Market Basket : A piercing question
But he says Martin is wrangling with perception.
Mark McDonnell, proprietor of downtown's LaSalle Grill restaurant, says his stance on body art has changed over the years.
"I'm less worried about it now, but I'm not excited," he says. "But would the mall allow a tattoo shop? Would Eddy Street or Heritage Square? I'd rather see a boutique that draws thousands of people from 100 miles as a destination."
Aaron Perri, executive director of Downtown South Bend Inc., sent a copy of the statement he wrote to council members who had requested his opinion.
"A tattoo parlor is far from the first thing that comes to mind when I think of this type of district," Perri says. "But it seems that the lines are blurring between tattoo artists and traditional artists. ... We all have friends, family members and colleagues who have tattoos and piercings."
He would support the proposed business if certain parameters are followed, including: the shop following certain health standards, hours not extending past 10 p.m., tattoo and body piercing activity not being visible through the window, and the word "tattoo" not appearing on awnings or windows.
"I respect the concerns of those who oppose the venue," Perri says.
"I also appreciate the opinions of those who believe this is a neutral or positive addition to downtown. As our city grows and evolves, I think we are all learning that things may look or feel a little different than we may imagine, but I believe these are the things that will continue to make South Bend unique."
Lindsey Graham, a manager at Fiddler's Hearth in downtown South Bend, is among those who support the proposed business.
"I think it has the potential to really make a positive impact. It will bring revenue to many area businesses," Graham says. "Our downtown has Art Beat, pop-up shops, coffee shops that showcase local artists, and what are tattoos but an expression of oneself in the form art."
Jamila Blue of Mishawaka, says both she and her daughter have gone to Martin for their tattoos.
"There is this perception from those who don't know better that (tattoos) are a form of deviant behavior and that upstanding citizens would not take part in this. I am a professional who has a tattoo," says Blue, who works at a local branch of a national bank.
"In my professional career I have worked with many individuals with tattoos," she adds. "Tattoos are art, and those of us who care want to ensure that our art is done by artisans who are reputable. Half Pint is an asset, not a liability."
Chat about the proposed tattoo and piercing shop, and whether it would add to the urban atmosphere South Bend wants to create for downtown, during our next live chat. Join us online at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday at www.southbendtribune.com.
Have you heard?
Because of declining sales, Bead Creative, 2303 Miami St., South Bend, is closing its doors. The locally owned store is scheduled to close Dec. 31. ... LaSalle Grill, 115 W. Colfax Ave., South Bend, is now open for lunch on Thursdays and Fridays during the month of December. Lunch hours are 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. An average lunch costs from $15 to $20.
Heidi Prescott's column runs on Fridays and Sundays. When she's not shopping, contact her at email@example.com or 574-235-6070. You can also talk retail at Facebook.com/thebasket and at Twitter.com/marketbasket.