Hip soccer moms can satisfy all their tattoo needs now that Zebra Tattoo, a mainstay on Berkeley’s überfunky Telegraph Avenue, has opened a second location in downtown Walnut Creek. We checked out both stores to compare the urban versus suburban body-art experiences
Vibe: Can you say spa? Tattoo-getters are segregated from the body pierce-ees. Check out the sitting area, where you can linger over portfolios of tattoo designs.
Soundtrack: Lou Reed, using his indoor voice.
Neighborhood pros: Validated parking.
Neighborhood cons: Proximity to Pottery Barn may kill your ink jones.
Average tattoo age: All over the place: a daughter, mother, and grandmother got matching bumblebee tattoos on their ankles.
Tattoo stations: Three private rooms, with reclining leather chairs and flat-screen TVs.
Popular tattoos: Family crests, kids’ names, butterflies, skull and crossbones (with a polka-dot hair bow).
One-stop shopping: Everything from handbags and jewelry to Zippos.
Vibe: The deli-style method of calling numbers for customers and a small, narrow interior make for a hectic atmosphere.
Soundtrack: It’s headbanger heaven in here.
Neighborhood pros: Wide variety of Mohawks. The Holy Grail for music geeks, Amoeba, is next door.
Neighborhood cons: Tourists with maps, Street Sheet vendors, acres of tie-dye.
Average tattoo age: It looked like 20 to us—college kids, kids with their parents.
Tattoo stations: One room with two tattoo chairs means the murals on the wall, and possibly another customer, are your entertainment.
Popular tattoos: Old-school pinup girls, Japanese-themed designs (dragons and koi fish), portraits, punk insignia.
One-stop shopping: Same as Walnut Creek—plus stun guns and samurai swords.