Make us your home page
Instagram

Columbia Restaurant Group announces builders for Goody Goody, set to open in spring 2016

TAMPA — The Columbia Restaurant Group announced Wednesday that it has selected the Parkland Builders Group of Tampa for construction of the reimagined, 3,300-square-foot Goody Goody restaurant in Tampa's Hyde Park Village, with a target opening of spring.

The brainchild of Richard Gonzmart, this is a resurrection of an iconic Tampa restaurant known for its pies and bags of hamburgers "POX" — that's pickles, onions and the fabled secret sauce. Gonzmart may have nailed the secret sauce in his test kitchen on Florida Avenue, but the construction hasn't been easy.

"I thought it would be open in November, and it isn't even started," Gonzmart said by phone Wednesday. "Now we've learned they're going to be tearing up the sidewalks in front of our building. That's contributed to the delay. I wish I could say we'll be open in March or April, but I won't if the sidewalks around the front entrance aren't finished." He added with his characteristic glass-half-full optimism: "This gives me more time to get things right."

After nine years of off-and-on negotiations, Gonzmart purchased rights to the Goody Goody name last year from Michael Wheeler of Tampa, who had owned it since 1981. Hiring the right architect, Morris Nathanson Design of Pawtucket, R.I., was easy, Gonzmart says.

"They've done the rebranding of Johnny Rockets. They have done lots of these Art Deco-type diners from yesteryear. They understand the Goody Goody look. We had to go with someone who gets it."

The decision to choose Parkland as contractors was a bit more serendipitous.

"It was a fair bid process and they earned it. But I went to Jesuit High School, which was a big fraternity of sorts. We share the same values. There was a young man whose father was a mentor to me during a tough time when my father died. I didn't realize his son, Carlos Cisneros, was a part of Parkland Builders."

The other reason Parkland may have gotten the bid: "Their agreement is that they'll build it out in 63 days."

The overall look aims to capture "that old flavor," with wooden school desks and vintage metal chairs, the rehabbed historic Goody Goody sign (for which they had to get a variance because it was larger than what is permitted in Hyde Park) and a green and yellow color scheme that Gonzmart hopes will "have a feeling of freshness today."

Despite construction delays, staffing at Goody Goody has continued apace. David Ellis, a longtime Outback executive, has been brought on as operating partner, and Luis Rodriguez, formerly of Locale Market, will serve as the Goody Goody baker.

And just as the Hyde Park location opens its doors, it's time for Goody Goody No. 2, which debuts in June at Tampa International Airport along with a new coffee concept Gonzmart is working on and a Ulele Bar and Grill.

Will there be more after that?

Gonzmart hesitates to say precisely, but he's enthusiastic that, "If I'm lucky, I'm going to help a lot of people make a great living."

Contact Laura Reiley at lreiley@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2293. Follow @lreiley.

Columbia Restaurant Group announces builders for Goody Goody, set to open in spring 2016 12/16/15 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 16, 2015 7:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 24

    Events

    Zac Brown Band: The country, folk and Southern rockers embark on the "Welcome Home" tour in support of the album. 7 p.m., MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $27.50-$77.50. (813) 740-2446.

    Handout photo of the Zac Brown Band, performing at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on 9/24/17. Credit: Shore Fire Media
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 23

    Events

    Smithsonian Museum Day Live: Museums across the nation partner with the Smithsonian to offer free admission for one day. Among them are Florida Holocaust Museum, Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs.Cracker Country in Tampa, Ringling Museum of Art. Note: Dalí Museum is free for Pinellas County …

    The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg is among the museums participating in the Smithsonian's Museum Day Live, offering free admission. (LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Special to the Times)
  3. Tampa Repertory's 'Flying' soars in some places, sputters in others

    Stage

    TAMPA — Tampa Repertory Theatre has always insisted on putting on plays that mean something. Several shows over the last couple of years have zeroed in on the social and cultural baggage that comes with being female (The Children's Hour, Silent Sky and Grounded come to mind). None of those …

    The Southeastern premiere of Flying, Sheila Cowley's play at Tampa Repertory Theatre about veterans of the Women's Air Force Service Pilots, includes (from left) Holly Marie Weber, Rosemary Orlando, and Becca McCoy. Photo by Megan Lamasney.
  4. After 22 years, it's last call for beloved Ybor venue New World Brewery

    Music & Concerts

    YBOR CITY — Steve Bird spreads his tools across a patio table. He has awnings to unbolt and paraphernalia to unpry, from the busted Bop City neon by the stage to the Simpsons "El Duffo o Muerte" mural in the courtyard. He'll uproot a fountain and dismantle a roof and attempt to keep his bar intact. The …

    Various decor and memorabilia fill the walls and shelves at New World Brewery in Ybor City.
Long time music venue and hangout New World Brewery in Ybor City will be closing it's doors and moving locations. Patrons enjoy one of the last events before New World Brewery changes its location to Busch Blvd in Tampa.  [Photo Luis Santana | Times]