Palatine Rejects Tattoo Parlor Proposal

The Village of Council rejected the proposal to open a tattoo parlor in Verde Plaza at 2001 N. Rand Road.

“Basically, I was just discriminated against because I have tattoos and the people I would employ and serve have tattoos.” Al Brodeur said after the Village of Palatine Council denied his request to Monday night.

“It is ignorance,” Brodeur said, “They have some dreamland as to what Palatine is supposed to be and it’s not, just look around.”

In a 3-2 vote the Village Council shot down Brodeur’s proposal to open Chicagoland Electric Tattoo in Verde Plaza at 2001 N. Rand Road, next to the City Limits Harley Davidson motorcycle dealership.

“This isn’t the kind of business Palatine needs, it’s nothing against the petitioner,” Councilman Greg Solberg said, “I just don’t think it reflects well on the people of Palatine.”

After nearly an hour of discussion and testimonies Brodeur said he was surprised at the council’s decision. “Their mind was made up before I even walked in the door,” Brodeur said, “It’s closed mindedness that’s sinking this town.”

The only council member to voice their opposition before the vote, Solberg admittedly said, “I try be open minded but philosophically I have my problems with it.” Solberg said because of the stigma that is attached to it, a tattoo parlor would bring a bad image to Palatine.

“I have tattoos and I’m clean cut,” Brodeur said in his initial presentation to the council, “All I want to do is go to work with the eight other people I plan on hiring in a private building in Palatine.” Brodeur said, “I know what you’re looking for and that’s what I want, I very low-key, high class place.”

At $125-$150 an hour Brodeur said his tattoo parlor would cater to people with disposable incomes. “It would be appointment based, not a lot of walk-ins,” Brodeur said, “These are artists who are booked for months, we wouldn’t have to do a lot of advertising.” Brodeur told the council he would not use the word tattoo on the sign at 2001 N. Rand Road.

While no one questioned Brodeur’s qualifications, knowledge or intentions, people focused on the stigma associated with tattoos and tattoo parlors. After Brodeur left the podium two Palatine residents stepped up to urge the council to vote down the proposal.

“I was surprised to hear another tattoo parlor request in Palatine, I was just here ,” said Palatine resident, Laurie Acevedo. 

“What just happened at should have been ,” Acevedo said there are many other issues that need to be addressed. “I believe we should be focusing on the bigger picture in Palatine,” Acevedo said, “We should not be here every six months to talk about tattoo parlors.”

According to Acevedo, a tattoo parlor would perpetuate problems in the area. Acevedo said a tattoo parlor just does not belong in her hometown and it shouldn’t even be up for a vote. “It’s not for the betterment of the family environment in Palatine,” Acevedo said.

Next up to the podium, the first of Brodeur's two supporters was Jill Giglio, owner of the City Limits Harley Davidson motorcycle dealership who spoke in favor of the tattoo parlor in Palatine. According to Giglio, Chicagoland Electric Tattoo is just what the area needs to attract new customers and boost business. “Verde Plaza is generating a whole lot of nothing right now and this would bring good business in,” Giglio said.

Addressing the council Giglio said, “When I hear all this talk of stigmas I think gee whiz, we should never open up another bar or another restaurant because it will only attract drunks and increase DUIs.”

Times have changed, Giglio said the Village of Palatine needs to get with the times and let go of an outdated and unfair stigma.

“I want to show you a picture of my husband,” Giglio said as she held up her phone to the Village Council. Giglio’s husband, Navy Cmdr. Anthony "Ozzie" Giglio is on a tour of duty in the Middle East. “He’s fighting the war, he’s a firefighter and he works part-time at the dealership,” Giglio said as she started to tear up, “Here a picture of my husband and here are his tattoos.” Still holding up her phone with her husband’s photo on display Giglio asked, “Does this make him a hoodlum, a drug dealer or a criminal?” Answering her own question, Giglio said firmly, “No, it certainly does not.”

According to a 2006 study by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 24 percent of Americans have at least one tattoo. “That’s 73 million people and this is a $2.3 billion industry,” Brodeur said it’s one of the few businesses that has not been affected by the recession.

But starting a new business, creating jobs and generating tax revenue in Palatine was not enough to overcome the stigma attached to tattoos and tattoo parlors.

“It would project a negative image on the surrounding neighborhood,” said council member Solberg.

Brodeur said with so many vacant storefronts in Palatine, he doesn’t understand what the village is waiting for.

“Let’s just hope and pray a business moves in?” Brodeur said, “No one is going to go in there. This town is dying faster then they can catch it,” said Brodeur.  

Craig Doherty September 11, 2012 at 12:53 PM
How long will Palatine continue to bow down to ignorant people who have preconceived notions and prejudices against certain types of businesses, which are totally unfounded? Mrs. Acevedo and others like here do not own Palatine and should not spread their vague paranoia around to dictate what businesses and revenue we allow in Palatine. These decisions need to be made based upon facts and reality and I think Jill Giglio made excellent points that were apparently ignored by council members who would rather cower to their delusion of what is, and what isn't, a legitimage business.
Beeutifulday September 11, 2012 at 02:24 PM
People are so ignorant. I vote for tattoo parlor.
Victoria September 11, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Sad. A tattoo parlor there would not bring down all of Palatine... it would get all the people at City Limits Harley Davidson who have already spent $60K + on a motorcycle to spend a little more money and stay a little longer in Palatine.
Beth September 11, 2012 at 02:55 PM
I agree with you totally. I was sadden that it was not approved. There are so many empty stores here in Palatine. He presented his plan / business in a very professional way. More so than other businesses that area already doing business here in Palatine.
Anne Copeland September 11, 2012 at 03:04 PM
After 52 years in Palatine I must say I am sadly ashamed of the backward thinking of the Village council. We have empty store front after store front in town both downtown and the outlying strip malls. Our taxes go up and we are being forced to visit neighboring towns to conduct our business. Wake up people, this isn't 1890 and skin art as well as other businesses that don't encourage walk ins are not a danger to us and our families.
Kelly K September 11, 2012 at 03:13 PM
This is 2012, going in to 2013. I can't believe that people still subscribe to the archaic notion that only criminals have tattoos! Please! What planet are you from? If I would have known about this vote, I would have been there to give my support to show that the town is not filled with closed minded dinosaurs like this Laurie person and that Greg person. I will remember the name Greg Solberg and I will not be voting for him in the next election since his views are clearly outdated and completely wrong for Palatine! As for Laurie perhaps she should move to Little House on the Prairie since she finds that drawing a parallel from a legitimate business to the gang nonsense in the Palatine ghetto is a valid argument. One has nothing to do with the other and for anyone to draw that conclusion shows how truly out of touch and outdated their archaic notions are.
Jodie September 11, 2012 at 03:51 PM
I do hope this is reconsidered. I think Al Brodeur's thought out presentation was in not so many words, stating the so called riff-raff would not be hanging out in the tattoo parlor at $125-$150 per hour and on an appointment only basis. Tattoos are not just for the undesireables, I am a professional and I have 2, I also personally know some Village Council Members that have them. To this quote...“This isn’t the kind of business Palatine needs, it’s nothing against the petitioner,” Councilman Greg Solberg said, “I just don’t think it reflects well on the people of Palatine.”... Mr. Solberg, have you been to Palatine? Probably half of the people in Palatine have tattoos. Good luck Mr. Brodeur.
PalRes September 11, 2012 at 04:20 PM
To this quote...“This isn’t the kind of business Palatine needs, it’s nothing against the petitioner,” Councilman Greg Solberg said, “I just don’t think it reflects well on the people of Palatine.” But all the gang bangers do???? Maybe we should start working on cleaning up that part of town. I am a working professional that is proud to say that I have three tattoos and I pay my taxes. So, what would Councilman Solberg say about that??
MJE September 11, 2012 at 04:22 PM
I don't see why the proposed business was rejected. Clearly, their business plan was carefully developed and their location was suitable. Palatine has legitimate concerns about gang activity, but banning an upscale tattoo studio doesn't impact that.
Beth September 11, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Agree with you. The gang activity has been a problem for some time, it was not brought on or will be continued by the presence of an upscale tattoo studio. Perhaps they need to work on the gang problem instead of discriminating against would be business owners.
Palman September 11, 2012 at 08:40 PM
You can't spell Palatine without LATIN in the word. I agree with Ms. Acevedo, there is enough to clean up in that area without perpetuating a "false image". False image being tattoos. Don't care how archaic the thinking is, it is home rule There was a recent ruling in Arizona their Supreme Court said cannot ban tattoo parlos in general, but, the city/village can. Plaze Verde, hmmmm, how about making it Plaza Tennis Court or Plaza Library, something more constructive instead of having a liquor store right next to Rand Village where the killing occurred.
ShankRiley September 11, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Even though tattoos are mainstream there is still a stigma associated with them in some areas of the country. I cover my tattoos at work with Ink Armor sleeves: http://www.tat2x.com/ Did anyone see the recent Arizona Supreme ruling that tattoos are a form of free speech? Google it...they ruled that tattoos are a form of free speech. However, this doesn't mean your employer or your community has to accept them.
Jerry September 11, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Hey Al. Too bad those mean old jerks on the council wouldn't let you open up a 3800 sq ft tattoo shop in the middle of the burbs.That would've been so cool. Just out of curiosity when did you ever work in a shop? Which one did you work at and for how long? One more thing, would you mind making an album on your new facebook page "people against tattoo discrimination in Palatine" of all the tattoos that you yourself did. Bet people will be especially interested in seeing the rad tats you were gonna charge people $150 an hour for. Remember all those tats you did out of your house in Elk Grove Village under the name Pain Factory Productions (as recently as 2010) can you make an album for them too? Thanks!
Jerry September 11, 2012 at 11:58 PM
I bet Al and his friends would have cleaned up that area and rid Palatine of all the gangs. Al said he used to work security and he has the "eyes" to spot drunks and trouble makers a mile away. Plus too the cops were gonna step up patrols. Al talked to the chief of police and had it all under control.
Jerry September 12, 2012 at 12:05 AM
I agree riff raff can't afford $125-150 an hour tatoos only really upstanding people and celebrities can! A true artist doesn't put tats on just anyone does Kat Von D?! NO way! Seriously, undesireables are lame.
palresident September 12, 2012 at 12:07 AM
I guess I'm in the minority opinion here but I'm glad the proposal was rejected. I know many people get tattoos and they can be classy and hidden, but they still have a bad image associated with them. Personally I think tattoos are a bad idea and many people regret getting them later on in life. Palatine needs to continue to improve its image and a tattoo parlor would be a step in the wrong direction.
Jerry September 12, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Sorry Palman you're WRONG. Al is not presenting a "false image" he's the real deal! He sells tattoo equipment to real deal tattoo guys all over the world! He has a lot of friends who have his back. They were all gonna move to Palatine and do all the tats just for Al, he's so good he's too busy to have to tat all day like a peon. He said he even had someone coming from Alaska to help run the shop for him while he was attending to his important business. That's no "false image" !!!
steveB September 12, 2012 at 01:35 AM
"This isn't the kind of business Palatine needs". Backward thinking in a backward town.
Jerry September 12, 2012 at 02:33 AM
I totally agree too! I bet they could've saved Palatine! Al and his friends could've made Alley 68 a bunch of money just by drinking there after they got off work. Tattoo guys know how to party, people need to lighten up geeze.
G September 12, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Too bad. I have a tattoo and I am a late 30's wife, mother, employee and a christian! I'd love to be able to go to a local place in Palatine because my tattoo needs a bunch of work to recolor it, and maybe I would get something new. I don't like having to drive into Chicago or up to Lake Geneva to find a reputable tattoo place. I agree this could have been a really good thing. Tattoos aren't solely given to gangbangers and thugs. I would hope that there would be some kind of "rule" in place that no gang symbols would be allowed in that business...there's always room for compromise. I don't think that Al's bitter attitude based on his comments is going to help him out in the future, though...
Saydee September 12, 2012 at 11:37 PM
"Instead of having a liquor store right next to Rand Village where the killing occurred"...Remember the fine upstanding Doctor who killed his wife and infant daughter in Palatine. According to your rationale we better not have any Doctors offices in Palatine either it may lead to another killing. Ignorance is the main force behind almost all prejudices and biases. Even the word "prejudice" implies "pre-judging," or judging beforehand, and we have to ask "before what?" The answer, of course, is before having all the knowledge necessary to judge accurately. And if you don't have that knowledge, you're ignorant, yet you're still judging. How can that ever be helpful or even honest?
Beth and Phil Cisco September 13, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Wow, we're SHOCKED! Well no, not really. It was a year and a half ago (not 6 months) we went before the council to try to open Maximum Tattoo in Palatine. Even though we were disappointed we were voted down, all things happen for a reason. Maximum Tattoo opened in a great location just a hop skip and a jump away from Palatine in Deerfield. Our shop sits along side other small businesses that are just as diverse as our clientele. Since we opened our doors, we've tattooed people coming to us from all over the northern suburbs and the Chicagoland area (Including Palatine residents). We do great tattoos, charge reasonable prices, and treat our customers like family. It's a simple straight forward approach to business that seems to be working for us. It's not our place to comment on what's good or bad for Palatine, but we can say that Palatine is a really great place with some really wonderful people living in it. We didn't agree with the residents who opposed our tattoo shop proposal, but we give them credit for standing up for what they believe in. It takes courage and resolve to show up and make your voices heard. We harbor no hard feelings for the people who didn't want us in Palatine. We truly believe your Councilmen are simply trying to do their best. We may not all agree on the subject of tattoo studios and where they are appropriate, but we should always be mindful to respect eachother's rights to their opinions. The Ciscos P.S. We still love ya Palatine!
Victoria September 13, 2012 at 03:21 PM
And that, right there, is a statement where the city council may need to update their thinking. You took your business somewhere more supportive, and it has been successful for you and not detrimental to the town you do business in.
CJ Shades September 13, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Obviously this council does not know what Paletine could offer the world. Al is not just "Some tattoo guy" that wants to open a shop. I've never met him, but I know of him through his presence around the entire world in the tattoo community. He's not your average tattoo guy. He works with the elite in the industry and manufactures functional art for the entire globe. His work is top shelf and I would imagine that there are kids out there that get giddy when they actually meet him before buying one of his foot pedals or clip chords. He's in the upper echelon of this world wide industry and can generate commerce in what seems like a dead area. You can expect Fed Ex and UPS trucks to make daily trips to his shop for items both comming and going. This reminds me of the original movie "footloose." It sounds to me like this discriminating little town needs to spend more time voting on new council members and mayors instead of making hard working american entreprneurs waste time bringing the old fashoned council members in to 2012. Keep up the fight Al. You're uncovering problems in your local government. And just an added note, by banning professional sanitary tattooing in your community, you're forcing it underground and promoting illegal tattooing and possible spread of disease. Maybe that should be part of the mayors next campaign slogan?
Jerry September 13, 2012 at 07:42 PM
You're RIGHT about one thing CJ Shades, you never met him. His "presence" around the entire world and tattoo community has been making what you call "functional art"... everyone else calls FOOT PEDALS and CLIP CORDS! Tell us how much professional shop experience does Al have? Crickets... You mentioned underground and illegal tattooing practices, well guess what? Your hero Al was tattooing out of his house in Elk Grove Village under the name Pain Factory Productions as recently as 2010. Have you ever seen his tattoo portfolio? Crickets... Think about what kind of disaster it would have been to give this guy a 3800 sq ft tattoo shop in the middle of the burbs. Do your homework.
CD Bloom September 13, 2012 at 09:12 PM
Dear Palman, I don't know much about this particular business and I'm not prepared to debate its merits. However, I do know that the wonderful library that Palatine does have, which maintains accessible branches and a bookmobile, is struggling to balance it's budget, as is our village. Since our tax base, our employment opportunities, and our property values have dropped, decreasing village revenue in the process, I would like to know how you would suggest we pay for your Plaza Tennis Court? Perhaps a more constructive idea or business proposal would be beneficial.


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