Tampa tradition: Landmark Goody Goody eatery to reopen under Gonzmart

Restaurateur Richard Gonzmart will revive Tampa's iconic Goody Goody burger brand.

click to enlarge Richard Gonzmart's Ulele, housed in the restored Tampa Water Works Building, opened two months ago. And he's already made Goody Goody his next fixer-upper. - Columbia Restaurant Group
Columbia Restaurant Group
Richard Gonzmart's Ulele, housed in the restored Tampa Water Works Building, opened two months ago. And he's already made Goody Goody his next fixer-upper.


Restoration of the Goody Goody burger joint, a Tampa landmark built in 1925 that closed its longest-standing location along Florida Avenue nine years ago, will be guided by Columbia Restaurant Group co-owner and president Richard Gonzmart.

On Monday, a news release announced that Gonzmart purchased the rights to the Goody Goody brand from resident Michael Wheeler, who owned it since 1981, after on-and-off negotiations.

The deal also consists of the restaurant's famed secret sauce recipe and some of its furniture, including the you-know-it-when-you-see-it Goody Goody sign.

Though details are slim, Gonzmart plans to incorporate ground beef from Myakka City's Strickland Ranch (Ulele uses Strickland's Fresh From Florida meat, too), fresh-cut French fries and, of course, house-made butterscotch pies and ice cream into the revived restaurant's menu.

Goody Goody, which originally highlighted barbecue, launched in Missouri before its then-owner moved the joint to Florida in the '20s. Carhops and all, it was Tampa's quintessential drive-in.

In the release, Gonzmart said he remembers having Goody Goody on speed dial. He'd call ahead to get his no-frills fix — a bag of Hamburgers POX, the restaurant's code for pickles, onions and secret sauce — on his drive home from work Saturday afternoons.

The restaurateur said he didn't want the eatery's name to fade into history.

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