The gothic glow of Gulfport Boulevard’s only private tattoo studio raises more questions than answers for those passing the shop at 5125 22nd Ave. S.
The sole signage for Nocturnal Studio and Gallery is a neon purple that glows in the shape of “Nocturnal.” The LED doesn’t offer much information – and according to artist and owner Ande Spade, it’s not supposed to.
“We don’t have people coming in and out of the door; it’s strictly a private space, that’s why we don’t have an ‘open’ sign in the window,” Spade said. “Most of my clients don’t like the regular environment of shops. Quite frankly, it can be annoying.”
Spade, a Philadelphia-native who’s been behind the tattoo gun for 25 years was most recently inking at Fredo Ink & Co. on 4th St. S. before opening his space in April of this year.
He’s lived and tatted in Florida for the better part of 13 years.
“I worked in street shops for years, and this is the way to go,” Spade said.
With a vintage church pew, skeletons, and tarot cards propped amongst the purple-and-black lounge, it’s clear Spade is gearing up for more than just tattoo sessions.
Eventually, the space will be a pop-up gallery for local artists to exhibit for events. In the meantime, Spade’s shop is a functioning photography gallery, paint studio and space for the dark arts.
“Because the doors are never open, they are always open,” Spade, who is a self-proclaimed insomniac, said. “I’ll work with people; we’re pretty unorthodox as you can see.”
Interested in the local ink? Visit fb.com/nocturnalgulfport.
A Place for Jewelry
With no roof and no walls, Cosmic Eye Creations is an open-air jewelry booth next to Red Hot Tiki that sells hand-crafted jewelry and crystals from its tiny spot at 2904 Beach Blvd. S.
Since April, owner and artist Jessica Steele has been selling metaphysical creations and gifts from Thursday to Sunday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“People seem to love it,” Steele said. “It’s a good feeling.”
Before she came to Beach Boulevard, Steele was selling her work while she drove for Uber.
“I couldn’t open my own shop because of COVID-19 complications and I didn’t want to sit around feeling helpless,” Steele said. “I eventually want my own store, but I’m in a better place than I was.”
More at fb.com/Cosmiceyecreations.
Hold the Fries
Locals watched Gulfport’s McDonad’s at 5111 Gulfport Blvd. undergo a five-month renovation from the ground up, completed in July.
A grand opening was scheduled for Sunday, August 8, however the potentially crowd-heavy event was canceled amid rising COVID-19 concerns.
“Due to current COVID infectious rates in Tampa, we have decided to cancel our Gulfport Grand Reopening,” Scott Etter wrote on Facebook.
The chain is open for business, however.
“While we are sad that we won’t be able to share one of our favorite events with the community,” Etter wrote, “We know we’ve taken the proper safety measures to ensure the health and well-being of our people and community.”