New tattoo parlor to open on Telegraph Avenue

Taryn Erhardt/Senior Staff

A custom tattoo parlor opening next month on Telegraph Avenue will be the latest addition to Berkeley’s wide array of piercing studios, gourmet restaurants and stylish boutiques.

Set to begin business during the first weekend of September, War Horse Tattoo will be located at 2599 Telegraph at the corner of Parker Street, in the historic Gorman building that was most recently used for a fundraising relief campaign for victims of Japan’s 8.9-magnitude earthquake in March.

George Campise, a Bay Area tattoo artist for the past 19 years, will be the owner of the business. Campise, who has been living in Berkeley for the past year, said he has his own clientele from past work and is confident in his future business plans.

“I’m not into that angry tattoo guy image,” Campise said. “I just want a very open, friendly and comfortable tattoo shop.”

The building, originally constructed in 1877 with a wing added in 1906, was also the former headquarters of the city council election campaign of George Beier, president of the Willard Neighborhood Association, according to Councilmember Kriss Worthington.

Before it was used by Beier, the space housed another tattoo parlor, Telegraph Tattoo, which closed down in 2009, according to David Clahan, landlord of the property.

Clahan, who restored the Gorman building in 2004, said it is known for its landmark architecture and history, housing some of Berkeley’s oldest continuing businesses for over a century.

The building, which was sold by the Gorman family in 2001, was designated a city of Berkeley Landmark on December 4, 2000, according to