If you input Hustler’s Parlor as your destination on an Uber trip, your driver will most likely have a few questions for you. That was my experience today as I headed to the Williamsburg, Brooklyn tattoo haunt, owned by brothers Richie Bulldog and Seth Love.
"What is this place?” my driver asked.
Sure, for those who aren’t indoctrinated into the tattoo community, it might sound like a bar, a nightclub, or as my driver suspected, a strip club. You’d be wrong on all categories (sorry, everyone looking to read a review of a strip club). It’s simply one of the most celebrated tattoo shops New York City has to offer.
When I walked up to the shop, I was greeted by the shop’s owner, Richie Bulldog, the charismatic, marketing savvy, creative force behind Hustler’s Parlor. “I run a tight ship,” he tells me, and he absolutely must on a day like the day I was visiting. Hordes of people were lining up for their Friday the 13th Flash Tattoo event, and with that kind of demand, you need to be able to supply it.
And Hustler’s certainly does. It has ample space to fit numerous tattoo artists, and you can tell Richie has put his stamp on the shop. “Hustle” is a word you’ll see all over, and the shop’s aesthetic is carefully planned out to make clients feel at home. “I believe that ambience is so important to the experience. From the minute people walk in, it smells a certain way, there’s music playing, I’ve actually made assigned playlists that I only want played in the shop,” says Richie. He’s even curated his own Spotify playlist so you can get a taste of Hustler’s wherever you are.
With roots in the tattoo industry dating all the way back to 1994, Richie Bulldog has become a staple of the Brooklyn scene. Even before all the fucking hipsters showed up. “We bring the coolness, and that’s why they’re here...they’re here because of us,” he confidently states. It’s hard to argue with him too, as his business is surrounded by out-of-towners from all over the country who look to capitalize on the “coolness” of the neighborhood. They can thank people like Richie Bulldog for that.
Hustler’s Parlor is the flagship store of Hustle Butter, a vegan-friendly aftercare product created by Richie himself, and it’s been rated one of the best aftercare products by Teen Vogue, of all places. All of the artists in the shop use it when they apply their tattoos of a variety of different styles, from realism, to Japanese, to Neo-Traditional. Just about any style under the sun can be found here.
Hustler’s Parlor is located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn at 143 N 4th St. and appointments can be made by calling (718) 302-3443.