Tattoo shop owner finally wins approval to open in Downtown Ocea - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Tattoo shop owner finally wins approval to open in Downtown Ocean Springs

Tattoo Artist Matt Stebly with family friends. (Photo source: WLOX News) Tattoo Artist Matt Stebly with family friends. (Photo source: WLOX News)
"In my opinion, there's an art gallery going in," said property owner Jeffrey Sauls. "An art studio. One of his art forms happens to be tattoo art. I think it's a well recognized art form around the world." (Photo source: WLOX) "In my opinion, there's an art gallery going in," said property owner Jeffrey Sauls. "An art studio. One of his art forms happens to be tattoo art. I think it's a well recognized art form around the world." (Photo source: WLOX)
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

An Ocean Springs tattoo artist is thanking everyone who encouraged him not to give up on moving his business to Downtown. On Tuesday, the Board of Aldermen unanimously voted to allow Matt Stebly to locate on Government Street by making a change to the city ordinance.

While business is good on Washington Avenue in St. Martin, Stebly feels Twisted Anchor Tattoo belongs in the heart of Ocean Springs. He said being Downtown would increase walk up customers, and give customers a better overall experience.

"I've got asked a few times 'Why don't you just stay where you're at? You're doing fine,'" said Stebly. "It's not about that. It's about being Downtown. Having that experience when you're walking into the shop and you're buying a painting or you're getting tattooed or a t-shirt. It's a different experience walking around all the way up Washington where we're at now than walking around Government."

Right now, crews are busy remodeling a building at the corner of Government Street and Cash Alley. The property owner, Jeffrey Sauls, runs Leo's Pizza located right next door, and said he's honored to have Stebly's tattoo shop here.

"The only discussion I've heard around town is about a tattoo parlor going in," Sauls said. "In my opinion, there's an art gallery going in. An art studio. One of his art forms happens to be tattoo art. I think it's a well recognized art form around the world. We were delighted when he said he wanted to work in that building."

Stebly was delighted when Ocean Springs aldermen gave him the approval he needed. He's grateful to those who told him not take no for an answer after he was denied a variance from the planning commission.

"It does mean a lot that we had that much support for this whole process. Just people coming and telling me good luck everywhere I went," said Stebly. "No matter if I was out to dinner or getting gas. Just people saying good luck and we hope everything works out. Finally, it did, so I can't be more happy."

Ocean Springs is putting stipulations on tattoos shops wanting to locate in the Downtown area. Officials say a tattoo shop can't be within 400 feet of a church, school, park, or funeral home and must be at least 1,000 feet away from another tattoo parlor, check cashing, or pawn shop.

City officials said the change to the ordinance will be published in Thursday's newspaper and then will take effect after 30 days.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly