New tattoo parlor opens on Telegraph

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SEPTEMBER 08, 2011

Last weekend marked the opening of a new tattoo parlor on Telegraph Avenue.

War Horse Tattoo — located on the corner of Telegraph Avenue and Parker Street — is the most recent addition to the many tattoo studios already sprawled along the avenue with another parlor open just a few shops down.

George Campise, owner of the parlor and 20-year tattoo aficionado, said the one factor that differentiates his studio with the other parlors on Telegraph is that War Horse does not do piercings but works strictly on custom tattoos.

He added that his studio has a unique style of tattooing, in which he usually tends to work on larger pieces that require multiple sessions and a more extensive process than tattoos that only take a single session.

“I tend to be booked out a couple of months in advance, so I do more homework and research on my end for like an entire arm or a full back,” Campise said.

Another unique facet that Campise said he brings to the tattoo parlor comes from the origin of the studio’s name.

“I want to bring some of my flavor over here,” Campise said. “I just want to be a part of it and not to dominate it.”

Along the years, he’s gotten the nickname from co-workers calling him a work horse because he typically works 12 to 14 hour days. He said he wanted to use his nickname as the title of the studio, but the name was already taken by a tattoo supply company.

Fortunately, when he was doing research for a tattoo design at Moe’s Books on Telegraph, Campise said he stumbled upon this idea of a war horse. He said he not only “liked the sound of it” but also felt the term embodied the “ferocious” attitude he brings to his work, since his designs “are going to be on them forever.”

Although there are quite a few tattoo parlors already on the avenue, Councilmember Kriss Worthington, whose district includes the area,  said he believes the new studio will contribute to the culture of the iconic street.

“People, who come to get their tattoos at the War Horse, might stop at some other stores or have a meal in between their visits with him,” Worthington said. “In general, given how efficiently and organized he seems to be, it will have a net positive impact on the area.”

Contact Jonathan Tam at 


SEPTEMBER 08, 2011