Sol Tribe Tattoo & Piercing closes on Broadway after 15 years: “We are heartbroken”

A white supremacist murdered founder Alicia Cardenas in 2021. The shop was a leader in the national body art scene.
3 min. read
A vigil for the victims of a white supremacist murder spree outside of Sol Tribe Tattoo on South Broadway in Denver. Jan. 8, 2022.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

South Broadway’s Sol Tribe Tattoo & Piercing, at 56 Broadway, closed permanently on Monday.

“It’s with a very heavy heart that the staff of Sol Tribe say final goodbyes to the studio today suddenly,” the shop posted to social media. “We thought we had another month of sorting out details before the final closing of Sol Tribe, but that wasn’t the case. We are completely devastated.”

Staff at Sol Tribe were not immediately available for comment. 

The shop was founded by artist Alicia Cardenas, who was killed there by a white supremacist in a December 2021 mass shooting.

Cardenas is credited with pushing forward national standards for healthier body-art creation. She challenged cultural appropriation and patriarchy within body-art culture, and often collaborating with activist projects around town.

The shop continued that legacy after her death. 

Alicia Cardenas, owner of Sol Tribe Tattoo and Body Piercing, stands in her Broadway shop as her kid, Xochitl, plays on a silk behind her. April 22, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Supporters of the shop commented on the post in droves. 

Some described Sol Tribe as a “sacred space.”

Others said they were heartbroken after reading the news.

“Yall are an inspiration, strong, kind and will never be forgotten as leaders in the industry in Denver!!!” the Wolf Den Tattoo Shop wrote on social media. “Cheers to new endeavors and hope yall find peace and creativity in your hearts!” 

Many commenters reminisced about receiving their first tattoos or piercings at the shop, and they shouted out the various artists they worked with over the years.

“We are so sorry for the sudden closure," the shop posted on social media. "We thought we had another month of work before this was official."

Many of the artists at Sol Tribe will be moving on to other opportunities. 

The shop encouraged customers to follow their favorite artists elsewhere. 

Some will be founding and working at a soon-to-open shop, Cold Moon Piercing and Tattoo

Others will go to other shops including Wolf and Goat, Rising Tide Tattoo, Bound by Design, The Crypt Denver and Landmark Tattoo.

Sol Tribe posted the full list on social media

“We want to thank you, our amazing clients and friends, for an incredible 15 years of piercing and tattooing you,” Sol Tribe wrote. “Y’all have supported us through figurative hell, and during our hardest moments and we will never forget that. We are stunned by this news and we are heartbroken.”

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