KEARNEY — As one tattoo parlor closes, another will try to make its mark.
Kool Tattoo at 1904 Central Ave. will close Saturday.
Scott Clevenger and Matt Mattson are licensed tattoo artists and piercing technicians at Kool Tattoo. They will open Olde Towne Tattoo April 21 at 2007 Central Ave. between Sweet Sensations and The Wooly Mammoth in Downtown Kearney: The Bricks.
Olde Towne’s menu of services will include tattoos and piercing.
Jim Owen opened Kool Tattoo in 1990. His son Jerry recently took over the business. Jerry now travels as a guest tattoo artist and plans to close Kool Tattoo.
Clevenger said he’s ready to be self-employed.
“We’re owning our own thing and being our own boss,” Clevenger said. “I’m ecstatic.”
Clevenger has been tattooing for almost seven years. He began his career as an apprentice at Kool Tattoo.
He said his profession chose him, not the other way around. He never considered himself an artist, but got the tattoo bug.
“It just happened,” he said. “It was destiny.”
Mattson, a Los Angeles native, moved to Kearney in 1993. He has been tattooing for two years and body piercing for four. He’s also a member of The Darts, a three-man Kearney rock ’n’ roll band that has built a following in recent years.
Mattson said he loves downtown Kearney.
“Even though Olde Towne is going to be on the north side of the tracks, its still on The Bricks,” Mattson said. He said one of the reasons they chose the location was because of the feel the historic business district has, and they’re happy to be a part of it.
The nearest other tattoo parlors are in Holdrege and Grand Island. With the closing of Kool Tattoo, Mattson and Clevenger saw a void in the market.
Mattson said he’s thrilled to open Olde Towne with Clevenger.
“We’re going to be 50-50,” Mattson said. “It’s a breath of fresh air. Things happen for a reason. We’re pretty excited. I’m pumped. I’m scared. I’m excited.”
The two have been busy renovating their new location, which will include an art room, several tattoo chairs and an employee lounge complete with exercise equipment.