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Jade Dragon: The World’s Largest Tattoo Parlor

Jade Dragon Tattoo

Jade Dragon Tattoo, 5331 W. Belmont Ave. (Credit: Lisa Fielding/WBBM Newsradio/CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — At 5331 W. Belmont Ave. in the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood, a Chicago landmark has a history as colorful as its exterior.

“Everyone in Chicago knows who we are,” said Jade Dragon Tattoo Studio owner Joe Scapini.

Inside the storefront, dozens of neon signs, rows of leather barber chairs with an Asian decor complete with dragons and gold Buddhas.

“My father, Fat Joe, started the business May 1, 1980,” said Scapini, who runs the shop with his mother and sister.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports

Jade Dragon has been a staple on the city’s Northwest side for 32 years.

“We are the world’s largest, we are about 3500 square feet, we have 16 tattoo areas, 13 artists, 3 body piercers.” Scapini said.

The typical tattoo customer isn’t so typical anymore. Scapini says he sees doctors, lawyers, soccer moms and college students.

For Jade Dragons artists, there’s not a request too strange.

“Nothing is really too weird for us. We’ve seen it all, we’ve done it all. Nothing shocks us. We’ve done entire backs, entire legs. We’ve done full body coverage. There is a lot of big stuff that happens here,” said Scapini.

Even some famous faces have stopped in Jade Dragon. DMX, Kid Rock, Vince Neil from Motley Crue and Derrick Rose from the Bulls gets their tats there.

From celebrities to soccer moms, to bikers, Scapini says tattoos are more popular than ever.

“Everyone gets tattoos these days. They are very socially accepted nowadays.” added Scapini “It’s not just the bikers anymore. It’s doctors; lawyers. Our clientele is very broad.”

Appointments can be made online or at (773) 736-6960.