Charles Berger in his new shop, Two Pillars Tattoo (Photo by Jay Paul)
Charles Berger says he chose Brookland Park to open his business, Two Pillars Tattoo and Sign Shop, because he loves the area. “I wanted to embrace the community that I moved into,” Berger says. “Everyone’s been very welcoming and all the local businesses are fantastic.” Plus, Two Pillars is currently the only tattoo shop in the neighborhood. “Richmond is so saturated with tattoo shops that it’s hard to find an area that is tattoo shop-free,” notes Berger.
With nine years of experience, Berger formerly worked at Heroes & Ghosts Tattoo in Carytown and more recently at Lakeside Tattoo Co. while he was renovating his new business at 224 W. Brookland Park Blvd.
In addition to tattoos, Berger also creates hand-painted signs for clients such as The Rogue Gentlemen and The Savory Grain, plus sandwich boards, including one for Virginia Barbeque. The basement of the store has been utilized as a workshop for the sign business.
The first-floor tattoo parlor doubles as an art gallery, with its walls lined with paintings and illustrations from local artists. All of the works are for sale, and Berger donates a portion of the proceeds to J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School’s art program. Berger says, “That’s my main goal is to raise money for children, particularly local public schools because they need it.”
The shop has a Victorian aesthetic, primarily painted red and black with gold filigree accents tastefully splashed in. The pool table near the front entrance adds to the charm and feel of a community gathering place.
Berger hopes his shop will support and foster the growth of the area, and he notes that he and his business neighbors support one another. Anthony Tucker of Nomad Deli & Catering Company at 207 W. Brookland Park Blvd. catered the tattoo shop’s grand opening in October, and Berger frequents the eatery — the fried oysters are his favorite. Across the street from his shop, at 215 W. Brookland Park Blvd., is Ray’s Ultimate Hair Designs. Berger says owner Ray Daniels has been helpful in giving him tips and assistance as a business owner.
Ultimately, when it comes to Berger’s store and the current team of three tattoo artists, he says he is lucky. “I wanted to have my own space and the vision that I had for a tattoo shop to come alive and to create that,” he says. “I have a good team here.”
Two Pillars Tattoo accepts walk-ins, but to make an appointment, call 228-1000. For more information, visit twopillarstattoo.com.