Myrtle Beach tattoo studio readies reopening as McMaster prepares to lift restrictions


MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Ahead of easing restrictions on close-contact businesses in South Carolina, a Myrtle Beach tattoo studio prepares for its reopening.

“I thought it was kind of a pre-retirement for myself and I enjoyed it before I ran out of things to do,” Elite Ink Tattoos owner Bobby Lanz said. “But I’m looking forward to getting back to work.”

News13 visited the Seaboard Street studio Monday to find Lanz and his crew filling bottles with sanitizer and soap, laying down social distancing stickers on the floors and preparing other measures.

Lanz explained that when the store reopens, much of how it operates will change. There will no longer be walk-ins and in the beginning, there will be fewer artists working at a time.

Other measures- including temperature checks, outfitting ventilation systems with UV light and others- will also be implemented, Lanz said.

Governor Henry McMaster announced Monday in a news conference that close-contact businesses- a list that includes barber shops, hair salons, waxing salons, threading salons, nail salons and spas, body-art facilities and tattoo services, among others, will be able to open in a ‘limited capacity’ on Monday May 18.

Gyms and pools will also be able to open.

Guidelines to such businesses include:

  • Guidance on social distancing within businesses, including recommended capacity requirements
  • Additional cleaning and sanitizing guidelines for equipment, tables, chairs, etc.
  • Additional guidance on health checks for employees
  • Additional guidance on training for employees

“Normally we’re doing 40 tattoos a day and now we’re going down to three to six tattoos a day,” Lanz said. “So that’s what I’m going to have to get accustomed to.”

Some felt that close contact businesses such as salons and tattoo parlors should remain closed.

“I really think they should wait like five to six more months, when everything calms down,” Porsche Davis of Charleson said. “It gives people time to get themselves together, wash their hands, get the process going. And it’s just too fast to reopen right now.”

Lanz said he’s hearing a lot of interest from clients.

“I think we’re going to be overwhelmed,” he said. “By looking at the books, I believe for the next 60 days we’re already going to be pre-booked.”

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