With a resident tattoo shop in a glass-enclosed storefront space, Tattoo Rock Parlour is unlike any other venue in the city. The spacious 9,000-square-foot club—on Queen Street West in the spot once occupied by the Left Bank—bears the distinction of being Toronto’s only live rock 'n’ roll venue equipped with its own body-art boutique.
The concept, designed by 3rd Uncle, is a partnership between Nick Di Donato of the Liberty Entertainment Group and Ink founder Charles Khabouth. Both own several restaurants and entertainment venues in the city. Khabouth, who took the lead on the project, spent two years looking for the right location. “In my mind I wanted it to be on Queen West, and there is a limited amount of space, so it took me a while,” he says.
Tattoo opened in early December, and Khabouth says the first month has been a success. “We've been swamped with requests for corporate events, because it's a twist, it's a change,” he said.
“It's been the most intense venue ever for me to open,” he added. “My biggest fear, and challenge, was putting food with tattoos, and live music, and DJs, and corporate. Two weeks ago was the first time I went to sleep and woke up comfortably.”
Tattoo’s upper level features a stage for live music, two bars, red leather banquette seating—which offers an unobstructed view of the stage—and a number of dining and cocktail tables that can be removed for live shows. The main floor has room for 100 seated or 300 for receptions. Dramatic sandblasted mirrors layered in vinyl provide a backdrop for the bars, highlighted with alabaster lighting and made of curved steel.
A vintage surgical lamp is suspended above a black and gold chair in the tattoo shop, in a storefront space visible from the street. The lower level, which has its own private entrance, has a more intimate feel, with a glossy black bar and a fireplace surrounded by brass and steel. The space holds 140 for receptions.
The menu, created by Khabouth in conjunction with Chris Zilewski, the executive chef at Ultra Supper Club (which Khabouth owns) includes dishes like a black angus burger, buttermilk southern fried chicken, and grilled tilapia. Customized menus are available for events. Tattoo can also arrange audiovisual, band, and DJ services.