Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

New tattoo parlor opens in Tuscaloosa

When a state trooper walked into newly opened tattoo parlor All Inkd Up, its owner didn’t know what to think.

But his worries were in vain. The state trooper, who already had several tattoos, was familiar with the tattoo artist’s work and simply walked in to get another tattoo.

“In fact, he liked his tattoo so much his brother, who’s a cop in Birmingham, is coming down, too,” said the tattoo and piercing artist Chewie, as he likes to be called.

After growing up in Tuscaloosa, Chewie considers it to be his hometown.

“I’m a hometown, local guy,” Chewie said. “That’s about it.”

It was with this mindset that he decided to open his own tattoo parlor after working at other tattoo parlors around Tuscaloosa.

“I was tired of working for other folks,” he said. “I finally decided enough was enough and opened my own.”

So, with business partner Wes Fortenberry, the two opened All Inkd Up this February. The new store is located at 1700 Greensboro Ave., across the street from Piggly Wiggly.

But the store is about more than just tattoos, Chewie said. And looking at the art on the walls and decorative furniture, his goal of making it more than just a tattoo parlor is apparent.

Chewie’s wife and store manager, Elizabeth, decorated tables and other pieces of furniture using a collage of work by Chewie, Fortenberry and pop culture icons.

Tuscaloosa artists are also on display on the store walls, which Chewie said would continue to grow with artwork.

“Art is art to me,” he said. “Having a tattoo shop is more about art than it is about tattoos.”

Both artists chuckled when asked how many tattoos they had, saying they lost count.

“I think mine are about to turn into one big tattoo,” said Fortenberry, who has been a tattoo artist for more than 11 years.

However, both artists are serious when it comes to safety.

“Safety is number one here, we do it all ‘by the book,’” Chewie said. “We are trying to give Tuscaloosa good prices and good quality.”

The close-to-campus location has brought in many students, he said.

“Lots of football players come in here, and in this town, that means something,” said Chewie, who believes in catering to each customer individually.

Chewie said All Inkd Up is a place for all Tuscaloosa residents.

“I just want it to be a local, hometown tattoo parlor,” he said. “No chains or big buildings, just good prices and good quality.”

So far, business has been normal, according to both Chewie and Fortenberry. But Fortenberry said he has had an interesting customer or two.

“My favorite request was for a tattoo of a flaming piece of broccoli,” Fortenberry said. “I didn’t ask.”

All Inkd Up is open from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weeknights, and until 2 a.m. on weekends and offers tattoos starting at $40 and piercings starting at $30.

“We’re here for our customers,” Fortenberry said. “We have the best customer service around.”

Chewie had one bit of advice for UA students: “Come by here. I promise we’ll hook you up.”


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