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Time Out reopens in North Omaha

Posted at 5:17 PM, May 19, 2020

Hundreds of people made their way to Time Out Foods Tuesday as the Omaha staple reopened for the first time in months.

One man yelled "happy Time Out Tuesday," as dozens of cars waited in line.

It was a restaurant reopening like no other.

"A lot of people from out of town probably don't get why people in Omaha like Time Out but like it's a kind of like a sentimental value," Bililal Mccarrell said. "Like this is our landmark as far as Omaha, you know, it has a lot of memories, you know people growing up since they were kids eating at this restaurant."

"It's the best," Nichelle Pegues said. "I'm surprised you guys aren't up in line first."

The restaurant, which is one of the oldest black-owned businesses in Omaha, closed late last year after the owner, Steve Mercer, died of cancer.

"It was kind of hurtful because I come here every week--two or three times a week," Anthony Kellogg said. "I know everybody else does too, so you know I'm glad the family kept the business and they were able to open it back up."

Denise Berry lives within walking distance of the restaurant.

"Lots of people were still coming not knowing the restaurant was closed and they were going through the drive-thru and reading signs and stuff," Berry said. "We've just been waiting for it to open back up."

Berry tells 3 News Now she was happy to see so many people supporting a local business in North Omaha.

"I'm just glad I don't have anywhere to go because I'm blocked in," she said. "But it's okay, it's alright, we knew it, we knew it was coming."

Lines wrapped around the building, going past several blocks even hitting Bedford Ave and JA Creighton Blvd.

Operations manager, Ronnie James tells 3 News Now, Diane Ingram (Steve Mercer's sister) now owns the business.

"It's great, it's overwhelming, you know, but it's fun," James said. "It's kinda like back as business as usual, you know, it's always been busy but not quite this busy."

James also says he wants to clear up any rumors about the restaurants ownership.

He says it also has been, and continues to be a family-owned business.

"Still the same, nothing's changed," he said. "Nothing's changed, not even the recipe."

And for people like Berry, who've lived near Time Out for decades, she says, "It's a great day."

Time Out Foods is open Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.