May 8 2013 12:00 AM

Noble Ink / Peppino's Pizza / Fireside Grill


    Last month, Bill Brown opened Noble Ink, his second Lansing tattoo parlor. He said the first, Southside Tattoo, was doing better-than-expected business, leading him to think the market could support another one. But Noble has a different angle.

    “Southside is more of a street shop, where we cater to mostly walk-ins,” Brown said. “We use a lot of flash (pre-drawn work) there, but Noble is more custom work. We mostly focus on portrait work and cover-ups. You won’t see any flash here.”

    He said the royal-sounding name comes from his brother’s middle name, who passed away several years ago. But he said it also brings to mind ideas of his approach to customer service.

    “Getting a tattoo isn’t just about getting a good tattoo — it’s about how you’re treated, the healing process, touch ups,” he said. “If you’re not doing all that, then you’re not doing the whole process. Some people spend thousands of dollars on something that’s going to last the rest of their lives, and we make sure they’re treated properly and they leave happy.”

    Brown has seen a rise in tattoo business in recent years, which he attributes to cable television shows, such as “Miami Ink.”

    “Those shows have done a lot of good for this industry,” he said. “Three years ago there were six shops in Lansing. Now there are 21 or 22.”

    Bringing dining back to East Lansing

    Earlier this week, restaurateur Kris Elliott announced that a Peppino’s Pizza location will slide into the ground floor of his St. Anne Lofts in downtown East Lansing this summer. Peppino’s is an Italian restaurant mini-chain with five locations in West Michigan, the flagship location of which is near one of Elliott’s Grand Rapids restaurants.

    “We were looking for a family-oriented restaurant to bring to put into St. Anne, but I wanted a local operator,” Elliott said. “I’ve known the Peppino’s owners for a long time, and we’ve got a friendly rivalry. I’m glad I can introduce them to East Lansing.”

    Elliott is the owner of Urban Feast, the management company behind Troppo, Tavern on the Square, Edmund’s Pastime and The Black Rose in Lansing, Leo’s Spirits and Grub in Okemos, and Tavern on the Square and Grand Woods Lounge in Grand Rapids. He said it was important to him to have a family friendly place.

    “It’s as nice as Spagnulo’s or DeLuca’s,” Elliott said. “It’s got a great kids menu, lots of TVs, shuffleboard, you name it. East Lansing used to be a dining destination. Our goal was to bring dining back to East Lansing.”

    The 10,000-square-foot space will feature private rooms, a patio, and a second level that has its own patio. He said that he anticipates opening sometime in early July.

    One bar closes, another coming soon

    Last week, Barley’s American Grill on Lansing’s south side closed after 17 years of business. In a release, owner Ed Hall thanked his staff and his customers, and announced the opening of his new venture, Fireside Grill, which opens next month at 6951 Lansing Road in Dimondale. Hall said that among Fireside’s amenities will be a patio, a larger menu and more parking.

    Stay tuned for more details.

    Noble Ink Tattoo
    4324 W. Saginaw Highway, Ste. 109
    2 p.m.-10 p.m. daily
    (517) 323-1040