Goody Goody Burgers opened in Tampa’s Hyde Park Village on Aug. 23, 2016, with a second location opening in the Southwest airside at Tampa International Airport on March 24, 2017. The Columbia Restaurant Group purchased the iconic brand, recipes, sign and some furniture from the third owners of the diner that originally opened in Tampa in 1925. Known for burgers, fries and pies, Goody Goody was the first drive-in east of the Mississippi. The restaurant moved among four separate Tampa locations before it closed in 2005. The reimagined restaurant features the staples – including butterscotch pie – plus some tweaks, including some new sandwiches and entrees as well as all-day breakfast.
Goody Goody first opened in Tampa in 1925 on what was known then as Grand Central Avenue, now Kennedy Boulevard. The eatery began as “Goody Goody Barbecue” when the restaurant opened as the first drive-in restaurant east of the Mississippi. Part of the original barbecue menu included juicy burgers topped with a smooth, tomato-based sauce. The popular creation evolved to the now-famous P.O.X. Burger (pickles, onions and “special sauce”).
Over the years, Goody Goody evolved into a burger joint and diner, shedding its barbecue reputation, but keeping that P.O.X. burger with the secret, special sauce. The menu also welcomed fresh-baked pies, of which the butterscotch pie became iconic for the restaurant. At its height, Goody Goody served burgers and pies to Tampa communities in four locations, with the last restaurant located on North Florida Avenue between downtown Tampa and Tampa Heights. That final location closed in 2005.
Columbia Restaurant Group CEO and President Richard Gonzmart, a longtime Goody Goody customer and Tampa native, bought the name, the iconic sign, recipes and some furniture and re-opened the restaurant in August 2016 in Tampa’s Hyde Park Village on the same cross-street (Dakota Avenue) as the original in 1925.
Back on the menu: The Burger P.O.X. and Butterscotch Pie, in addition to made-from-scratch short order plates, sandwiches, breakfast, beer, wine and desserts.
“I’m ecstatic to bring back Goody Goody,” Gonzmart says.
“In the heyday of Goody Goody, it was a simpler era,” he says. “People were nicer to one another, kinder to one another. That’s a feeling I want to bring back with this restaurant, at the very least for the time our guests spend with us.”
Iconic Goody Goody Menu Items:
Burger “P.O.X.” — Old-school burger made with fresh beef, (P)ickles, (O)nions and X, aka “secret sauce.” Original burger sold when the original location opened in 1925.
Butterscotch Pie — Another original from the early days and one of several pies made daily in-house, including chocolate cream pie, banana cream pie and coconut cream pie. Seasonal pies also rotate monthly.
Pancakes — Buttermilk, banana and gluten-free sweet potato pancakes measuring 12-inches each. These massive pancakes are made from scratch and served with either cracker syrup made with sugarcane and butter, or bananas foster syrup.
OMG! French Toast — Sliced Cuban bread battered and grilled, topped with powdered sugar and choice of fruit and served with cracker maple syrup