East Falls: Inking through Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

A sign hanging inside Java Ink promoting the opening.
A sign hangs inside Java Ink promoting the opening.

Last year Sean Murray was looking for a space in Philadelphia to open a tattoo parlor. He ended up with not only a tattoo parlor, but also a cafe and art gallery. Located at 3720 Midvale Ave. in East Falls, Java Ink has been open since July.

Murray took the cozy three-room shop after his property manager accidentally showed him the space. He said he “loved the space and thought of what I could do with it.”

Murray had no previous experience in a kitchen; he was only a licensed tattoo artist. However, he built the kitchen and furnished the cafe on his own.

He also used YouTube to learn some culinary tricks, including the “Tattooed Latte,” which is currently the featured drink.

While he started out alone, Murray now has some staff members, including a matron, barista and graphic designer. Murray did say he started out doing all the cooking, and continues to prepare most of the food.

Sean Murray eats lunch in his cafe.

Java Ink provides wraps, sandwiches, homemade soups and desserts along with coffees, teas and hot chocolate.

Sean Murray and his matron work behind the counter at Java Ink.

When asked why he decided to join food, art and tattoos together, Murray said, “I like to eat and I do tattoos. It just happened…food is a passion, tattooing is a profession.”

Java Ink hosts a number of regular events including three bands per week, poetry readings, guest chefs and art exhibits. Murray has not opened the tattoo parlor to the public yet, but does private appointments.

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