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City Council approves alcohol sales at tattoo parlor

SALISBURY — A tattoo studio on South Main Street is one step closer to selling beer to customers before they get inked or pierced.
City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to issue a special use permit to 1329 S. Main St., the home of Inksane Tattoo, to sell alcohol. Owners Mike and Johanna Jones still need an ABC permit.
No one spoke against the Jones’ request during a public hearing. Mayor Pro Tem Maggie Blackwell raised concerns, but after discussing them with the owners, voted for the permit.
Blackwell said she was concerned that drinking before getting a tattoo could thin the blood, cause the tattoo to fade and impair the customer’s judgement.
“People under the influence of alcohol can make longstanding decisions about their body that they might not make otherwise,” she said.
Councilman Brian Miller said anyone could become inebriated and then get a tattoo, regardless of whether the studio sells alcohol.
Mayor Paul Woodson said he also was worried about approving alcohol sales and someone making a bad decision.
The Joneses assured City Council that they will not allow customers to become drunk and will not apply a tattoo if someone has had too much to drink.
“We would not agree to tattoo people who are intoxicated,” Johanna Jones said.
Mike Jones said a tattoo can bleed more if someone was drinking heavily the night before the application but having a beer just prior to getting a tattoo will not change the consistency of the blood.
He said they plan to serve craft beers made in North Carolina, which they now offer at their Mooresville location.
Johanna Jones said selling beer at Inksane may help rejuvenate Five Points, the area where South Main, South Fulton and Klumac Road merge.
“It would be really great to take our little area and make it more of a community and add art and culture,” she said.
Councilman William “Pete” Kennedy said the city can pull the special use permit if alcohol sales cause a problem at Inksane. The Salisbury Police Department signed off on the permit request.
If the business begins to sell beer, “the burden is on them to operate in an appropriate manner and keep this as an opportunity,” Miller said.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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