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River Road Tattoo Parlor Opens for Business

Jerzey Tat held it's grand opening ceremony Wednesday, Dec. 14

, a brand new tattoo parlor located at 16-23 River Road, opened its doors in late November and has being doing steady business ever since, owner Bruce Walker said Wednesday at the .

“We’ve gotten a great reception from a lot of the town people,” said Walker, a Saddle Brook resident. “Just opening up and having this many customers is a great experience, and it just shows that we’re going to be here for a while.”

Walker said the affordable prices and welcoming service are what primarily distinguish Jerzey Tat from its competitors.

“We’re not here to rob anybody,” he said. “We treat everyone here like they’re family. You come in the door and you’re going to get greeted. We’re going to take care of you.”

Walker said the quality of Jerzey Tat’s three primary artists –Steven Ortiz, Alec Albert, Jr. and Georgia Mollica – is also top notch.

“It’s all about the custom here,” Walker said. “It’s more of a, you come in and you want something that nobody else has, and that’s we want to give you -- that one-of-a-kind piece of artwork.”

In their down time, the artists often can be found doodling pencil sketches of their next creations. A framed display of Albert’s custom sketches already adorns the shop’s walls and work by the other artists’ will go up soon, Walker said.

“We draw a lot in here,” he said. “It keeps the skills sharp, so we’ll just doodle and come up with designs off the top of the head and we just post them up here and people come in and just love them and pick them out and want them done.”

Walker's also working on becoming a bona fide tattoo artist himself, and recently attended a two-week tattooing course in New York. Since the shop opened, he’s been apprenticing with each of his artists, sticking to smaller, less extravagant pieces and charging a flat $50 rate for his work.

“I’ve actually done a couple of tattoos already with the assistance of my guys,” he said. “I’m learning as I go and these guys are great teachers.”

Each of the artists has a different style, Walker said, so customers can get a variety of artwork done, be it urban art or graffiti-style lettering from Ortiz, custom art from Albert or water coloring and portraits from Mollica.

Walker, who has run a small side art business hand-painting piggy banks and step stools for years, said he decided to open Jerzey Tat to escape the revolving door of retail management, which had been his full-time job for 13 years.

“There’s no career, no future,” Walker said of retail. “I’m married with two kids, so I decided to take my career to a different path.”

He originally considered working in law enforcement as a correctional officer, but an injury at the police training academy in Sea Girt forced him to put that dream on hold.

“I tore a ligament and a tendon in my ankle, tore up my knee. Had to go through numerous surgeries to get it fixed,” he said. “I got cleared to go back to work, but not back to the academy due to the injury. So I had a decision to make – go back to retail or do something on my own.”

Walker said his love of art and belief in the future of the industry made him decide to open his own tattoo shop.

“I feel that this is a growing business. It still has a lot to go and I want to be there as it’s growing,” he said. “So I decided to do my own thing right now, be my own boss.

Walker said his small hand-painting operation and retail experience, which involved managing stores and doing their books, prepared him for his current job as small business owner.

“It’s been an exciting venture. You never know what to expect and I’m really excited that I have a lot of people already coming in here our first week open,” he said. “I myself am booked for this weekend. Steven is booked, Alec is booked. We have a lot of customers coming in that are looking for work from us.”

Jerzey Tat has three tattooing stations, each equipped for privacy, and uses both Mom’s and Intenze tattoo inks.

Customers are free to walk in and browse tat offerings and chat with the staff, but an appointment is required to get actual work done. 

Discounts on tattoos are offered to police officers and firefighters. 

A website is in the works, but not yet up-and-running, so Walker recommends prospective customers check out the Jerzey Tat Facebook page for the latest info and pictures of finished works. You can reach the shop by phone at 201-773-9311.

RdgwdGRock December 15, 2011 at 04:34 PM
Chris - tats are associated with thugs and dopes. get better friends
RdgwdGRock December 15, 2011 at 04:34 PM
the mispelt woid waz intentional to make a pernt
FL4LIFE December 15, 2011 at 04:35 PM
adolpho- get a life you already posted negative comments on the other article about the new tattoo parlor. when an article was posted about a fair lawn man opening a bike shop in glen rock people quickly commented that we need small local shops in fair lawn. well heres one and i wish them the best of luck. if your idea of a tattoo shop is a bunch of bikers and degenerates making trouble then you are way out of touch with current society. i personal will never get a tattoo because i am scared of needles but respect it as an art form and way of expression. tattoo artists are very skilled n talented and dont get to use erasers. good luck with the shop- and ignore the negative posts. its usaully the same losers with no life making complaints on every article anyway
* December 15, 2011 at 05:52 PM
Chris and 4life, i posted aboit the Glen Rock business because Fair Lawn lost a respectable establishment to Glen Rock when the proprietor is a RESIDENT of our town! Instead we get yet a 3rd tattoo joint which will lure an element to town that we just dont need.I never uttered a word. about bikers 4life, thats your view of it. I SAID AND STAND BY the fact that graffiti tats are for thugs and gangbangers. You two should take a hard look at what you're advocating
Paul Berge December 15, 2011 at 06:23 PM
Exactly what kind of element do you think tattoo parlors lure to your town? I have tattoos, but I'm not a thug or a gangbanger. When I get tattoo work done, my girlfriend and I always spend time and money in the area of the shop that we would have otherwise not known about. I can't count how many restaurants, clothing shops and local retailers we have visited on days when one of us was getting tattoo work done. The element that is lured to a good tattoo shop is very different than the skewed image you have conjured up in your head.
Paul Berge December 15, 2011 at 07:59 PM
Such wonderful advice there, RidgewoodGuy. Let us all trade in our tattooed friends for better people such as yourself. We are far better of befriending the intolerant and ignorant over those with a penchant for body art. I know a lot of tattooed people, yet I don't associate with thugs and/or dopes. My tattooed friends are executives, managers, lawyers, educators, engineers, mothers and fathers. You might be surprised at what you see when you choose to open your eyes and look around instead of blindly judging the people you don't understand.
Paul Berge December 15, 2011 at 08:02 PM
"the mispelt woid waz intentional to make a pernt" - Is this sentence supposed to make you more credible? Because it had the exact opposite effect on me. Hmmm, let's try to pretend we misspelled a word by intentionally misspelling an entire sentence. Genius.
* December 15, 2011 at 10:10 PM
Paul, do you or your girl have "graffitti tattoos"? I bet not..take a look at WHO gets them and then take notice of the "clientele " lingering in the area as you put it.
* December 15, 2011 at 10:16 PM
http://www.graffititattoos.com/graffititattoos_home.htm.
Paul Berge December 15, 2011 at 10:24 PM
Neither of us have "graffiti tattoos". I mistakenly thought you were simply referring to tattoos as graffiti, rather than speaking about a very specific type of tattoo. But I'm not exactly sure what this one particular type of tattoo has to do with the shop opening. Do they specialize in graffiti themed tattoos? Looking through the pictures from their grand opening, it doesn't appear that way. So what makes you think this shop in particular will suddenly attract hoards of thugs looking for graffiti tattoos? Also, if there are already 2 tattoo shops in town, do you honestly believe that a 3rd will magically attract a bad element?
* December 15, 2011 at 11:21 PM
Its not magic! Like ants to a picnic......they will be attracted
RdgwdGRock December 15, 2011 at 11:50 PM
Paul - is that your real pic? if so, you look like a dope
Paul Berge December 16, 2011 at 12:13 AM
I should have figured you would resort to shallow, personal attacks since you don't have the intelligence to come up with a meaningful response. I do have to at least give you credit for recognizing the fact that you were outclassed. Thank you again for further reinforcing the fact that you are just an ignorant, childish, moron.
Paul Berge December 16, 2011 at 12:16 AM
You seem to have missed my point, so let me explain it in your terms. If there were already 2 picnics on the block, why would a third suddenly attract so many more ants of a particular variety?
* December 16, 2011 at 01:31 AM
Paul, make no assumptions i missed nothing. In answering why a 3rd suddely attracts...for the same reason flys are drawn to a particular garbage can....2 cans may contain household refuse a third may contain rotten, fetid and rancid food
Marty Cone December 16, 2011 at 04:14 AM
Free "I'm with Stupid" tatoos for the council.''
deesnuts December 16, 2011 at 05:16 AM
Wow...I am amazed! Hmmm...I come from an upper-class neighborhood, I am a social worker who graduated college with honors, married & mother of two (who are also on honor roll for more reasons than one), class parent, volunteer, & a soccer mom who's son actually plays for the Fair Lawn Lightning. I was never aware that my graffiti tattoos made me a thug and a gangbanger...thank you so much for that insight! Here I was going about my life never knowing my true self. I am going to have to call and make an appoinment to have your name tattooed on my arse graffiti style to honor your ignorance...right in your own town. Happy Holidays Scrooge! PS) you also might want to either get laid a little more often, or have your medication dosage checked out by your Dr. because you sure are one miserable SOB
* December 16, 2011 at 12:11 PM
Desenuts, i commend your attempt to conform into rhe conservative lifestyle of a suburban soccer mom and ALMOST believed your post. UNTIL...."PS) you also might want to get laid a little more often " Suddenly your suburban persona gave way to the ghetto hoochie mamma you are! .
* December 16, 2011 at 01:24 PM
http://www.tattoodonkey.com/most-graffiti-tattoos-are-gang-names-or-something-of-that-nature-but-tattoo/
Paul Berge December 16, 2011 at 02:17 PM
Adolpho, what is that link supposed to prove? It is a statement about graffiti tattoos with absolutely no explanation or evidence to back it up. I could post a statement on my own blog saying "Only about 1-2% of graffiti tattoos are found to be gang related." Neither statement is backed by any facts, so which one is more credible? Most of the real gang tattoos I have seen are made up of Old English lettering or symbols specific to each gang. Since you seem to be qualifying your statements as facts, can you be so kind as to point out your sources? Other than a random statement you dug up on tattoodonkey.com.
Deleted because of harassment December 16, 2011 at 06:17 PM
That's the best comment here.
Deleted because of harassment December 16, 2011 at 06:24 PM
Classy place. Love the idea of having every passer-by get a full view of the tattooing inside, too. And those "graphitti" tat's - hallmark of an educated, classy person, too. Still wating for the "massage" parlor that is sure to follow into the neighborhood. But not holding my breath for either to open on the other side of town.
* December 16, 2011 at 06:45 PM
PAUL, Deleted just provided your evidentary request....Deleted i thankyou and and couldnt agree more
Paul Berge December 16, 2011 at 07:48 PM
I'm assuming you meant evidentiary, and if so, Deleted provided nothing of the sort. He posted another opinion about tattoos in a sarcastic and barely literate way. I just can't value the opinion of someone who can hardly put a sentence together and is so easily amused by the childish "I'm with stupid" comment above.
* December 16, 2011 at 08:36 PM
You see paul thats the point, others see the erosion of the neighborgood and the element graffitti tats bring .Instead you pick on a mispelled word and misinterpretation of some other post.
Deleted because of harassment December 16, 2011 at 09:01 PM
Let me try being more "literate" for you. Tattoos are a childish alternative to make oneself look threatening for most of those that have a need to get them, an alternative to "cutting" that is also addictive to many of the same, and an obvious indicator of insecurity with one's physical appearence. Paul, as the self-appointed defender of the tattooed, has repeatedly proven he is only interested in constantly harping on the wonders of the "art", as I am sure those that work or engage in other marginally tolerated professions have the need to tell everyone else that they are wrong. I don't want a tatoo parlor next to my house anymore than a cocktail lounge or an adult bookstore. When the Council allows a tatoo parlor on the side of town that they perceive as more a more desirable place to live (and where the Democratic ones pander for votes), then I'll feel sightly better that they so cheerfully secured this location for this one. Meanwhile, this side of town has yet another place of business we will have to explain about to prospective purchasers - like the traffic from development, the absence of useful stores, the store with guns and ammo in the windows - albeit fake ammo and fake guns - and now, a place where you can watch a real live show of people getting tattoos. How classy and upscale for us.
* December 16, 2011 at 09:38 PM
Deleted, very well said! Dont forget the ghetto Barber shop we see drawing more of the same element ......funny these places nevet pop up in the center of town. Paul NOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND?
Paul Berge December 16, 2011 at 10:04 PM
Thank you for at least trying to make a rational argument. The problem is that everything you are saying about tattoos is total BS. Looking threatening has absolutely nothing to do with why I decided to get tattooed. I am probably one of the least threatening people you will ever meet. My tattoos also have nothing to do with insecurity. Your analogy to cutting is completely off base as well. People who engage in cutting usually try to hide the cuts from view, not draw attention to themselves. I'm not sure if we are reading comments from the same page, but I would love for you to point out where I was "constantly harping on the wonders of the "art"? I made no arguments about the artistic value of tattoos in this discussion. I'm also not quite sure what you are insinuating about me when mentioning "marginally tolerated professions", but please refrain from making assumptions about what I do for a living. I have no need to go around telling everyone that they are wrong. But I will call someone out and ask them to back up the statements they make. I use myself and my friends as real world examples of people who don't fit any of the typical stereotypes associated with tattooed people. I would bet that just about anything you think you know about me, based on the fact that I have tattoos, would be wrong. I'm tired of people making irrational assumptions about people with tattoos and will continue to defend my views on the subject.
Paul Berge December 16, 2011 at 10:13 PM
I understand that your town seems to have worse problems to deal with than a tattoo shop. With no useful stores in the part of town that the shop is in, why do you need to worry about walking by and seeing what is happening in the window? If the barber shop is already attracting the same clientele as the tattoo shop, then I commend the shop owners for finding a location that will likely get them more business.
* December 17, 2011 at 01:06 PM
That last comment just confirmed RidgewoodGuy11's assumption based on your photo

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