I have been working on a set of Toronto’s top ink dens with blogTO. And it’s been both an enlightening and enjoyable experience. Here’s one of my latest pieces, looking at Sal’s Tattoo & Barber Shop.
by RYAN BOLTON, originally published on blogTO
Sal’s Tattoo & Barber Shop doesn’t cut hair. They used to, a while back, but not any longer. There’s just an antiquated barber’s chair that sits alone in the front of the shop, a memory of days gone past. Sal’s has cut everything else out — no gimmicks, T-shirts or piercings — just straight-up classic tattoos.
Perched technically in Chinatown, Sal’s sits unassuming at College and Spadina. It blends in with the Chinatown environ. And when you enter, you get a no-bullshit tattoo experience. A layered-down, “gritty,” come-as-you-are shop that houses only two artists, Greg Kidd and Jenny Boulger.
Like many of the city’s top tattoo joints, Sal’s is a mainstay. First opened in the fall of 1998 by Steven Brazda, now a New York-based artist, the shop originally offered a haircut with its inking. (Something that New Tribe does too). Sadly, it didn’t last long.
When Kidd took over the shop in 2004, he liked the theme of combining the old-fashioned barber and tattooing and decided to hold onto the aesthetic, but not the service. Boulger joined shortly after and the two have been running the shop since to a steady clientele, which does service local CAMH patients. “We’re here for them, the patients,” says Boulger. “They have more of the touching, LA Ink-like stories. It’s cute.”
Read the rest of the story on blogTO.