TAMPA, Fla.– Tampa’s longtime residents will once again take a bite of a burger, or a slice of pie, from the iconic Goody Goody restaurant. Former co-owner, Mike Wheeler, recently sold the restaurant and hopes its history continues.
“One of the motivating reasons of my selling it was that I wanted to see the Goody Goody remain a Tampa tradition,” Wheeler said.
The restaurant is now owned by businessman Richard Gonzmart.
“To sell it to somebody that we felt had high integrity and knew the restaurant business,” Wheeler said. “I think we found just the right person.”
Richard Gonzmart, the co-owner of Columbia Restaurant, used to visit Goody Goody, bringing food home to his family every Sunday. Michael Kilgore, chief marketing officer at Columbia Restaurant, says preserving the business was Gonzmart’s rescue mission.
“He wanted to try to preserve it and so as soon as it happened he started talking to Michael Wheeler about trying to buy the rights to it,” Kilgore said.
Goody Goody was first a drive-in restaurant, giving curb-side service from 1930 until 1984. The curb-side service was removed in late 1984.
A design has not been drafted yet, but it will continue as a family dine-in restaurant. As per the menu, the famous burger “POX”, pickles, onions, and secret sauce, is impossible to replicate, making it unique.
“They’re so unique and different and it’s just not like the hamburger with lettuce and tomato that you find in so many places,” Wheeler said. “They always go with a special…it’s called a ‘POX’, which stands for pickles, onions, and X, that sauce.”
Yvonne Freeman, also known as “the hamburger queen”, worked the last 46 years until 2005 as the manager and the official baker of those delicious pies.
The new location will open in South Tampa sometime in 2015.