Monkey Wrench Tattoo Shop was founded and created by Joe Leonard in 1995. Joe came from Philadelphia to California to start a new venture and open his own tattoo shop here in Santa Rosa. At that time there was only one other tattoo shop in town, Santa Rosa Tattoo. He went to the owner for permission to open another shop in town, back then tattoo shops were scarce and it was a rule of thumb and a act of respect to inform other shops of his presents and motives as a tattooer. Joe gave up his ranes to the shop and left it to Wes Andersen in 2012. Wes had worked for Joe for about a year and a half before he took over in January of 2012. Wes’ work ethic reminded Joe of his younger self and knew he would be the perfect person to leave the Monkey Wrench legacy to.
The name Monkey Wrench was created back in Philly when Joe was working at another shop. Tattoo shops then were an underground kind of business and weren’t looked at with high regard so the owner asked Joe to start painting/writing Monkey wrench all over the walls/doors as a deterrent it to make it seem like it was an automotive shop and aid against the city finding out that it was a tattoo shop and shutting it down. Joe later thought it was a funny story and good name for his shop here in Santa Rosa.