Jimmy Im (writer),
Kate Swan (photographer)
Mike Ledger Inc
930 MCCULLY ST
HONOLULU, HI 96826-2726
Artists: Mike Ledger
“No one knew who I was when I moved to Hawaii,” says Mike Ledger. “I really had to work my way up from nothing again.” Originally from Farmingdale, New York, Ledger went from having a three-year waiting list to starting from scratch. “I had to prove myself and get accepted by the locals in Hawaii,” he remembers. Now he’s back to a waiting list.
Inspired by his grandfather who had a full body suit, Ledger began his apprenticeship at 16 and has been inking for almost 20 years. His specialty (thanks to Granddaddy) is large-scale body suits, mostly Asian-inspired, and the occasional portrait work and photo-realism. Mike Ledger Tattoo resembles an upscale gallery setting, as Ledger’s paintings decorate the walls, creating an ambience that’s less tattoo parlor and more modern chic. But it’s really not about the shop. “My clientèle needs a private, secure setting where they can feel comfortable spending the number of hours they do with me,” says Ledger. “I want them to walk away not only with a great tattoo but also remembering it as a great experience in their life.”
GO: The Hideaway Bar, 1913 Dudoit Ln., 808-949-9885. Armed with the island’s best punk jukebox, the Hideaway is reminiscent of a New York City dive bar. The clientele is mostly old-school, fully tattooed punks and hardcore kids.
EAT: Kochi Restaurant & Lounge, 1936 S. King St., 808-941-2835. This relatively new diner and late-night establishment has emerged as a neighborhood
favorite for cocktails and great local Japanese cuisine with a new-wave twist. SHOP: Chinatown Boardroom, 1160 Nuuanu Ave., 808-585-7200. This gallery combines two Hawaiian favorites—surfing and art. Shop for lowbrow art, custom surfboards, and other cool stuff.