Familiar face purchases Prime Time Tavern

Photo by Curt Nettinga/Plainsman Maria Dorris, a longtime employee of the Prime Time Tavern in Huron, will purchase the restaurant and bar on Jan. 1.

HURON — One of Huron’s longest serving restaurants will be under new ownership, as of the first day of the year.

Rod Sanderson, the last in a decades long list of family members who have owned food service establishments in the Fair City announced recently that Maria Dorris has purchased the Prime Time Tavern, at 21st and Dakota Avenue South.

But don’t expect things to change much at the Prime Time, for a couple of reasons.

First, the menu at the Prime Time has remained virtually unchanged for many years for a simple reason - it works. The second reason is that Dorris has been working at the restaurant for the past 33 years. For most patrons, she has been the Prime Time for years.

“I started when I was 14 years old,” she said one recent morning, taking a break from her normal morning routine of cleaning and bookwork. “I knew the woman was the manager at that time — her daughter was married to my mom’s cousin — and she asked if I wanted to help out over State Fair week. I started and have held other jobs, but this has always been my first and I just stayed.”

Over her time at the Huron institution, Dorris has bussed tables, waited on tables, done dishes, worked the grill and tended bar, among a laundry list of other things that are necessary to make a restaurant operate. And she is is looking forward to the future with as little upheaval as possible. She has managed the site for Sanderson since 2004.

“No, we don’t plan on making any menu changes,” she said. “We added burgers this year and a couple other items on our Monday through Thursday menu. It’s simple and it’s worked for more than 40 years.”

One new thing that Dorris is looking forward to this summer, is to have full use of the new outdoor patio seating area. The outdoor area was completed last year, but it was late enough in the year that wasn’t fully enjoyed.

“I think the patio will be popular, for sure,” Dorris said.