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McHenry OKs temporary permit for tattoo parlor

McHENRY – A tattoo and body piercing shop is open for business in McHenry after receiving a temporary use permit from the City Council.

“We had a walk-in tattoo and piercing [customer] and two more already scheduled for tattoos,” said Ryan Lanning, owner of Lunchbox Tattoo, on Tuesday afternoon.

Lunchbox Tattoo’s temporary permit expires May 31. The business, at 2906 Route 120 in McHenry, will have to go before the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission hearing April 25 to seek a variance to continue operating on a permanent basis.

The City Council voted 4-2 to approve Lanning’s request for the temporary permit at Monday night’s meeting. Aldermen Andy Glab and Jeffrey Schaefer voted to deny the permit.

Schaefer said his Ward 3 constituents had concerns about having a tattoo parlor in town.

In November, Schaefer and Glab both voted against a similar request from another business that wanted to open a tattoo parlor.

Mayor Sue Low commented in support of the business and its head tattooist, John Bolger.

“I’ve seen some of his artwork,” she said at Monday’s meeting. “I do know John. I think the old connotations of a tattoo parlor has changed a lot.”

Lanning, who also owns House of Glass, 2908 Route 120 in McHenry, said he’s been working with the McHenry Area Chamber of Commerce and city staff toward Monday’s permit approval.

Lunchbox Tattoo used to be located in Johnsburg. The new location offers better visibility and will help draw more foot traffic, Lanning said.

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