When Aaron Saginaw moved back to Dallas after graduating from the University of Missouri, he thought he’d start working as a copywriter. Today, he owns Time Out Tavern.
“I decided to regroup and take a job in the service industry,” he said. “I though it would be for just one year, and I stayed as a bartender at Time Out for nine years.”
In January, Kevin McCormick — then owner of the bar on Lovers Lane — retired and sold the company to none other than his former bartender. In between his nearly 10 years behind the bar, later stint as manager, and his new ownership, he took time off to learn the business side of the industry while working at other Dallas bars such as Whiskey Cake and Glazer.
“I think he saw a lot of himself in me,” Saginaw said. “He’s not really a big, direct-advice guy, but he showed me everything I know about running a bar.”
The bar — one of only two stand-alone bars in the entire Park Cities — is a relaxed spot, with ticket stubs and sports paraphernalia on the walls, indoor picnic tables, and a working jukebox.
“People in this neighborhood especially need a place where it’s not ‘the place to be,’ where there’s no pretense, where they can relax and not be ‘that guy.’ It’s not just a dive bar, it’s not just a sports bar — it’s for everybody,” Saginaw said.
Stacey Chamberlain, Saginaw’s first hire, came in with no bartending experience while going back to school. Now, at the bar on her day off hanging out with regulars, she’s become a fixture on her own.
“Everyone is just here to come in and drink beer. Demographics don’t matter here. You try Time Out once and you’re guaranteed to try it again, and Aaron is a very big part of that,” Chamberlain said. “He’s very hands-on, making sure everyone is having a great time.”
Saginaw said the 26-year old bar may undergo a few changes like new TVs and updated seating, but nothing drastic.
“This building has been a bar since the 1950s, I’m not looking to tamper. Time Out has a history you can’t replicate and there’s no other bar like it,” the Dallas native said. “I’m just humbled to be living the dream here. Come in and have a beer with me.”