Ink up! Flatbush tattoo parlor opens adjoining bar

Ink up! Flatbush tattoo parlor opens adjoining bar
Photo by Jason Speakman

What could possibly go wrong?

Flatbush Avenue tattoo parlor Forever Ink has opened an adjoining bar, which the owners say is a way to cash in on customers’ desire to grab a shot of liquid courage before they go under the needle.

“They come and are all nervous and they always ask for a liquor store to get a shot to calm themselves, so we thought it would be a good idea for them to have one here,” said Ricardo Rivera, who owns the ink store and bar with brother Roberto.

The brothers-in-ink opened the doors of the Forever Ink Bar at Duryea Place around the end of November, filling the new watering hole with tattoo paraphernalia and art that gives patrons a preview of what awaits around the corner at their parlor, according to Roberto Rivera.

“The idea is if they like the artwork they see at the bar, they can purchase it,” he said.

The bar also sports a tattoo-themed drinks menu, which includes one called “Yes it F—— Hurts”, and a girly drink dubbed the “Tramp Stamp” — a combination of Pinot Grigio, lemon juice, Cointreau, and apricot liqueur that the owners say the ladies love.

“It’s a fruity drink, but the girls love it and they love the name,” Ricardo Rivera said.

Liquid courage: Tattoo artists and brothers Roberto and Ricardo Rivera opened the Forever Ink Bar beside their tattoo parlor in Flatbush so patrons can catch a buzz before suffering for their art.
Photo by Jason Speakman

The brothers insist their bar is no scheme to sell tattoos to drunken bros, and that they will turn away anyone that they feel is too wasted.

The pair say they learned their lesson when they invested in the Tattoo Shot Lounge in Coney Island, which shared an entrance to one of their old tattoo parlors. All that bought them was a studio filled with drunks, who made working next to impossible, Ricardo Rivera said.

“You can’t work when your customer has 10 friends rooting for him at the counter,” he said. “You couldn’t concentrate. It was uncomfortable.”

As it is, the bar’s 5 pm opening coupled with the tattoo parlor’s 7 pm closing time means prospective customers only have a maximum of two hours to drink up before they get inked, which is how the brothers like it.

“We’re serious about the tattooing part. We’ll give them a shot or two, but that’s it,” Ricardo Rivera said. “It’s not about getting drunk, it’s about relaxing.”

Forever Ink Bar [1051 Flatbush Ave. between Duryea Place and Beverly Road in Ditmas Park, (718) 284–4029].

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixs[email protected]glocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
No regrets: The new tattoo-themed Forever Ink Bar serves a host of tattoo-themed cocktails, including the ladies’ favorite “Tramp Stamp.”
Photo by Jason Speakman