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Church of Steel - Top Tattooing and Piercing Shop in San Diego, Come check out our clean San Diego Location

Tattoos*Body Piercing*Custom Artwork*Body Jewelry

General Info
Tattoos, Body Piercing, Body Jewelry, Custom Artwork, Portrait Tattoo Hello, my name is Arturo Aguirre, and I have 20+ years experience in piercing and body modification. I consider my role in this industry to be one of great responsibility. My greatest goal in this work is to educate the public, on the whole, of the importance of doing research before being tattooed or pierced. It is up to you, the consumer, to ask questions and observe any establishment before you consider trusting your health and welfare with a complete stranger. I invite you to come in and see how a relaxed and tranquil environment, along with a warm and knowledgeable staff can make your tattoo or body piercing experience a memorable one.
Regular Hours
Tue - Thu:
Fri - Sat:
Tattoos, Body Piercing, Body Jewelry, Custom Artwork, Portrait Tattoos
Color, Tribal
Payment method
mastercard, visa
Hillcrest, Western San Diego
Call For A Free Tattoo Consultation
English, Spanish

Association of Professional Piercers

Better Business Bureau

Association of Professional Piercers
Social Links
Body Piercing, Jewelry Designers, Tattoos
Other Information

Parking: Street

Bike Parking: Yes

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Price Range : Average

By Appointment Only: No




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Tim P.
Edited: 05/17/2017

My experience here was beyond my expectations! Slim is Not only an Awsome Tattoo Artist, he makes the Experience Memorable and Pain Free... I Would Highly Recommend and Definitely Return to Church of Steel on University. The Staff is Very Welcoming ����

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Chelsea Z.



Badass atmosphere and by far the friendliest and most professional service I've ever had in a piercing place. They cared about my opinion the second i walked in the door and made sure that I was satisfied 100%



These guys are legit i will di...

These guys are legit i will diffidently be coming back; they did great work on my arm and they treated everyone that walked into there store as family just a great vibe. They took there time and my tattoo on my left shoulder shows that they put in the time and did it right mus the guys on my ship have bad experience form other place's. Chris thank you four the work and time you put into my arm.



I am not from California and h...

I am not from California and have been looking for over a year to find a shop to get my tattoos and piercings done. I have checked out many places and none have impressed me, and to be honest some should not even be open for business. The second I walked into Church of Steel, I felt like I was back at my old shop in Virginia. Arturo made me feel very comfortable and welcomed into the store, and his professionalism is by far the best in San Diego. The shop is clean and organized and the staff is very helpful. I love Church of Steel and will be doing all my business here from now on! Thank you Arturo!!!



Art, the owner of Church of St...

Art, the owner of Church of Steel, is the most talented, trustworthy, and knowledgeable piercer I've had pierce me. He runs a tight ship: clients are treated with respect, the shop is clean and the waiting area is lively, yet controlled. Some tattoo shops get quite rowdy and full of people loitering; that is not the case in this shop. As a single woman, I prefer this shop because I can stop in to order or pick up new jewelry and feel 100% safe going in alone. The whole team is friendly and personable, but never creepy or imposing. The crew works diligently to create a calm and upbeat atmosphere so clients can relax while getting their work done.

Shop around before you get any body modification work done, but I'm sure you'll come back to Church of Steel. The quality and cleanliness are unsurpassed.



In my line of work, tattoos ar...

In my line of work, tattoos are not quick sketches randomly placed on your body to take up space. They are much more, it becomes a representation of who you are and what you stand for. I like to refer to it as my war paint! I am surrounded everyday by men covered in ink with an eye for quality, So there is no room for flaws. i have had poor experiences in the past with a chest and fore armor tattoo, so i set out to find a place that could live up to my exceptions and could give me something that would last me the rest of my life that i could take pride in. That search ended at CHURCH OF STEEL. It is a very CLEAN and STRESS FREE environment where i have gotten to know most of artist/piercer on personal level. Lance specifically has made my ideas his priority. He has invested around 40+ hours into my back piece and full sleeve. His work is deliberate and effective. He improved and incorporated my previous fore arm tattoo into his sleeve and it looks amazing. I have limited windows where i can get into the shop and he does an awesome job at working me into his scheduled. I get complements all the time on his work and i am quick to recommend CHURCH OF STEEL.In fact my girlfriend is starting her sleeve next week!!! I will remain a loyal customer and friend at CHURCH OF STEEL, due to the fact that they are clean, professional and have earned my trust and respect. THANK YOU LANCE AND EVERYONE AT CHURCH OF STEEL!



I've been a customer at Church...

I've been a customer at Church of Steel for over 5 years. I am constantly getting compliments for the work on my arm I've had done by Lance over the years. He is an awesome artist and has an awesome "chairside manner". Always making sure your comfortable and everything is going well for you. it's always been a great experience. It truly is the cleanest shop I've ever seen. I have referred a host of friends and relatives, who always come back satisfied and thank me for the awesome referral. The shop owner, Art, is a kind and caring dude. Often checking to see how your work is going, he also offers thoughtful tips for caring for your tattoo. My wife, daughter,son and of course myself have all had work done here and I would whole heartedly recommend them to anyone interested in a tattoo or piercing. 5 out of 5 stars.



My son and I were visiting San...

My son and I were visiting San Diego from Buffalo, NY and decided to get pierced while we were there. We checked out a few piecing places and when we entered Church of Steel, we were immediately impressed. Being in the dental profession, a sterile environment is first and foremost for me and Church of Steel had every aspect of cleanliness and safety covered. Art, the man in charge, was extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. He explained everything in a professional manner and took the time to make sure we understood the whole process and the importance of the high quality body jewelry his institution provides. I got the rook and my son got the industrial and the piercer, Fernando, was amazing. His attention to detail and his comforting demeanor made the whole procedure a pleasant experience. The aftercare that was thoroughly explained by both Fernando and Art resulted in piercings that are pain-free, healing beautifully, and already feeling great after less than a week! I HIGHLY recommend Church of Steel!



Super Clean Shop!

Just had my very first tattoo done at church of steel by Culleton. I couldn't have imagined a better experience! From the moment I walked in, he made it all about me. He explained what I should expect and made sure I was ok the whole time. He gave me a brief explanation about the equipment and tools he was going to use and unwrapped everything in front of me explaining that everything was sterile and that if I ever went to a different tattoo shop, to make sure they did the same.
When he was all done, I was all smiles :) :) :) (I love my new tattoo!) He then explained what I needed to do to take care of my tattoo. I'm doing exactly that! 
I was so happy with the whole thing :) Good job Culleton!!



Old School Americana for Dad

First and foremost, VERY clean shop. They use new disposable needles that they open infront of you so you can see that they are clean as well as changing out their medical gloves repeatedly. Atleast 3 times before putting new ones on for my work.

Next, customer friendliness and professional manner. I felt welcome and they explained everything the artist was going to do, eventhough i've had 4 tats before this. You never know if you got bad or incomplete information before that. They made me feel right at home. I knew my tat would come out good, and was told by the artist that he would be honored to do it.

I had brought in a picture of my dads tat. it was cruddy due to being a cell phone pic. He immediately new it could be found in sailor jerry book and was able to adapt the slight changes need. Also, took me in as a walk in.

I was very happy with the work, it looks great and my old man would be impressed as is most of the family that has seen the tattoo.

On a last note, he talked to me while he was working on a customer. I've had that happen to me before when getting work done and the artist (in spain) stopped for 45min then started again. I was glad to see, that it only took a minute or so away from his customer. He asked to see the drawing and the photo of my tat, then politely said he would get with me after his current customer. I highly recomend this shop, and i plane on getting next few tats there. My tattooist was Culleton. My friend also got a tattoo there by Lance, which she was very happy with.

As for prices, I liked my price. Each artist will negotiate there own there. I've had a couple folks told me it sounded expensive for the tat, ($300) but, due to the meaning and the skillful artwork by Culleton, it was well worth it.



Awesome Job

I highly recommend this place for your next tattoo or piercing. Very clean and professional place. They don't have music blasting making it a welcoming environment.

The artist that did my tattoo is Culleton. He set me at ease being my first tattoo and did a outstanding job on the design. Turned out much better then I even imagined it would.




If you are looking for an immaculate, well run shop, then this is the place to go. They will sit down and help you design what you want or if you have a specific picture they will do it exact. I had a branch of cherry blossoms done by Casey. I have had other artists in the past tell me that they couldn't duplicate the colors in the picture. Casey, however did exactly that. He used straight colors and mixed colors to get what I wanted. I almost cried when I saw them, they are so beautiful. Prices are reasonable