The first was at 2906 Mission Street in San Francisco, built by Ed in 1977. It was the first shop to open in the Mission district and featured the fine-line black & grey work that was new to the tattoo world at that time. This shop was destroyed in a fire in 1978, open less than a year but making an indelible mark on the Bay area walk-in tattoo shop scene. Some work done here is featured in the excellent documentary film “Tattoo City” by San Francisco filmmaker Emiko Omori, released in 1980.

The second Tattoo City, at 722 Columbus Avenue, near our present location, was opened in 1991 in response to the growing popularity of the art. Ed had continued to operate Realistic Tattoo Studio at 2535 Van Ness Avenue since 1974, the pacesetter that was first to operate as a private, appointment only studio. His emphasis here on large, ornate, custom tattoos tailored to the specific wishes of the customer truly changed the face of world tattooing. By the 90s it was apparent that the quality and methods needed to be accessible to a wider public and Tattoo City was reborn. We outgrew this space and opened in our new, larger and improved location on Valentine’s Day weekend, 1999.

Tattoo City continues to uphold the same standard of excellence and trend-setting qualities that have characterized Ed Hardy’s career. His more than forty years’ professional experience as an artist, spokesman, historian and documentarian of tattooing underlies every job produced at Tattoo City. With our fresh interpretations of world art traditions, we offer work that is truly “Way out but classic”.