• January 2021

Five questions with Timothy Meagher


Timothy Meagher is the Chief Operating Officer of Vanguard Hospitality, which includes Minervas downtown, Grille 26, Morries Steakhouse and Turks & Caicos Cabana Grille. He has 24 years of experience in the food and beverage industry. Tim started his career at age 16 making pizzas and claims to have once made the perfect pizza, though he has never been able to recreate it so nobody knows for sure. Tim and his wife Megan have three children: Maxwell (5), Elizabeth (2) and Matayah (born July 2020).

Q: Why does your company choose to be a Chamber member?

A: Well, first and foremost it is wonderful to be part of a business community. I appreciate the support in marketing, thoughtful connections with other business members and attending well organized events to celebrate the good things that are happening in our city. I feel the support from the Chamber is unmatched.

Q: What is your favorite dish on the menu at any of your restaurants?

A: I'll answer this in two ways. First, if you were following me throughout my day, you'd see me eat kids pizza at Morrie's with a side of mini corn dogs. Yep, that is it. Second, if I'm sitting down with someone to eat dinner or lunch intentionally, I'm hooked on the steak tacos at Turks & Caicos Cabana Grille. I add the Birria hot sauce for the perfect taco. My side dish would be Minerva's Spinach & Artichoke dip, probably the most intensely cheesed up dish in my life.

Q: What is one community or non-profit organization that you support? Tell us about it and why it is important to you.

A: The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra's Music Composition Academy, which is part of the organization's effort to advance cultural understanding with the Native American people in our state. The academy is for middle school and high school students. The idea is that we as South Dakotans can focus on what we have in common: music. Our music is wildly different, but the love of music and the art of telling a story remains the same regardless of the style. The stories that have come out of it are amazing; from watching kids' confidence improve year after year, to the personal stories they share though the composition.

Q: What is the best piece of advice you have received?

A: "Learn what to say. Then learn how to say it well." This phrase changed my life. There are so many errors in communication with the search for understanding. For me, taking the time to work on and focus with this simple phrase has changed my approach to speaking with people. Considering my words "from my shoes" and then "from your shoes" before I speak helps create a bridge for the best possible outcome in understanding each other. If you care whether or not you are understood that is!

Q: What is your favorite cold-weather activity?

A: If you ask my son, he will say something like "my dad makes probably the best snow angels ever seen in the history of snow." Doing cookies in an empty department store parking lot might be something I also enjoy, hypothetically.

Restaurant/Retail Series Question:

Q: What are some of your favorite local shops or restaurants?

A: Some of my go-to spots are Barrel House for burgers and kicked-up side dishes, 22TEN Kitchen and Cocktails, Coffea, Flyboy Donuts, or for macarons always CH Patisserie. As for shopping, Childs Play Toys since I am with my kids most of the time outside of work.

More Q&A with Tim

Q: Make a prediction...what changes do you expect to see in our community in the next 5 years?

A: My mentor once said "I'm glad you asked me how things will turn out in the future, because I have that answer for you. A lot like the last five years. Tragedy mixed with triumph, like the seasons of life we will experience the benefits of a summer harvest and the hardships of cold winters. You can always count on the seasons though; you can't change them." So, I see great things happening. Why? Stop and look at how brilliant, progressive and caring the members of our community are as a whole. Another way to answer this question would be to say "our potential is limitless" so I am excited for the future.

Q: If you could choose a superpower, what would it be and why?

A: To answer this question, I actually googled "the best superpowers to have" and found an article that was titled "15 Uncommon Superpowers that would be awesome in real life." The one that made me laugh the hardest was Indestructible Digestion and it had a photo of a superhero eating a tunnel through rock like he is biting on an oversized sandwich. The one I would cherish and use the most would be Perfect Recollection. I value my memories and life experiences. To be able to perfectly recall them at any time would be unreal. This superpower could be used for personal and to help others as well.

Q: What is one of Sioux Falls best-kept secrets?

A: I'm not telling you. :)

Q: What is a skill that you'd like to learn and why?

A: Public speaking. I am terrible at it. I admire those who can stand up in front of audiences and say things so well, it captivates me. I guess if I was asked to publicly speak, I would probably talk about my love for bacon. That was a joke. (Insert crowd laughter).

Q: If you could witness any event of the past, present or future, what would it be and why?

A: This question is difficult — I feel speechless for the first time in my life! So, I am going to answer with the first thing that popped into my head, borrowing it from Jim Gaffigan. "If I could go back in time to any event, I would simply go back to the last time I ate bacon." Why? Because bacon is the leading cause of happiness and joy. It is a dangerous thing to say but it's what I would do.

Five Questions Retail & Restaurant Series
Chamber News has decided to shine a spotlight on a couple industries that have been hard hit by the pandemic — the retail and restaurant industries. In the next several issues, our Five Questions segment will feature the owner of a local restaurant or retail store. With each personal profile, you'll also find information on about their business and products. And each Five Questions subject will be asked to 'share the love' by telling us about their favorite small businesses to support!

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