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Veteran tattoo artist Michael Pfau is planning a March 19 soft opening for Birds Eye Tattoo & Art Gallery at 300 W. McDaniel St.
SBJ photo by Geoff Pickle
Veteran tattoo artist Michael Pfau is planning a March 19 soft opening for Birds Eye Tattoo & Art Gallery at 300 W. McDaniel St.

Tattoo shop to open at former Muertos Cantina downtown

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A veteran tattoo artist is planning an opening next week for a shop at the former Muertos Cantina bar downtown.

Michael Pfau, the owner of Birds Eye Tattoo & Art Gallery LLC with his wife Christy, said he’s targeting a March 19 soft opening for the shop, followed by a grand opening during First Friday Art Walk in April.

Pfau said he invested “quite a bit of money” converting the longtime bar and restaurant space at 300 W. McDaniel St. into a tattoo parlor and art studio. He signed a lease in January for undisclosed terms with building owner Jason Murray.

“I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the TV show ‘Bar Rescue,’ but I felt like Jon Taffer,” Pfau said, referencing the program that focuses on Taffer transforming struggling bars into profitable ventures.

Pfau said he’s not concerned about opening Birds Eye in the high-turnover 1,800-square-foot space that’s been home to the likes of Dice Bar & Lounge and Wellspring Vegetarian Cafe.

“We’re not doing the same business model,” he said. “We’re not competing with the established Zan, which we share a back wall with.”

Pfau said he and two independently contracted tattoo artists will launch the shop. The tattoo side of the business will focus on custom work, and Pfau also plans to showcase art from friends around the country, as well as local artists. The parlor is outfitted with Apple-powered devices that connect with each other, as well as screens that show customers’ mockups.

Pfau formerly owned American Irons Tattoo and Piercing LLC in Savannah, Georgia, before moving to the Springfield area to be closer to family. Prior to launching Birds Eye, he worked for more than three years at Kaleidoscope in Springfield.

Asked about the name Birds Eye, Pfau said his last name “means peacock in German.”

At 300 W. McDaniel St., brothers Taylor and Ryan Bentley last year closed Muertos Cantina, as well as the The Brick Slice House in the same building. The former Brick Slice House is now occupied by Tinga Tacos.

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