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  1. Food

Iconic Goody Goody restaurant to reopen in Hyde Park Village

Richard Gonzmart in the driver seat of the Goody Goody truck.
Published Apr. 16, 2015

TAMPA — After months of speculation, the location of the soon-to-be-resurrected Goody Goody — the iconic restaurant known for its pies and bags of hamburgers "POX" with pickles, onions and the fabled secret sauce — has been announced.

This fall, Goody Goody will rise in Hyde Park Village at 1601 W Swann Ave. on the corner of Swann and South Dakota avenues on the same block as CinéBistro.

Richard Gonzmart of the Columbia Restaurant Group has been soliciting advice from longtime fans of Goody Goody — the last of which was demolished in 2006 — about where to put it, but one thing he knew for sure. "I knew it had to be near the original, which was located on Rome at Kennedy."

WS Development, which manages the Village, is clearly in a growth period, with a number of new retail and restaurant projects announced recently, from national chains like soon-to-open Bartaco to Chris Ponte's second restaurant, On Swann, also scheduled to open this fall.

After nine years of off-and-on negotiations, Gonzmart purchased rights last year to the Goody Goody name from Michael Wheeler of Tampa, who had owned it since 1981. The deal also included the recipe to the restaurant's famous "secret sauce" (sort of a tomato puree, but with a little something-something) and some furniture, including the distinctive Goody Goody sign. He's also bringing back Goody Goody's fabled pies (old-timers swoon about the butterscotch and the coconut cream) and homemade ice cream.

"I feel like a caretaker of the culinary history of Tampa."

The first Goody Goody opened in 1925. To commemorate that, Gonzmart purchased a 1925 Model T truck ("only two other owners") and will incorporate it into the concept somehow. And because Gonzmart is incapable of thinking small, he's got major plans for the truck in the future.

"You know how Clearwater has the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving? We're going to do the Goody Goody YMCA Turkey Trot to run to raise money to teach kids how to swim. And we'll have the truck leading the race. But maybe I need to see if it will go fast enough first."

And why is Hyde Park the right home for this Tampa burger legend?

"Old Hyde Park reflects what was good about Tampa when I was growing up. And with the development of downtown, I'm envisioning that they'll bring the trolley up there and do a complete loop. It's like Tampa's growing up and taking a step back in time."

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

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