Goody Goody’s Richard Gonzmart Reflects on Bringing the Name Back to Tampa

Maria Cacciatore, Senior Staff Member

Local star, Richard Gonzmart, has been busier than ever with his success on re-opening Goody Goody Burgers. The new restaurant spicing up Hyde Park has been nothing but packed morning to night. Tampa lost its iconic flavor back in 2005, and Gonzmart felt that bringing back would restore that friendly atmosphere.

Gonzmart is known for his notable dinings The Columbia Restaurant  (with multiple locations) and Ulele. He has already proven he knows what he is doing, but continues to find new ways to impress. Although he makes it look easy, Gonzmart has learned that he can’t make everyone happy.

“If I have learned anything it is to trust my instincts,” adding that he wanted to open Goody Goody years ago but was told it was a crazy and dangerous move.

Gonzmart is gifted with the ability to envision vividly and is fortunate enough to make his ideas happen.

“People don’t realize that Goody Goody was just a mile and a half from here and Hyde Park opened in 1905 and that was when the Columbia was founded so I feel a magical connection” in response to if he thinks that this new location will bring life to Hyde Park.

We're loving our new nest in @hydeparkvillage. We open Tuesday at 7 a.m.!

A photo posted by Goody Goody (@goodygoodyburgers) on

One of most important elements of this business is creating an atmosphere that people feel comfortable and will want to come back.

Gonzmart has different intentions for each project and there is never one consistent theme between them all, “I just step back in time to capture the essence of the story” explaining the his thought process when deciding the interior.

Goody Goody has that old fashioned diner feel that takes one back in time. The service is good and the food is even better.

There are a countless amount of classic restaurants that were open back in the day but the reason behind Gonzmart’s decision to open Goody Goody all comes back to his heart, “I had very fond memories there. It was a small city and everyone knew each other.”

He explained that the original did not look like this inside, but he hopes it will do enough to make a customer nostalgic. He looks at the floor that he did his best to replicate “this is where all walks of life gathered and I hope it reminds people of that feeling of they had when everyone came together”.

All his 1925 inspired booths are filled to the max with people as they bite into Gonzmart’s favorite food, the hamburger.

Who's hungry?

A photo posted by Goody Goody (@goodygoodyburgers) on

Each one of his restaurants are different but when asked if he had a rule of thumb when opening a new one his response was “embrace the community that supports us and to give back” and that is exactly what he does.

Growing up with a very similar education to the Academy of the Holy Names, he knows the rewarding feeling it is to help those in need. Whether it is giving opportunities to locals to realize they can pursue their dreams or giving a percentage of his earnings to charity, Gonzmart finds a way to help his hometown.