Avanti Tattoo opens as one of the Vail Valley’s only tattoo shops, hopes to connect with community
When Aman and Melissa Pall moved to EagleVail a few months ago, the couple had no idea they’d be opening one of the Vail Valley’s only tattoo shops in a few months.
“It wasn’t planned, but it was always something in the back of my head,” Melissa said.
Avanti Tattoo, located on Route 6 in EagleVail, opened this past Halloween with a flash tattoo event and will have a Grand Opening party on Nov. 2, to celebrate the new shop and ink up valley locals. Kids are welcome to eat candy and do arts and crafts at the shop from 4-6 p.m., and adults can enjoy drinks, appetizers and light, lounge-y DJ music from 6-10 p.m.
Getting ready for the opening has been a quick process for the couple. One evening, the Palls were sitting at the bar at Route 6 Café when they realized there are very few tattoo shops here. They bantered with the bartenders about it and kept it in the back of their minds.
Those who enjoy getting tattoos know all too well that the Vail Valley lacks places to get ink. A Google Maps search for “tattoo shops near me” yields just two other results in Eagle County; Summit County has four, and the other results are as far away as Glenwood Springs and Boulder. Many who live here and want some new body art end up driving to Denver to get it.
“I mean, why is there not one here?” Aman remembers noticing about that stretch of Route 6. “This is the Green Mile, there’s a lot of marijuana dispensaries here, so why not a tattoo shop?
They got to work. Melissa’s cousin Ben Milman joined up as a resident artist and Melissa still has some feelers out to hire more.
When they moved into their current space a month ago, they started by painting the walls and reflooring the space. They also removed a drop ceiling and painted the exposed metal white. The space really came together when they were able to use reclaimed wood from the Avon Barn and the floor of an old semi-truck for some of the surfaces, including the reception desk and a soon-to-be-installed countertop for the back sink and floating shelves.
“This sink we got at Habitat for Humanity in Eagle for five bucks,” Melissa said.
Once Avanti gets more established, they’re hoping to use one of the back rooms as a barber or piercing station. Melissa also hopes to create an art space for locals and have monthly gallery nights and kids arts and crafts activities.
Even though they’ve only been in the valley for a short time, Aman and Melissa already feel connected to the community. They moved from Denver for Aman’s job – he now works as a manager at the Arrabelle Hotel – and live right in EagleVail, a two-minute drive from the shop.
Aside from inking up locals and visitors with body art they can cherish forever, Avanti is hoping to integrate into the community the same way its owners have over the past few months.
“We want to get to know people and meet people. Whether they get a little tattoo or a big sleeve, they’re gonna have that the rest of their lives,” Aman said.
And when they picked the name, Aman and Melissa wanted to get it just right.
“The name Avanti … that’s one of the Black Diamond runs at Vail,” Melissa said.
She was looking for names of the shop, saw Avanti, and thought it had to mean something.
“I looked it up and originally it’s an Ancient Indian kingdom,” Melissa said.
“I’m from India originally,” Aman interjected.
“And in Italian, it means ‘move forward,’” Melissa said.
If you go …
What: Avanti Grand Opening
When: Saturday, Nov. 2, 4-10 p.m.
Where: Avanti Tattoo, EagleVail
Cost: Free to attend
More information: Visit avantitattoo.com.
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