“Getting the keys was the f*cking most nerve-wracking moment of my life.”
Drew Brockhoff, owner of Arizona Classic Tattoo Company (ACTC), opened the shop in North Phoenix nearly two years ago. There’s four artists at ACTC: “JBoi” Roth, Kyle Grand, Phil Everhard, and Brockhoff.
They each sprinkle personal flavor to the traditional, American motif…but you can’t deny one simple fact – they all bang out badass, no bullsh*t tattoos.
“We’re doing something different. We got something going here. We wanna do sh*t off the wall every damn day,” Drew proudly shouts.
Yeah, you heard him right. Paying for tattoos off the wall.
Anyone’s who’s been to a tattoo shop has seen flash. The framed drawings plastered on every conceivable portion of the wall. We’re familiar with these legendary designs, from powerful, crawling panthers to regal, authoritative eagles.
Brockhoff begins working on his client’s second piece of the session, a menacing Kabuki mask from one of Phil Everhard’s sheets. Yes. Both were snatched from the wall. “These tattoos have so much strength in them. They’re iconic. Taking off the wall became such a dirty thing. I don’t like that.”
We agree. Custom, one-of-a-kind pieces are special – we can’t deny it. They’re the true testament to the symbiosis between artist and canvas. A relationship that only exists in the tattoo realm.
🙏🏼OFF MY FLASH!!!🙏🏼 Thank you so much for making the drive and sharing your time with me Salvador! I am truly humbled! Made this tat-a-tat at @arizona_classic_tattoo_co If you'd like to set up an appointment to be tattooed, DM or email: email@example.com ༀ🙏🏼ༀ #kylexgrand #arizonaclassictattooco #phoenix #arizona #blackwork #findinggodthroughpain #loveislaw
But there’s no shame in snagging a heart with “Mom” scrolled across it (‘Mom-hearts’ as we so affectionately dub them. Shoutout moms).
Why be embarrassed seeing someone across the bar with a red rose on their right inner-arm symbolizing an undying passion for life, because you’ve got a red rose on your right inn…you get where we’re going with this.
There’s three undeniable truths about the dudes at ACTC:
- They tattoo clean.
- They tattoo quick.
- They have a good time while doing so.
You can tell they are friends before they are co-workers. They crack jokes, lending tips for each other’s designs, and blasting tunes all day long. We’ve heard everything from some gritty Mötley Crüe to that one funkadelic disco track your parents always played but you have no idea what it’s called.
J Boi, Drew’s apprentice and the designer of our brand-spankin’-new dawg design, asks Drew questions from “How do I shade this spot?” to “How much black should I add here?”
Apprenticeships are a right of passage for any respectable artist. “Little secrets are handed down from person to person,” Brockhoff reflects. More-important than the tattoing itself, an apprenticeship is meant to prove that an artist wants to be there.
It shows a true desire to tattoo if you show up day after day, wiping down chairs, handling paperwork, and taking a fair amount of (loving) heat along the way. It’s all in good fun. And it’s a sign of respect.
Now, we grew up in North Phoenix, so ACTC is right in our backyard. You might be thinking, “seems like an odd place for a bare-bones, hard-nosed tattoo shop.” Drew tells us he wanted to plant some energy back into the once-poppin’ area.
“Cave Creek Road was the lifeblood of the 80’s. Now we’ve got a badass BBQ joint across the street. The homie Tom opened up a bar down the road.”
Truth is – they’ve got no problem getting people through the door. “Our first week, three dudes drove from San Diego just to get tattooed. Turnaround trip.”
So…what are you waiting for? Hit up ACTC and tell ‘em The Deli sent ya.
Their Instagrams are found below, but they’d prefer you come in and say what’s up. Drew sarcastically pokes, “God forbid you actually have to come in and look at books.”
~ Thanks for stoppin’ in ~
Oh, one more thing. Throw out your Sunday best, there’s a new shirt in town.