Right when you get off the L train at the Morgan stop, you’re greeted with some of the best graffiti and murals in all of Brooklyn. Over the last few years, the post-industrial neighborhood surrounding the shop has been transformed into a full-fledged arts district. Less than half a decade ago, this vibrant urban landscape was nothing but a monotonous series of rundown warehouses, but thanks to the artistic endeavors of individuals like those who work at Allied Tattoo, it’s become a bastion for creativity.
Before they set up shop only a year and a half ago there were no quality tattoo parlors in that part of NYC, and through producing quality work, they’ve enriched the community in Bushwick by attracting talented artists and tattoo enthusiasts to the area. “We do our best to make great tattoos for every customer and have a good time doing it,” said Benjamin Haft, one of the shop’s owners. “It’s pretty chill here.
From the front door down to the floorboards, Allied has an all-American vibe to it. The main window captures the spirit of the parlor, featuring the image of a pair of shaking hands over the red, white, and blue crest, which is the perfect emblem for a street shop that specializes heavily in traditional tattoos.
Inside, the brick walls are painted army green, and tons of custom flash designs and other awesome visual art hangs on them. From the ceiling two model planes hang locked in a dogfight, and the vintage action figures and repurposed toys lining the walls give the shop the feel of a 10 year old's bedroom. One of their artists even put some of his portfolio into one of those old Fisher Price “Viewfinder” cameras, an easy way to guarantee that people will remember his work.
Numerous workspaces border the snug parlor floor, all of which are covered with art supplies. The place feels lived in. You can tell from the scattered pencils, paint brushes, and the constant hum of tattoo machines that Allied is staffed by an extremely hard-working crew that takes pride in creating excellent art.
If you’re out to get some outstanding old-school body art, then this is definitely the joint for you. Most of the the team here produces bold and bright tattoos of timeless motifs, like skulls, anchors, and lady heads. The shop’s founders, Haft and Andy Perez, both specialize in this classic style, so it makes since that so many traditional tattooists — including Ian Wiedrick, Brittney Goodman, and Phil deAngelou — have found a second home there.
If the bold colors of American traditional aren’t your thing, there are two artists specializing in creating darker pieces of body art. Joseph Bryce produces exquisite blackwork tattoos of figures like flowers and animals, and Noel C makes badass black and grey bangers of tried and true traditional imagery.
Allied also frequently has awesome guest artists, such as Sheila Marcello and several other talented tattooists who do weekend gigs there from time to time.
The Nitty Gritty Details
Allied Tattoo is located at 48 1/2, Grattan Street, Brooklyn, NY, right next to the Morgan stop on the L train. The shop is open seven days a week from 12-10pm, except for Sundays, when it closes a little earlier at 8pm.
If you’re in the mood to get a traditional banger or something bigger by one of the tattooists there, they can be reached at (347) 725-4861 for booking. Also, remember they’re game to service walk-ins as well, so if you just want to pop in to see if there’s an opening, hit them up on the fly.
Should the shop be busy (it usually is), there are plenty of good eats in the area as well as some spots to find little entertainment, but honestly just strolling around the neighborhood and soaking in the street art is probably the best way to pass the time. It’s a really beautiful and interesting area that could even inspire your next tattoo.