, it did catch me off guard, but this is what we fought for.”
Higdon said Legendary Tattoo is in the process of getting all of the blueprinting, permits and plumbing straightened out, but says his business should be ready to announce an opening date within the next three weeks.
For Higdon, the journey toward opening up shop in downtown Owensboro was met with resistance when Higdon was told that a tattoo business didn’t meet the Owensboro Metropolitan Planning Commission’s Article 21 business requirements, as tattoo shops weren’t on the list of businesses able to practice within the B2 zone of the downtown overlay districts. After a lot of research, and a lot of meetings, Higdon discovered a clause that permitted his business to run in the location where he’d already signed a lease.
And because of those efforts, both men can move forward with their downtown business ventures.
“I believe every aspect of art should be downtown — not just tattoo shops,” Higdon said. “It’s going to give people more things to do downtown now. Hopefully this diversifies the downtown area.”