Eye On Real Estate:
By Lore Croghan
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Get ready for the coolness quotient to rise on Flatbush Avenue near Barclays Center: Reality show star Chris Torres from “NY Ink” is opening a tattoo parlor. Soon.
“We'll be tattooing in time for Christmas,” said Torres – who appeared on the TLC series about a tattoo parlor in SoHo.
The new ink shop, Red Legged Devils Studio, will be located at 229 Flatbush Ave., his landlord Michael Pintchik revealed to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
The telegenic, heavily inked Torres – who sports a colorful design of a tiger on his stomach – is already causing something of a stir in Prospect Heights, though his shop window is still boarded up. When he's out on the street with Pintchik, people want to hug the tattoo artist or ask for his autograph, the landlord said.
“I made a little bit of an impression on TV,” said Torres, 37. “That 15 minutes of fame lasts a lot longer these days.”
To capitalize on his time in the spotlight, Torres is including his name on a red and blue neon sign that will hang outside the parlor. He has hired three tattoo artists to work with him, and plans to swell that number to six or seven.
Love of basketball had nothing to do with his choice of location, which is a half-block from Barclays.
“I'm not a b-ball fan – I'm a foot-traffic fan,” he said.
Torres, who grew up in Midwood and now lives in Park Slope, owned a tattoo parlor called Alphabet City Studios on Avenue A from 1998 to 2003. He plans to bike to work – as in bicycle, not motorcycle.
His fans can keep track of what's up with Red Legged Devils on Instagram.
His landlord took on Torres as a tenant partly because he doesn't want the retailers coming into the vacant sites around the popular arena to be a staid, homogenous group.
“We don't want this to be Miracle Mile in Manhasset,” said Pintchik, whose family has extensive property holdings in the neighborhoods near Barclays Center and owns the hardware store at 478 Bergen St. “We want this to be a little rock and roll, and in your face – to mix it up.”
Pintchik, who has several retail spaces available for rent – or spoken for, said, “We're pretty specific in terms of what we want. We try to curate our tenant choices with a bigger picture in mind.”
He's working to capitalize on the success Barclays Center is enjoying. By the time of its first anniversary in September the arena had hosted more than 2 million visitors and attained the rank of America's Number One concert venue.
The storefront at 229 Flatbush became available after restaurateurs Joel Bolden and Chris Morgan walked away from a lease for space there and at 227 Flatbush Ave.
“The turnaround time was too long,” said Bolden, meaning the wait time for building renovations.
They had planned to open a Texas-style barbecue restaurant and a mac-and-cheese takeout place called the Elbow Room. Instead, they built the two eateries at 267 Flatbush Ave.
Pintchik is renovating the 1,200-square-foot retail space at 227 Flatbush, which he expects will be available for rent next summer.