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Ordinance change means first tattoo shop in years for downtown Kinston

Freddy Negrete, 61, works on a tattoo on a customer's shoulder.
(File photo: Jeff Rogers, NPR News)
A change in an old city ordinance means downtown Kinston will soon have its first tattoo shop.

A change in an old city ordinance means downtown Kinston will soon have its first tattoo shop.

During last month's City Council meeting, Councilman Chris Suggs says they received a request to amend the Unified Development Ordinance to allow tattoo parlors to operate downtown.

They were prohibited from operating in the 27-block downtown area and he said Kinston has not had a tattoo parlor operate within the city limit for years.

After careful consideration, Suggs said the council approved the request and approved a special use permit for Brandon Corey to operate a tattoo parlor at 111 North Queen Street.

Suggs said Kinston is positioning itself as an arts & cultural destination in Eastern North Carolina, and tattooing is one of many artistic forms of cultural expression.

You can like House of ink on Facebook to learn more about their business and follow along as they prepare to open.

Annette is originally a Midwest gal, born and raised in Michigan, but with career stops in many surrounding states, the Pacific Northwest, and various parts of the southeast. She has been involved in the media industry in eastern North Carolina for more than three years. An award-winning journalist and mother of four, Annette moved to ENC to be closer to family – in particular, her two young grandchildren. It’s possible that a -27 day with a -68 windchill in Minnesota may have also played a role in that decision. In her spare time, Annette does a lot of toddler and baby cuddling, reading, designing costumes for children’s theater and producing the coolest Halloween costumes anyone has ever seen. She has also worked as a diversity and inclusion facilitator serving school districts and large corporations. It’s the people that make this beautiful area special, and she wants to share those stories that touch the hearts of others. If you have a story idea to share, please reach out by email to