Town Hall at the mall

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First Posted: 4/16/2013 9:00:00 AM

As the “mayor” of Town Hall Tattoo, Chris Longo brings a lifetime of industry experience and a passion for body art, which come together to create a tattooing experience that is truly unique.

Town Hall Tattoo opened in November 2012 with the ambition of bringing a new standard to the tattoo industry in our area. With a talented staff of artists from around the country and the vast knowledge of shop owners Chris and Dee Longo, tattoo lovers can rejoice in finding this shop, which puts quality and the customer first.

Chris and his wife Dee were given the opportunity of a lifetime when they were approached by fellow artists Kim and Dave Kruzeman (who operate a shop inside a mall in Maryland) to open Town Hall Tattoo in the Wyoming Valley Mall. They moved here from Central New Jersey to start the business and haven’t looked back.

“It was time to open our own shop,” said Dee Longo. “It was always a progressive dream of his (Chris) to open a tattoo shop when he retired.”

Even though the Longos were able to buy the shop out, making them sole owners, it was a partnership in the beginning and they are ever grateful for the prospect presented to them.

“We want to thank them (Kim and Dave Kruzeman) for the opportunity, we owe them a lot,” said Chris Longo. “They gave us our start.”

Chris got his first tattoo at age 22 and now has a multi-layered canvas on his body, displaying the work of dozens of top artists. He’s been attending and emceeing conventions for years, giving tattoos himself since 1993. He lives and breathes body art, and this passion is easy to spot.

“The goal of our shop is to give a good, clean, solid tattoo that will stand the test of time and look good forever,” Chris explained.

“Chris has been doing this a long time, so he knows what will last and look good. The customer and their tattoo are very important to us,” Dee added. “We want to make customers happy by treating them fairly and with respect.”

One thing that surprised the couple when opening the shop in Pennsylvania was the lack of regulations in the tattoo business. Even though the rules are lacking, Town Hall Tattoo enforces a strict set of regulations, which includes a safe, user-friendly environment, sterile equipment, and top artists.

“I want artists to stick together and help each other out to grow the industry in the right direction with stricter regulations that protect consumers,” Chris said. “We’d like to see more shops work together, not attack each other… It’s why I have business cards from other shops on our counter. If we stick together, we can provide a tattoo experience that people deserve.”

The Longos believe that eventually every mall will have a tattoo parlor, but they want to see them owned by educated, reputable artists who care about and keep up with the industry.

“At Town Hall Tattoo, we want to provide a personal experience because getting a tattoo is life-changing, and people will always remember it,” said Dee. “There is a science to the right way to give a tattoo; it’s not just about slapping on a decal.”

“I believe education is the key to everything, and the educated consumer is the best customer,” Chris noted. “That’s why I try to educate people about the industry above all else. I help potential customers choose the right tattoo; I sit down with them, discuss options, and allow them to meet with the artists so they can choose one that matches their tastes. It’s a very personalized experience.”