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 See more about Yvonne and more photos of the old Goody Goody



July 2017 Photo above by Cliff McBride


I T ' S   B A C K !

After nearly 11 years of Tampans yearning for a Goody Goodyburger and their signature secret sauce, and a slice of that delicious butterscotch pie, Richard Gonzmart of the Columbia Restaurant Group has revived Goody Goody in GRAND STYLE! 

Take a huge quantum leap back to the past and simultaneously into the future when you visit the new Goody Goody at 1601 W. Swann Ave. in Tampa's Hyde Park Village!






The downtown Goody Goody was a Tampa landmark since 1930 and was the first feature
of what would become

Stepping into Goody Goody was like stepping into the hamburger twilight zone.  All the walls were jam-packed with a pictorial history of Tampa.  Photographs, post cards, old advertisements, and memorabilia, they all took you back to a time when Tampa was in its heyday and the beginnings of the drive-in burger stand.

The Goody Goody sported a new look in early April 2004 with a refurbished sign, freshly painted exterior and awning.
Photo by


Photo by                                                Photo by


Read about the "new old" look in the Sunday, April 11th Tampa Tribune.


The Goody Goody first opened in late 1925 at 1603 Grand Central Ave., when Tampa was in the midst of the Florida land boom.   On April 3, 1930, a new one opened on Florida Avenue downtown, where it operated until Nov. 30, 2005.



Photo by

Goody Goody in June, 2003 before the improvements
The first photo featured at what would become TampaPix






Photo by
Goody Goody parking lot, June 2003

Photo by
Yvonne Freeman, on the right, was the manager of the Goody Goody since 1984 when she leased it from the owner, Mike Wheeler.

A scene from the 2004 movie "The Punisher" was filmed at the Goody Goody in 2003.  Exterior improvements had just begun by filling in some of the building cracks when producers saw the place, contacted the Mike and asked him to stop; they wanted it to look this way for the movie. A scene was filmed in the parking lot but it was cut from the final version.  The above photo shows the front counter before director Jonathan Hensleigh had it refurbished in stainless steel for the movie scene. 

See scenes from the movie








Photo is from a June 28, 1992 Tribune article.   



In high school her name was Bessie Yvonne Whitehead; she graduated in the class of 1945 at Hillsborough High School.  In 1947 she married Arlie Freeman who left school to join the service and obtained his GED when he returned.    Yvonne worked as a carhop at the Goody Goody from 1947 to 1949 and after a 10-year period away from Goody Goody raising her family, she returned to work in the restaurant in 1959 as a waitress.  She once served Col. Harland Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken. 



"When I first came to work, the whole area was full of car dealers; it was an unbelievably busy place.  In those days, curb service, or dining in one's car, was popular, in part because women dressed up in hats and gloves to dine out, and when they weren't dressed up, they wanted to hide in their car.  People ate less during the meal itself, they used to come in and order a hamburger, a cup of coffee and a piece of pie. Now, they order a double hamburger basket, with fries and everything."  --Yvonne




In 1980, the Stayer family, who had owned Goody Goody since 1929, sold it to local accountant Mike Wheeler.  Wheeler then leased it for a few years to a Mr. Losurdo who began to make renovations.  Unable to come up with the funds to complete his plans and keep the Goody Goody in operation, it reverted back to Mike, who closed it in May of 1984 to complete the repairs. Six months later, Yvonne decided it was her turn to run the show.  She leased it from Mike and became the manager, baker and half-day server until its final closing day.  Yvonne said that her best order was when Idlewild Baptist Church ordered some 500 burgers for an event attended by a cousin of Elvis Presley.


From the 1940s to the 1960s, traffic would back up for a block or two waiting to get into the drive-in.  In the late 40s, a hamburger was 40 cents.  The Goody Goody ended drive-in service in May of 1984.


Yvonne revealed the secret to the juicy Goody Goody burger:  High quality ground beef in the ratio of 80/20 lean to fat, which she ordered specially ground from a Tampa butcher.  An all-the-way burger consisted of 1/4 lb. ground beef cooked medium to medium well, served on a 4-inch, lightly toasted bun, sliced dill pickles, diced or sliced onions, and that Goody Goody special secret sauce, which consisted of, but wasn't limited to, tomato sauce, tomatoes, garlic, onions and sugar.  Yvonne said that even if one had the exact recipe, it would be difficult to duplicate because of the long cooking time required.




Yvonne took exclusive responsibility of making the sauce, and making the delicious homemade pies herself.  Her  pies (butterscotch, pineapple cream, traditional apple, French Apple, coconut cream, banana cream, pineapple cream, chocolate cream, pecan, lemon meringue, and seasonally, pumpkin) were just as famous, if not more famous, than the Goody Goody burger with special sauce.



Goody Goody coconut cream and banana cream pies.








Loraine Green contributed greatly to Goody Goody's longtime operation. She began working at Goody Goody even before Yvonne started in 1947, and continued there, except for a few periods away, until her retirement. When Yvonne decided to run the restaurant in the mid-1980s, Lorain was vital to its continued success. She was very popular with the GG customers, and much-appreciated by Carl Stayer. Lorain has since passed away. One of her favorite jokes was to ask customers if they saw her on Bonanza (Lorne Greene).


Photo above and at right are screen captures from a 1989 short segment by Hampton Dunn on Pulse 13 news.




The walls were covered with Goody Goody history.
Photo by




Sometime in the mid to late 1940s, Carl Stayer bought around 4 dozen Emeco 1006 aluminum Navy chairs for the Goody Goody drive-in restaurant.  On closing day in 2005, the chairs were still in use.

Read about the history of this indestructible chair by Emeco.

See a video about the chair and how it's made.


The Goody Goody was a popular lunch spot for the downtown crowd.  Business people, attorneys, judges, federal magistrates, political figures--including mayors and congressmen--and everyday folks, enjoyed Goody Goody burger, fries and a slice of Yvonne's homemade butterscotch pie for lunch.


Photo by

The Goody Goody still had some of its original tables and chairs, and the original green tile floor. These date back to the 1930's.  The original basket weave seat wore out and were replaced long ago with wood.

Photos by











A reproduction of an original menu circa 1943


Click the menu to see larger images of the complete menu. 


See a current menu selection.  Yvonne bakes eight flavors of pie by hand, including apple, coconut, lemon, banana, butterscotch, pecan, chocolate and pineapple cream.




See more Goody Goody nostalgia and read a detailed history of the Stayer years. Also see CREATIVE ON MAIN STREET'S documentary film "GOODY GOODY, PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE" on the COLUMBIA RESTAURANT GROUP'S YouTube channel!           


The Goody Goody secret sauce is resurrected at Pine Grove restaurant


Read article in the March 13, 2002 St. Pete Times.



2002 news feature, before renovations

Larry Cotton, food connoisseur Channel 8 News, interviews Yvonne Freeman at the Goody Goody.  (Yvonne comments in quotes)

Stepping into Goody Goody is like stepping into the twilight hamburger zone.  All the walls are jam-packed with a pictorial history of Tampa.  Photographs, post cards, old advertisements, memorabilia, they all take you back to a time when Tampa was in its heyday and the beginnings of the drive-in burger stand.  Although there have been many paint jobs over the years, the decor is basically the same as it was in 1930.  Aluminum chairs, tile floors, and some very unusual and unique tables you won't find anywhere else.  Yvonne:  "The tables were made for this place, I don't know exactly when, but at least 70 years ago."  And customers sat here and ate their meals?  "Right, anytime, very popular."  It seems like everyone I've talked to has had a Goody Goody burger, even the late great Col. Sanders--and you thought he only ate chicken.  "Well, all the judges have been in, Sam Gibbons has been in now and then, even the mayor drops in once in a while."  Everybody loves Goody Goody burgers, huh?  "They seem to; nobody complains."  Now you're not going to find that prepackaged food or fake French fries here.  Now let's talk about your basic burger, and you call it the burger with POS.  "Uh humm, pickles, onions and sauce."  Ok, and what kind of sauce do you use, this secret sauce?  "Well, we don't give out the recipe, but it's a tomato-based sauce; there's things in it like onions and garlic and seasonings."  Now how did that tradition get started?  "Whoever opened the place originally in 1925, that's the recipe they used, and it's always been this."  So you want a shake to go with that burger?  I tell you nothing beats an old-fashioned hand-dipped real ice cream milkshake.  You're not gonna find many in town that tastes this good.  "Well, we hand dip the ice cream just like we always have; we use fresh milk."  And you make your basic milk--look how thick this is.  "We make a good milkshake."   Let me try it--it's the real deal!  Now if you like pies like I like pies, and who doesn't like pies, then you have to try one of the really delicious pies made fresh here every day.  So if you're hankerin' for just a good old-fashioned burger, get on down here to Goody Goody's.  We'll see you next time on Good Eats.

Photo by

Looking south on Florida Avenue from across the street in front of the Goody Goody






Oct. 20, 2014 - Richard Gonzmart of the Columbia Restaurant to Resurrect Goody Goody

Richard Gonzmart remembers going to the downtown Goody Goody as a kid with his grandfather for burgers, and picking up pies on the way to family parties. Born just a few blocks away, Gonzmart distinctly remembers the taste of those burgers, and the day the downtown Goody Goody restaurant closed nine years ago, he decided he wanted to revive it somehow. Now, he will.

"My earliest memories were the Columbia and Goody Goody. It was a big deal to go sit in your car and the lady would come up and take your order and you'd eat inside the car and listen to the radio," said Gonzmart, the Columbia Restaurant Group's fourth generation co-owner and president, who opened the acclaimed Ulele earlier this year.

After nine years of off-and-on negotiations, Gonzmart purchased rights to the Goody Goody name from Michael Wheeler of Tampa, who had owned it since 1981. The deal also includes the recipe to the restaurant's famous "secret sauce" and some furniture, including the distinctive Goody Goody sign. Gonzmart is still considering Tampa locations, but he plans to open in 2015. His aim is somewhere close to the second and longest-lasting Goody Goody, which was on Florida Avenue, opened in 1930 and demolished in 2006. He is considering a second location at the airport but acknowledges details are still sketchy.

"It's a throwback to yesteryear when everything was good and people were happy, and there weren't any cell phones and people not talking," Gonzmart says, adding jokingly, "I learned so much from watching Andy of Mayberry." Regardless of the initial location, former owner Wheeler is pleased with the outcome.  "When the property was sold back in 2005, we were terribly disappointed when the new owners wanted the business to vacate the premises immediately. But Richard Gonzmart's passion for reopening the Goody Goody and the detail he puts into all of his projects means that there will be new life for (it)."

Tribune photo by Jay Nolan


The first new incarnation of Goody Goody may not come until well into 2015, Gonzmart said, but it will have several especially local, or long-loved items: Burgers made with ground beef from the Strickland ranch, fresh-cut fries and house-made ice cream as well as house-made fresh pies – especially the famed butterscotch pie.

Fans of that original site should not expect a rebuilt location. Instead, Gonzmart intends on reviving the brand in new locations, in new forms — albeit with the original recipes, including the “secret sauce,” he said. As for what’s in that sauce, “it’s like the Colonel’s secret recipe, I’m not going to tell.” New sites won’t be drive-ins, or drive-thrus, Gonzmart said. Rather, they’ll be family-style sit-down restaurants. He’s now working with site selectors to find the right location to revive the brand.

The above story comes from these articles:

Oct. 20, 2014  Iconic Goody Goody Restaurant Returning to Tampa, Tampa Bay Times  

Oct. 20, 2014  Gonzmart to Resurrect Tampa's Historic Goody Goody Restaurant, Tampa Tribune


Jan 3, 2015     Gonzmart solicits public input on Goody Goody Location, Tampa Bay Business Journal, By Eric Snider

Richard Gonzmart and the Columbia Restaurant Group are using a novel technique to involve the public in resurrecting Goody Goody Burgers, the iconic restaurant founded in Tampa in 1925 and closed for nine years.

The company put a post on Facebook Saturday in the form of a contest soliciting suggestions for where to put the resuscitated brand, which Gonzmart said he plans to re-open this year.

"Where do you think the first Goody Goody should be?" the post asks. "The old Army Navy Store on Florida [Avenue]? The new Hyde Park Village? Howard Avenue in South Tampa? Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa?"

It's a rather unorthodox move, especially in the often-secretive world of restaurant operators, who generally opt to keep their location planning closely held. But it's another example of Gonzmart's instinctive approach, evidenced in his at times stubborn insistence that he could transform an old pumping station in Tampa Heights a destination restaurant. That turned out to be Ulele.

When Gonzmart acquired the brand rights to Goody Goody in October, he said he preferred locating the new restaurant downtown or in South Tampa.
But the Facebook post is not a vote. It continues: "Best/Most Interesting/Most Creative posts will receive an invite to join our Official Goody Goody Tasting Team. Send us your suggestions via comments to this post. Decisions of the judges are arbitrary, whimsical and final."

Gonzmart on Saturday revealed another project in the works: an Italian-Sicilian restaurant in Ybor City, tentatively named Casa Santo Stefano, the Tampa Tribune reported.



April 15, 2015   Goody Goody a go for Hyde Park Village - Tampa Bay Business Journal by Eric Snider

Hyde Park Village it is.  The location of Richard Gonzmart's first Goody Goody burger restaurant — highly anticipated in certain circles — was announced Wednesday. The reborn concept is going in at 1601 W. Swann Ave., on the corner of Swann and South Dakota Ave., on the same block as CineBistro.

Boston-based WS Development, which released the news, is developing Hyde Park Village. "I really believe in this group," Gonzmart said late Wednesday afternoon. "Hyde Park has had a lot of ups and downs and a lot of owners and we heard a lot of promises over the years. But the right people are in place now."

Gonzmart — the fourth-generation co-owner of the Columbia Restaurant and founder of Ulele — acquired the Goody Goody brand last October from long-time owner Mike Wheeler. Gonzmart at the time revealed plans to resuscitate and modernize the restaurant, and open a unit in 2015.
Goody Goody is an iconic Tampa brand that dates back to 1925. Its last location was a blocky buidling on Florida Avenue in downtown Tampa that closed in 2005 and was demolished the following year.

After protracted negotiations that Gonzmart admitted "frustrated" him, he signed a 10-year lease with WS Development, with two 10-year options. "I fully expect to be there all 30 years," he said, adding that his new burger place is also being positioned as a chain.
"Hyde Park Village needs Goody Goody and Goody Goody needs Hyde Park Village," Gonzmart effused. "I can't wait to get in there and start making great house-made food and new memories."

The location announcement comes on the heals of news that Goody Goody will be part of a market-style storefront in the new concessions program at Tampa International Airport. The burger concept joins two other Gonzmart brands, Ulele Bar and Cafe Con Leche, and others in Airside C.

As far as when we can expect the first Goody Goody redux (offering breakfast, lunch and dinner): Michael Kilgore, chief marketing officer for Columbia Restaurant Group, said in email, "This year is probably all we can commit to at this point."


April 16, 2015    Goody Goody Burgers on Facebook
Photo courtesy of Goody Goody Burgers on Facebook

It’s official: The iconic Goody Goody will live again in Tampa’s Hyde Park Village. The announcement was made by WS Development and Hyde Park Village. “We are honored that Richard Gonzmart would select Hyde Park Village for this beloved concept,” said Jeremy Sclar, president of WS Development. “Richard Gonzmart's integrity and devotion to the community together with the heritage of the Goody Goody brand are an unbeatable combination.”

Goody Goody will be at 1601 W. Swann Ave. at South Dakota Avenue on the same block as CinéBistro. It’s very close to the original restaurant location on Grand Central and also close to the longest-lasting location at Florida Avenue that most people remember. The Florida location closed 10 years ago. “I’m ecstatic to bring back this Tampa tradition,” said Richard Gonzmart. “We’ve lost too many of these iconic places over the years and I really did not want the name to just fade away into history. Goody Goody is one of those places that helped create Tampa’s identity. At the Columbia Restaurant, which marks its 110th anniversary this year – as does Hyde Park Village – we celebrate history, heritage, family and good food. That’s what this restaurant means to me. Our new partnership with WS Development and Hyde Park Village is perfect. WS is committed to Hyde Park Village and to Tampa, and we share their passion.” A date for the opening of the new Goody Goody will be announced later.

Goody Goody Opening Pushed to 2016, by Eric Snider, Tampa Bay Business Journal, July 29, 2015

Front windows as they appeared on May 8, 2015
Photo courtesy of Goody Goody Burgers Facebook page


One of restaurateur Richard Gonzmart's mantras is "we won't open 'til we're ready." The fourth-generation owner of the Columbia Restaurant hewed to that approach in 2014 when he delayed the debut of Ulele several months. Goody Goody's storefront as it looked in May. Construction has not yet begun.

Now he faces a similar situation with Goody Goody, the much-loved burger brand founded in Tampa that he bought and resuscitated last year. Gonzmart set 2015 as his target to open the first new Goody Goody unit — but the pace of build-out in Hyde Park Village by landlord WS Development has cast doubt on that timetable.

"We want to stress that we don't see this as a problem," said Michael Kilgore, chief marketing officer for the Columbia Restaurant Group. "The project is taking its normal course. One of the good things about this being a family business is we don't have to adhere to artificial deadlines.


Columbia Restaurant Group Chief Operating Officer Curt Gaither test-sits one of the classic Goody Goody school-desk chairs, which we just recovered from storage. Curt says they're comfortable; he just hates having his picture taken. (And he's worried that he lost his homework.) Photo courtesy of Goody Goody Burgers on Facebook.



Outside of the pent-up public demand for Goody Goody burgers, no one is concerned." Gonzmart was traveling and unavailable for comment. Goody Goody's lease deal calls for WS to perform work on the building, then turn over the shell to CRG for interior construction. Kilgore's best guess is that delivery will occur in late October. WS has not yet begun work on the site. "We could very well see a 2016 open," Kilgore said. "We're looking at a new brand for us, and we're deep into concept development. There's no big concern. We have plenty of other things to do." Rhode Island-based Morris Nathanson is refining the Goody Goody design. The CRG team is testing menu items, and the Kilgore said the Official Goody Goody Tasting Team should be pressed into duty soon.







On Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, RG invited contractors to visit the Hyde Park Village space where Goody Goody will be reborn and gave them a preview taste of the iconic Goody Goody burgers and butterscotch pie they'll be featuring when the restaurant opens in 2016.  Video and screenshot from Goody Goody Burgers on YouTube.

Stay informed on the latest news about the reopening of Goody Goody by visiting their Facebook page!





Keith Sedita, VP of New Business Development, Columbia Restaurant Group, looking

through the window that will eventually serve the hamburgers.
Photo by Tampa Bay Business Journal, April 18, 2016 Construction Tour



The new Goody Goody is taking shape!  Check out this photo slideshow of the construction progress
June 10, 2016


Photo from Tampa Bay Business Journal photo tour



Visit Goody Goody's website for the latest news; it's opening in August!



Goody Goody -  p1   |    Goody Goody Roots p2

Goody Old Days - Stephens brings Goody Goody to Tampa & the Stayer Years p3  

The End of an Era:  Last Day p1    |   Last Day p2   |   Last Day p3   |  Last Day p4  |  Demolition 

Behind the Scenes - Goody Goody Layout   |  Goody Goody Family Tree 

Scene from the movie "The Punisher" filmed in the Goody Goody

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