Refuge Tattoos
New Business Feature: Refuge Tattoos
Jul 18, 2022

When you visit Pratt Street, there’s something for everyone—from restaurants and bars to retailers and shops, we’ve always got something new for you. We’re so excited to welcome Refuge Tattoos to Pratt Street. When you come to see us, you can walk away with a personalized piece of art and a delicious coffee.

Refuge Tattoos isn’t your typical tattoo studio. Instead, it’s a place for people to gather, get coffee, celebrate art, and connect. We sat down with the owners, Yartiza Garrido and Jose Serrano, to chat about their vision for the studio, the history of Refugee Tattoos, and what people can expect to see.

Q: Tell us about Refuge Tattoos.

During my time at other shops, I learned what I did and didn’t want in a work environment. Spending the majority of my day at work, I needed to make sure the studio was more than just a place of work. I wanted to make the environment/culture feel like a second home. 

What I needed at that time, as the world was opening back up after COVID, was somewhere where I felt safe. Somewhere I felt welcomed and included, heard and understood. I wanted all of that, and I needed to ensure that my clients felt that. From that understanding, Refuge Tattoos was born.

Q: Tattoo shops can be found all over Connecticut. What makes Refuge Tattoos special?

Tattoos are an experience. Here at Refuge Tattoos, they are treated as such. Refuge Tattoos was our private studio, and now Refuge Tattoos will be the space we are creating on Pratt Street. The culture, environment, and rapport we’ve created are what I’m most proud of. We respect the sanctity of the exchange. While we understand that tattoos are a luxury service, we’ve been told that in our space it feels like you’re getting art therapy, and that’s really special. 

Q: We know you’ll be serving coffee; can you tell us more about that?

In thinking of tattoos as an experience, we thought, ‘why not offer something else that also gives you the feels.’ Certain things are truly personal. Why we get tattoos is one, and how we order/like our coffee is another, so why not combine the two?

Q: Why did you choose Downtown Hartford?

Hartford has become special to us. It truly has so much potential. Downtown used to be buzzing—full of entertainment and retail, and then it wasn’t. Fortunately, with the city backing small businesses, it’s becoming a promising place to put down roots. 

Q: What is special about Pratt Street to you?

I’ve always been very familiar with Pratt Street. I knew in my heart the second I saw the space that this was the only location I wanted to open up our first storefront. Pratt Street has a budding community and is very active in the city, which is important to us. We look forward to participating in and hosting events to support the city.

Q: We know you’ll be serving coffee. Are there any other special plans for the space?

We’re going to be sourcing locally any chance we get. Small businesses supporting small businesses is vital. We also hope to offer a broad selection of specialty drinks and coffee. We’ll possibly offer some delicious small bites as well, but the menu hasn’t been solidified just yet. 

Q: We know construction is still underway. Do you have an idea of what your hours will be?

Our hours of operation will most likely be Monday through Friday from 11:00 am–8:00 pm and Saturday from 10:00 am–5:00 pm, but this will most likely change depending on the hours for the coffee bar since we are hoping to open earlier and serve those heading into work. 

Q: Is there anything you’d like to share with the Hartford community?

While there are a million places to get tattooed, there is only one place to Seek Refuge. 

Are you thinking of getting some new ink? Visit Refuge Tattoos’ website to view their work and request an appointment. Also, be sure to follow us on social media to stay up to date with the latest happenings on Pratt Street!

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