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posted: 9/12/2013 6:27 PM

Funky Monkey gets green light; Big Head put on hold

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  • Big Head Tattoos would open at 210 DuPage St., Elgin, pending approval by the city council.

      Big Head Tattoos would open at 210 DuPage St., Elgin, pending approval by the city council.
    Elena Ferrarin | Staff Photographer


The Elgin City Council Wednesday approved one new tattoo parlor for downtown, but postponed making a decision on another.

Council members approved a conditional use permit for Funky Monkey at 73 S. Grove Ave., and will discuss the same for Big Head Tattoos at 210 DuPage St. at the Oct. 9 council meeting.

Several downtown business and property owners spoke against Big Head Tattoos, while one former Elgin businessman spoke in favor of the business.

"I would encourage you to remember that you're looking to create a downtown with the types of business, types of shops, type of restaurants and types of residences that make our city proud and improve the community," said Grace Richard, a downtown property owner.

Downtown already has one tattoo parlor, Topnotch Tattoos, at 216 E. Chicago St., which opened in 1999. Funky Monkey will be a tattoo parlor and art gallery, according to its owners.

Ken Simonsen, who used to own Psymonsen Airbrush in Elgin, said he is partnering with Big Head owner Marco Muniz, of Streamwood, to run an in-house art studio in the two-story building. Simonsen said he currently has a studio in Algonquin.

"I believe (the art studio) will make Big Head unique in the product that we can offer our costumers and in our ties to the downtown arts district as well as the business community," he said.

Karen Jones, of Kirkpatrick, Jones and Herzog Insurance Agency, pointed out some communities limit tattoo parlors, while others require criminal background checks for business permits.

The city council should keep in mind Elgin's 2005 comprehensive plan, which aimed to turn downtown into Elgin's cultural, civic and historic center, said Barbara Maring, of Keystone Realty Inc.

Muniz's attorney, Scott Richmond of South Elgin, said his client is disappointed, but will continue to work with city officials and address any of their concerns.

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