MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — “Lions and leopards and buffalo, OH MY!” That’s what you might hear people saying as they walk into Lowry Avenue Barbers. OK, the odds are that no one would actually say that, but they would still be surprised by what they see.
Cutting hair is owner Tom Lane’s profession, but his true passion is all over the walls of Lowry Avenue Barbers.
“I’ve always been a hunter,” Lane said. “I don’t know how you explain other than it’s almost like an addiction.”
Since 1995, Tom has been satisfying that addiction in Africa. He’s been on safari in Zimbabwe three times, and South Africa twice.
The spoils of his safari adventures cover nearly every nook and cranny of the shop. A majestic lion greets customers. An elephant’s foot makes the perfect table, and a leopard hangs on the wall watching over all.
“I’ve got a few animals in my house, but it’s too small. I could never fit them in there, so this was just a natural place to put them,” Lane said.
He knows the decor isn’t for everyone, but his regulars seem to appreciate it.
“Basically the mounts show the beauty of the animal as they really appear in the wild,” said a man getting a trim in Lane’s chair.
Over the years, Lowry Avenue Barbers has become quite tourist attraction. So much so that even when it’s closed Lane will leave the lights on for you.
“I can tell how many people have been around because of the nose prints on the window. The small ones are the little kids and the tall ones are the adults,” he said.
Lane said he’d still like to get a hippo and a spotted hyena. He only brings back the hides and horns from Africa. He says all other parts of all the animals he hunts are used to feed people in nearby villages.