Rome Harris: Transitions: University Ave

Rome Harris, owner of Divine Cuts, finishes up a customer while describing his perspective on CCLRT construction

Interviewed by: Diamante Hayes
Photos by: Nancy Vang and Allana Patterson


Hi, my name is Demonte Hayes and I’m coming from Gordon Parks High school and I want to interview you about the University transit station railroad -- how’s it affecting your business. So a couple of questions to start off with: What is your name and the name of your business?

My name is Rome Harris and my business is Divine Cuts.

What does your business specialize in?

We specialize in haircutting, colors, tapers, all kind of dyes, and…really we focus more on the haircut itself and the preciseness of the cut.

Could you tell us a little more about yourself? For example, whether you’re originally from this area?

I come from Illinois. I’ve been here for like ten years, so I’ve -- I have adapted to Minnesota.

Do you know anything about the history of this building?

Well, I believe actually this business right here was a shoe place a while ago. And yeah it was a shoe place sort of like Kinney’s Shoes or something.

What are your concerns about the light rail being built on University Avenue?

Well, I feel kind of two ways about it. I feel like when they are done with the whole light rail and everything, it will be more people around and it will be effective. But in the same notion, right now with the constructions in front of the business and everything, it’s killing us. We don’t get as many walk-ins. Even my regulars -- I’ve been doing this for like 19 years, I have people I’ve been cutting for around that long, that length of period of time -- and they don’t even feel it’s, it’s no parking, it’s hard to get here, so…

Made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2008. Administered by the Minnesota Historical Society.