Goody Goody Family Tree
When Ralph Stephens first went into the restaurant business in Oklahoma
City in 1921, he set in motion a chain of events that would lead to the
creation of restaurants in Missouri, Florida, Ohio, Oklahoma, and
California, for the Stephens and Reid families and those who followed
them. These famous restaurants, Goody Goody and Dolores', were independent
operations that shared some common roots, traditions, and menu items. To
those who patronized them, these names still evoke memories of delicious
food--a delicious hamburger with secret sauce, barbeque sandwiches, homemade pies, and happy times.
The information presented in
the feature is gathered from numerous sources, including public records,
oral histories, blogs and newspaper articles. The sources are shown at the
bottom of the page. Any opinions expressed here have their basis
explained at the bottom of the page as well.
Not-for-profit use of photos from this feature should include credit to
the original source indicated and TampaPix.com. For any other
intended use of photos,
contact TampaPix.com for more information.
Ralph A. Stephens,
Ohio to Missouri to Oklahoma Ralph Augustus Stephens
was born on October 17, 1892 in Eaton, Ohio to Eaton grocer
Henry Stephens and Sarah J. (Fraley) Stephens. Ralph had an
older brother named Grover H. and older sister named Nellie. By
1910, Ralph Stephens had moved out on his own and was living in a boarding house in
Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri where he worked as a presser in a
It was at this time that Ralph
met Hannibal, Mo. native Amanda Ellen Ogle in Kansas City, MO. They
married in Kansas city on Oct. 19, 1912. Amanda worked as a
bookkeeper for a local daily paper in Hannibal and was one of six children of Missouri native and Hannibal
carpenter Jesse L. Ogle and his wife, Catherine.
Ralph and Amanda's first
son, Robert Emery Stephens, was born in Park Ridge, Cook Co., Illinois on
Dec. 4, 1915. By 1917, Ralph, Amanda and their infant son had moved
to Oklahoma City where Ralph owned and operated the Western Hotel at 810
W. Main St. Their
second son, Vincent Ralph Stephens, was born in Oklahoma City on Jan. 24,
In 1920, Ralph was a 27-year-old Western Hotel assistant manager in OK
City when he decided to go into the
1920 census of
the Stephens family at 23 W. 10th St. in Oklahoma City
Ralph was listed as a hotel proprietor.
1917 and 1920
Oklahoma City directories,
"r" denotes their residence address.
In 1921, Ralph Stephens opened "The Car Barn Cafe" at 416 N. Olie Ave.
"Car Barn" refers to a building where streetcars/trolleys were
housed when not in use or being repaired or serviced. Unsuccessful in this endeavor, he then opened the Puritan Cafe in 1923 with
partner E. V. Bodkin at 102b N. Broadway in Oklahoma City.
"prop" means "proprietor".
Ralph and Amanda's
daughter, Dolores, was born in Oklahoma City on Dec. 14, 1921.
At right, looking north
along Broadway from Main St., the former location of the Puritan Cafe in
Stephens Family in Dallas, TX and Hannibal, MO.
attempts in the restaurant business, competition and a lot of debt caused the then 30-year-old Ohio
to move his family to Dallas
in 1923. There, he saw a drive-in barbecue “pig stand” that seemed to have a
thousand cars parked around it. He took a job
with a popular local chain and learned the local operation in Dallas, but before opening a
stand in Little Rock, a trip to his father-in-law’s in Hannibal, MO, gave
him time to reconsider.
He decided to go into
business for himself once again, this time with a barbecue stand.
The family slept in the stand as it was being built, and in June of 1925,
Stephens opened his barbecue
stand at 2629 St. Mary's Avenue in Hannibal,
Missouri and named it Goody-Goody Barbecue.
The 1925 Hannibal city directory
doesn't name the restaurant; it's possible that he hadn't yet thought of a
name by the time the information for the 1925 directory was gathered.
But it is more likely that the early Oklahoma City directories only
provided the owner's occupation and did not provide the name of the
Business was initially a
success, but when the weather
turned cold, the crowds dissipated, and the business failed. In a 1968
interview, Ralph Stephens said “We closed, and being sort of soldiers in
fortune, we took off for Florida.”
Stephens Family Moves To Florida
by the land boom that Florida had been experiencing in the mid-1920s,
Stephens left Hannibal, MO, for Tampa, FL, with his wife Amanda, teenage sons Robert &
Vincent and 4-year-old daughter Dolores. “The land boom was on then and we
went to Tampa and opened one restaurant, then another" Stephens said.
"They had told us there were no rooms in Tampa so we bought a tent and
slept under that until we almost flooded out.” (The preceding comes
primarily from Dolores
Restaurant, OKC History)
1927 Hannibal city directory
shows Bodkin lived next to his restaurant. It is not known if he was
in business as Goody-Goody. It appears that city directories only listed
the owner's name and restaurant address.
After the Stephens
family moved to Tampa, E. V. Bodkin (Ralph's former partner at the
short-lived Puritan Cafe in Oklahoma City in 1923) operated a restaurant by
1927 at 2629 St. Mary's Ave. in Hannibal, MO. It does not appear
that it was named Goody-Goody.
1929 Hannibal city directory
By 1929, the
restaurant at 2629 St. Mary's Ave. in Hannibal was owned by George Buttgen,
who lived next door to the restaurant. Also affiliated with the
restaurant, and possible co-owners were George W. Silman and Henry C.
Winn. Silman's directory listings for the late 1920s show he was a
machine operator at the International Shoe Company factory in Hannibal.
1935 Hannibal, MO city directory
The 1935 "S" listings in the Hannibal
city directory show the Silmans lived next door to their restaurant--at
2627 St. Mary's Ave.
By 1935, George W. Silman
was the owner of the restaurant at 2629 W.
St. Mary's Avenue.
1937 Hannibal city directory "S"
1937 Hannibal city directory restaurant
Silman's restaurant was advertised as Goody-Goody Barbecue.
Goody-Goody operated at this location with George Silman as proprietor, and his
wife Esther as his assistant, until at least 1940, according to Silman's
1946 Hannibal city directories
Goody-Goody Barbecue was owned by Wilburn E. Jaynes who lived at 2918
Goody-Goody transitioned into "Sandwich Shop" from "Barbecue" in Hannibal
between 1950 and 1953.
From 1950 through 1953,
Goody-Goody Barbecue in Hannibal was owned by Mrs. Dorothy Y. McCann and
Ivan Yates (probably her brother, or father.) Mr. Yates was also
the president of Yates & Hagan Clothing Co. in Hannibal.
From 1955 through 1957,
Dorothy McCann and her husband Robert owned and operated the Goody-Goody
Mrs. Savage was a waiter at the shop.
In 1959, Goody-Goody
Sandwich Shop in Hannibal was owned by Charles F. Savage, who was also a draftsman with
After arriving in Tampa from Hannibal in late 1925, Stephens partnered with 35-year-old Ohio native and former Dayton, Ohio
bookkeeper William L. Reid to open Goody-Goody Barbecue at 1603 Grand Central
Ave (today's Kennedy Blvd.) It was the first drive-in restaurant east of the
Goody-Goody's first listing was in the
1926 Tampa city directory--the only year that Reid was listed as a
Residential listings of Ralph Stephens
and William Reid, 1926.
Stephens lived on the next
block west of the Goody-Goody, Reid lived nearby in the Hyde Park
It is not known why Reid, who had
been in Tampa for about a year, ended his partnership with Stephens by
1927 and returned to Ohio with his wife Jessie L. Weaver Reid and 12-yr-old son Robert.
In 1927, in Tampa, Stephens
moved the Goody-Goody from 1603 to 1629 Grand Central--at the corner of Rome
Avenue--taking advantage of more area for parking and curb service.
Goody-Goody Car stalls at 1629 Grand
Central, circa 1928.
Notice the stalls were made from roughly hewn tree trunks and covered with
palmetto fronds. Burgert Bros. photo from
RetroMetro Oklahoma City
collapse of 1929 caused by the decline of the Florida land boom caused Stephens
to look for a way out. He saw a classified ad placed by William Bechtel
Stayer, which read “Have $10,000 to invest, would like to buy a small business.”
The Stayer Years
William B. Stayer
courtesy of granddaughter Glenda Stayer Wood
William B. Stayer was a 45-year-old successful lumber insurance agent as
well as executive director of a lumber dealers association in Pittsburgh. After his 2nd marriage
ended, he moved to
Winter Haven, Florida for a short time then to Lakeland, Florida where
remarried and bought a grove. He travelled
to Tampa to frequent the Spanish restaurants and bars. Wanting to
get back into business, he bought the Goody-Goody from Stephens, even
though he had vowed earlier never to buy a barbecue stand.
Stayer's 1910 census in Pittsburgh
shows William B. Stayer was 26. He had been married to Edna M. for 7
years and worked as a postal clerk. Their sons Carl and William were
ages 6 and 4½. Mary M. was William B. Stayer's mother, not sister as
Edna Stayer died on Dec. 6, 1918.
William's 1920 census in Pittsburgh shows he was widowed and working as an
insurance agent. His children were Carl A. 15, William D. 14, Glen
E. 10, Elizabeth S. 6, and Robert E. 4.
After selling to Stayer
in 1929, Stephens was determined to settle his debts and prove he could be a successful
restaurant operator. He and his family left Tampa and returned to Oklahoma City
armed with a "secret weapon." Before they came to Tampa, while in Hannibal, Amanda Stephens
had obtained a recipe for “comeback” sauce from a barbeque stand in nearby
Quincy, Ill. It may have been the origin of the famous Goody-Goody
secret sauce used in Tampa. Another possibility is that the
Goody-Goody secret sauce
originated with the Dallas "pig stand" Stephens worked at for a short time
before opening the first Goody-Goody in Hannibal.
Married by then to Sadie
Rawls, a former
nurse in Lakeland, William B. Stayer moved to Tampa with his
wife and teenage children Elizabeth and Robert. It is not known who
10-year-old John was, according to a daughter of William B. Stayer's son, Dr.
Glenn Stayer, there was no son named John.
Stayer's 1930 census in Tampa shows him
listed as "Sales Manager, Sandwich Shop."
Glenn E. Stayer
Photo courtesy of his daughter,
Glenda Stayer Wood
William's oldest son, Carl,
an insurance adjuster, lived in Pittsburgh with his wife Margaret. His
next oldest son, William Drew Stayer, also lived in Pittsburgh. William B.
Stayer's next oldest son, Glenn E. Stayer was earning his medical doctorate
degree at the time, and joined the family with his M.D. degree in Tampa by 1935
at age 25. Glenn later lived in Birmingham, Ala. in the mid 1940s to the
early 1960s, with his wife Marian and later 2nd wife Jean. He was a successful
ophthalmologist and surgeon. He read the German philosopher Nietzsche for
pastime and enjoyed the classical masters – Beethoven and Wagner. As a rest from
his practice, he played tennis or traveled to where the Alabama football team
was playing or automobiles were racing.
In late March of 1930, Stayer closed
the Goody-Goody sandwich shop at 5201 N. Florida Avenue and on April 3,
a new location in the northern fringe area of downtown Tampa--1119 N.
Florida Avenue. See opening day ad.
In Oct. of 1933, the original Tampa location at 1629 Grand Central
closed. Stayer then consolidated all his operations at the new
downtown shop provided a small area for those who wished to eat inside,
with seating for around 10 to 12 patrons in desk-chairs. But the
curb service is what continued to make it a popular lunch spot.
Close up of downtown Goody-Goody
Florida Avenue side from above 1932 photo. The front expansion of the
dining room had not yet been started.
When the front was expanded for more dining area, the lettering seen in
this photo could still be seen on the remaining portion of this wall in
the crawl space above the new dining area.
See it here.
Full size image from USF Digital Collections
About his father, Carl Stayer said,
"He couldn't do short-order cooking, run the cash register, or wash
dishes. W.B. Stayer
monitored the drive-in section and met the customers. A
gregarious sort, he had a personality described as 'dignified
and infectious.' He sold himself and his business wherever he went."
This 1941 photo shows
the new dining area, with the original front wall of the shop at the left,
now a partition. Beyond that was the original eat-in area and
layout of the Goody Goody
Stayer did might be called 'maitre d' in a classy restaurant, and public
relations officer in a large corporation. He monitored the drive-in
section and met the customers."
William Stayer capitalized on
his assets: recipes that customers liked and employees who performed their
job well. His butcher, the legendary Nathaniel "Peanuts" Wilson bought
beef quarters and ground them, adding just the right amount of fat to make
stayed on the signs and on the menu for years, the Goody-Goody made its
reputation with its hamburgers--liberally doused with a specially-made
barbeque sauce--and its delicious pies. The sauce and pie recipes were
closely guarded secrets, and were most likely brought to Tampa by Stephens
from his restaurant background in Oklahoma City and Hannibal, MO, and passed to Stayer along
with the restaurant.
On the roof of this 1941 photo, you can
see where the front wall was originally located before the dining area
Around 1940, William
B. Stayer and his wife bought an old dairy farm with milk cows at Palm River. His sons, Bill and Bob Stayer, continued the
daily operations of the Goody Goody. In January of 1944, Bob Stayer, a
popular young man, drowned in a tragic accident at age 28.
Robert "Bob" Edward
Photo courtesy of his niece,
Glenda Stayer Wood
Stayer then left his job with GMAC in Harrisburg, PA, brought his family to Tampa
and took over the business.
Photo courtesy of his niece, Glenda Stayer Wood
1943 Goody Goody menu
Reproduced from the original
The fine print at the top of the menu
Click each page to view
larger, then use your browser zoom to see full size.
Before World War II, all
the Goody-Goody car hops in Tampa were male. During the war, ladies replaced the men.
chance to flirt with a bevy of pretty car-hops was enough to draw the guys
to the Goody-Goody at 1119 Florida Avenue in the glory days during and
after World War II. But the food--especially those delicious pies--was the
best in town.
From 1947 to 1949,
then-recent Hillsborough High School graduate (and recently married)
Yvonne (Whitehead) Freeman worked as a carhop at the Goody-Goody.
After a 10-year period away from Goody-Goody, she returned to work in the
restaurant in 1959 as a waitress. In that capacity, she once served Col. Harland Sanders,
the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
From the 1940s, when
a hamburger was 20 cents, to the 1960s, traffic would back up for a block
or two waiting to get into the drive-in. Yvonne said 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, but when they weren't dressed up, they wanted to hide in their
Goody Goody matchbook, circa late 1950s
One of the changes made
to the Goody-Goody in the ensuing years was the enclosure of the south
side of the rear wood frame additions to the building, adding office and
storage space. The unusual "slanted" wall in relation to the
original block structure was designed to allow vehicles to continue to
have access to the rear parking stalls.
See Goody-Goody layout.
Goody-Goody at 1119 N.
Florida Ave., circa early 1960s
improvement during this period was the addition of a new, eye-catching
neon sign as seen above. It originally advertised Sealtest Ice Cream
at the lower portion.
The 1941 sign and the 1960s sign. Though the neon lights later no
longer worked, the sign in use during the 1960s remained until early 2004.
1966 Chamberlain High School yearbook
William B. Stayer died
on Feb. 21, 1953 and is buried in Myrtle Hill Memorial Park, Tampa.
born in New Enterprise, Pa., on Oct. 8, 1883.
Photo courtesy of his
great-granddaughter, Glenda Stayer Wood
In 1980, the Stayer
family, who had owned Goody-Goody since 1929, sold it to local accountant
Mike Wheeler. Wheeler ate his first Goody-Goody hamburger when he was 10
and had grown up on them. In 1982, Wheeler leased the
Goody-Goody for a few years to Frank Losurdo who began to make renovations. Unable to come up with the funds
and permits to
overhaul the antiquated building and bring it to required standards to
keep it in operation, the Goody-Goody reverted back to Wheeler who
temporarily closed the Goody-Goody in late May of 1984.
Six months later, Yvonne
Freeman, who had still been working there since rejoining the Goody-Goody
in 1959, decided it was her turn to run the show.
Freeman leased the
building from Wheeler, reopened the landmark in January of 1985, and
became the manager, baker and half-day server until its final closing day.
She decided not to continue with drive-in curb service, with the last car
being served in May of 1984. Freeman continued the traditional,
well-guarded recipes for the secret Goody-Goody burger sauce and pies that
were handed down from original founder Ralph Stephens and his wife,
Amanda. With her son Doug at the griddle in the later years, Yvonne
took personal responsibility for baking all the pies and making the sauce
Carl Andrew Stayer, son of
William Bechtel Stayer, died on Aug. 8, 1990 in Havana, FL. He is buried in Woodland
Cemetery in Havana, FL. Carl was born Mar. 22, 1904 in Altoona, PA. He
attended Wooster College in Wooster, Ohio in the mid 1920s. Carl and
his wife Margaret had two children, Jan and Carol A. Stayer.
B. Stayer's only daughter, Elizabeth "Betty" Shires Stayer New
Margulis Hendryson, was born December 30,
1913. She was a national advocate for parents and children, noted
public speaker and medical librarian. She was elected president of
the National Congress of Parents and Teachers in 1967, was a delegate to
White House conferences on aging, children and youth and education and was
appointed in 1969 to the board of UNICEF. She was a children's librarian
and a medical librarian in New York City and in New Mexico, most recently
at the University of New Mexico from 1977 until her retirement. She was
voted New Mexico Librarian of the Year in 1980. She died on April
21, 2004 in San Francisco. Her children were Elizabeth New Weld Nolan of
San Francisco and Dr. Peter S. New of Punta Gorda, FL. Photo
courtesy of her niece, Glenda Stayer Wood
Goody-Goody was like stepping into the hamburger twilight zone. All the walls
were jam-packed with a pictorial history of Tampa. Photographs by local
photographers of the past, the Burgert Brothers and Robertson & Fresh,
post cards, old advertisements, and memorabilia, all took you back to a
time when Tampa was in its heyday and the beginnings of the drive-in
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 a Goody-Goody burger, fries, a
slice of Yvonne's homemade pie, or a delicious hand-dipped milkshake made
from real ice cream.
In the late 1990s to
early 2000s, business began to wane as development of the southern
downtown area drew the lunch crowd away from the Goody-Goody. The
building was in need of exterior repair, and the sign, with the neon
lighting long since inoperative, had become a rusted relic. The
south-facing awning, which faced the northward one-way traffic on Florida
Avenue, had become weathered and tired-looking. Around the spring of 2003,
Wheeler began to make repairs and renovations to the exterior.
Just as repairs had
begun, the Goody-Goody was spotted by the production executives or
director of Lions Gate Entertainment, who were in town scouting locations
for filming "The Punisher" in Tampa. They contacted Wheeler with a
proposal to use the diner for some scenes, and asked that he not make any
more improvements to the building. They wanted it to look as it did
for the filming.
The production company
made some interior changes, such as refinishing the service counter in
aluminum, as well as replacing the white window blinds with brown, wooden
ones, rearranging tables, switching out some of the aluminum dining room
chairs with wooden ones, and some other minor changes to the memorabilia
on the walls.
Screen capture from "The Punisher" 2005
Two scenes were filmed
at the Goody-Goody in the summer of 2003, during the height of the Tampa
thunderstorm season. In one scene, character Frank Castle (played by
Tom Jane) is confronted by Harry Heck (Mark Collie), the Memphis hit man
hired by Howard Saint (John Travolta.) After Heck tries to
intimidate Castle by singing him a song he says he wrote to sing at
Castle's funeral, Heck exits the Goody-Goody. In the scene that was
supposed to follow, Castle exits the Goody-Goody, gets in his car, and
tears out of the parking lot onto Florida Avenue. This parking lot
scene was cut from the final version of the movie.
By April of 2004,
Wheeler had completed the exterior improvements and the Goody-Goody
sported a fresh, new yellow paint job, new green shutters on the windows,
a revitalized south side awning with green and white stripes.
The old rusted sign was beautifully restored, almost identical to
its original condition, but without the neon tube lighting.
Floodlights were installed on the building to illuminate the sign at
Above, a rare view
of the north-facing side of the sign, at night.
south-facing side of the sign at night--the side that faced the
one-way northbound traffic
on Florida Avenue.
The End of an Era
Goody-Goody continued to
serve its devoted patrons in 2005, but the crowds of the 1940s to 1960s
glory years were long gone. In the meantime, the land value of the
downtown location had greatly increased, and offers were being received
for the property. Yvonne had reached a point where she was ready to
retire. In the fall of 2005, Mike Wheeler sold the property. The new owner
made the decision to raze the building, and provided notice to Yvonne.
last day of business was Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2005. The local press, along with hundreds of
devoted customers, former customers, and curiosity seekers flooded the
Goody-Goody every day in the last few weeks, wanting to savor the flavor
of that delicious Goody-Goody burger POX--pickles, onions, and special
sauce--one more time. (Yvonne had always scribbled "- POX" on her
waitress pad. The "-" stood for hamburger; "POX" stood for pickles, onions
and sauce. Yvonne never scribbled "POS" on her pad because the cook would
think that meant "pickles, onions and sugar.")
Later, a private
celebration for dozens of close friends, current and former Goody-Goody
employees, and family, to pay tribute to Yvonne for her hard work and
dedication through the years, for keeping the Goody-Goody open for so many
years, and for creating life-long memories for all her dedicated customers
and employees. Mike Wheeler presented her with flowers and a commemorative "Queen
of Hamburgers" plaque for forty eight years of Goody-Goody service.
Photo by TampaPix.com
at the celebration was special guest William Mote.
Mr. Mote was one of
the managers of the Goody-Goody during the Stayer years. His wife,
Lillian Rae, worked as a waitress there beginning in 1942. Mr. Mote
passed away on May 7, 2008 at age 82. Photo by TampaPix.com
In January of 2006,
demolition by CraftMar Construction and Development began on the humble
building at 1119 N. Florida Avenue, the location of the Goody-Goody for
the past 77 years. By April of that year, all traces of this Tampa
landmark were gone. But the memories still remain.
2007, Mike Wheeler licensed the Pine Grove Family Restaurant at 9399 N.
Florida Avenue in Tampa, owned by the Greek family of Greg Alexopoulos, to
serve the famous Goody-Goody hamburger with its signature Secret Sauce.
The Pine Grove was a spacious friendly neighborhood gathering place
located north of Busch Blvd. and south of Linebaugh for about 15 years at
Mike had often eaten
lunch at the Pine Grove and liked the family ownership. At the time, the
Alexopouloses owned three restaurants, the others being in Pinellas Park
and Ruskin. Mike convinced Greg that the recipe would attract
long-neglected Secret Sauce aficionados.
contract with the Alexopoulos family stipulated that any information about
the Secret Sauce recipe and its preparation was to forever remain secret.
As long as the contract was in effect, Wheeler would provide certain
secret ingredients in pre-mixed containers, the contents of which would be
known only to himself; the restaurant would provide the remaining ingredients.
The hamburger had to be its traditional precooked
weight and size, served on a 4-inch bun with 3 pickle slices and raw
onions chopped in chunks, not too finely. Yvonne Freeman personally
instructed Greg on cooking the sauce and grilling the hamburgers, and
supervised his first batch, along with the first five test patties.
When the sign outside
proclaimed the return of the Original Goody-Goody hamburger, Mike
stopped in for lunch. The place was mobbed with customers.
Gregg's mother, Theoni, took over management of the restaurant and the
name was changed to Forest Hills Diner. After over 20 years of
ownership by the Alexopolous family, the restaurant recently closed.
William L. Reid
William Lawrence Reid was born April, 1889, probably in Preble
County, near Eaton, Ohio. His parents were Adison and Jenna
Reid, who lived in the Jefferson Township, near Eaton, Ohio in 1900.
William had an older brother named Everett Orlando Reid and an older
sister named Ogolda Edith Reid.
Some time between 1910 and 1915, William Reid married Jessie L.
Weaver, a daughter of Eaton resident blacksmith Lewis Weaver and his
wife Abbie Weaver. Jessie had a brother named Lewis and a
sister named Gertrude.
1900, the Reids lived no more than several miles from the Stephens
family of Jefferson Township, and the Weavers lived even closer to
the Stephenses, so the families may have all known each other.
1920, William and Jessie Reid lived in Dayton, where at times
William worked as a clerk,
paymaster, bookkeeper for the Ohio Rake Co., and accountant in
Dayton, Ohio. Some time in 1925, the Reids moved to Tampa.
William Reid's 1920 census in Dayton
shows he was a bookkeeper at a rake company and his
father-in-law, Louis Weaver, was living in their home.
The Reid's Goody Goodys,
Ohio and California
In 1927, back in Dayton, Reid
opened a lunch room at 3521 W. 3rd St., with his wife Jessie operating the
restaurant. They implemented a menu and recipes brought with them
from Tampa, including the signature secret hamburger sauce and highly
popular butterscotch pie.
1928 Dayton city directory
After William Reid's death in 1935, his wife
Jessie became owner and operator.
1936 Dayton city directory shows Jessie
widowed, her restaurant on W. 3rd, her home on Greenmount Blvd., and son
Robert residing at the same address.
In 1939, Jessie Reid's
lunch room was named Goody Goody Sandwiches and Jessie opened
another location at 2841 Salem Ave. in Dayton. It was a large,
Tudor-style building with a large dining room that served about 140, with
drive-in service and car hops. Both locations were open in 1940, but the
W. 3rd St. location was soon closed.
and Jessie's son, Robert W. Reid, who previously was a business machines
salesman, joined the Dayton family business around 1939.
Along with his wife, Mary,
Bob managed and later owned the
Goody Goody in Dayton.
Around 1947, 52-year-old
Jessie Reid married John H. Bischoff, a former waiter at the Dayton Goody
Goody. They went to Santa Monica, CA where Jessie opened a Goody
3025 Wilshire Blvd., between Berkeley St. and Stanford St., again featuring the
signature secret hamburger sauce and popular butterscotch pie.
1952 Santa Monica City Directory
For over a year,
from 1949 to 1950, the Santa Monica Goody Goody was picketed on
orders from labor union leaders for refusing to contract with them to put its employees into the union or discharge them.
During the period of the picketing, two stench bombs were hurled
into the Goody Goody, and two plate glass windows had been smashed. During
this time, Jessie had to hire security guards to watch the place
during closing hours.
1950 Los Angeles Times
bulletin that had been posted in the Los Angeles police department
that read, "No officer of this bureau (Traffic) will take city
equipment into the Goody Goody restaurant which is being picketed"
was removed and replaced by a differently-worded one. Police
Chief Joseph McClelland said the notice was intended to "stop the
congregating at the drive-in of numbers of police cars and
motorcycles" and not intended to stop watchfulness at the place.
He also said no ban was intended against officers going into the
place if they do not park their conveyances inside the picket line.
campaign led to dissention within the labor union because the 2,800 members were required to pay $1
to finance the picket, but very few were hired to do the picketing.
A number of members then circulated a petition to the national
headquarters to have the finances of their Local 814 examined.
Circa late 1940s Goody Goody
matchbook advertising the 2841 Salem Avenue location in Dayton and
the 3025 Wilshire Blvd. location in Santa Monica.
In July of 1953,
Jessie Reid leased the Santa Monica Goody Goody to Valley Restaurants,
Inc. In Dec. of 1954, she filed a
lawsuit against Valley Restaurants alleging a violation of the terms
of their lease. Valley filed a cross-claim to recover attorney fees.
Reid voluntarily dismissed her complaint during the trial, but the battle
over whether Reid should pay Valley's legal fees lasted until 1957 when
the court ruled against Valley's cross-claim.
In 1954, Edward G
Thrasher, Jr. is listed as the Goody Goody owner. It is not known if
Valley Restaurants, Inc. was Thrasher's corporation, or even if he was the
party that Valley Restaurants subleased to. Over the years, Thrasher
owned and operated such landmark Southland coffee shops as Fat Eddie's,
Stops, the Blue Dolphin, Googie's and Pam Pam East in San Francisco.
1954 Santa Monica City Directory
Dinner houses Thrasher started included the Black Knight in Costa
Mesa, Churchill's in Glendale, Rosebud's in San Francisco and Clementine's
in Beverly Hills. He also helped build the Hyatt House at Los Angeles
International Airport, restaurants in Chicago and refurbished the old
Fielding Hotel in San Francisco. Thrasher died in La Quinta, CA on April
28, 1989 of heart failure.
Her marriage to Bischoff having ended, Jessie headed back to Dayton
where she continued to own the Dayton Goody Goody into the late
1950s. John Bischoff went to Columbus, OH, where he remarried
in 1955 and managed a restaurant named the Explorers.
1964 Dayton school
11, 1968 -
Los Angeles Times
In 1968, Goody-Goody
came full circle when Bob Stephens, son of the Goody-Goody founder Ralph
Stephens, took over operations of the Santa Monica Goody-Goody. (LA
the early 1970s, Bob Reid sold the Dayton Goody-Goody to former Variety
Ludwig "Ralph" Koch, who operated it until 1977 when it was
destroyed by a fire while he was on vacation.
Robert and Mary Reid died in their 90s, within 8 days of each other
in December 2005. In 2006, the Dayton Foundation named a fund
after them, to honor their memory as the Dayton Goody Goody owners,
and to celebrate their marriage that spanned 70 years. The
fund aids numerous charitable organizations, including the Dayton
Ralph Stephens after Tampa
Back in Oklahoma
City, Stephens and his
wife then founded the Dolores Restaurant at 33 NE 23rd on April 15,
1930. It was named for their 8-year-old daughter.
The Stephens family on the 1930
census of Oklahoma City; they lived at 2523 N. Robinson Street.
Ralph was the proprietor of a sandwich shop.
The Dolores proved
successful from the outset. "The Depression hadn’t hit Oklahoma yet and
the first year our volume was $52,000,” Stephens said. “We never closed
our doors when the Depression hit, but we were selling hamburgers and
malts for a dime each day to stay open." For more than 40 years it was a
popular family eating place. The Dolores became known for its
delicious barbecue, hamburgers with "come back" sauce, and fine
pastries such as Black Bottom Pie, made by Mrs. Stephens. It was
also a job for their son, Bob Stephens, who was a car hop there in the
The Stephenses continued
to add their own touches, such as inventing “Su-Z-Q potatoes” (curly
French fries) in
1938. They wowed customers with their Black-Bottom Pie and salad
dressings. Stephens also continued the idea of drive-in service,
establishing parking stalls behind the restaurant, which at the time was
located along the heavily-traveled Route 66.
and Amanda's son, Vince, attended the University of Oklahoma in 1936
and 1937 where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
Photos from Univ. of Oklahoma
the 1940s, Dolores was becoming a top pick for Route 66 guidebooks. Duncan
Hines recommended the restaurant in his 1941 book “Adventures in Good
Cooking,” saying “I enjoy eating here, especially their steaks and Su-Z-Q
potatoes and barbequed ribs. They have the best biscuits I have found
anywhere in America...Their menu provides a variety of good salads and
other things, and I hope you are fortunate enough to find Mr. and Mrs.
Ralph Stephens there, so you may meet them personally.”
In 1945, Ralph and Amanda Stephens moved to California and opened a
Dolores Drive-In at 8801 Sunset Blvd. on the "Sunset Strip" in Hollywood,
using family specialties such as Suzi-Q potatoes (curly French fries), and hot deep dish fruit
pies. There were many drive-in restaurants in Los Angeles during the mid
1940's and Dolores fit right in. Stephens’ brother-in-law, Bob Ogle,
became manager of the Dolores in Oklahoma City.
Stephens followed up by opening three more restaurants. In 1946, he bought
a tacky wood structure dating from 1931, in the middle of a parking lot at
8531 Wilshire Blvd., half a block from
"Restaurant Row" on La Cienega Blvd. in Beverly Hills.
After remodeling it, he opened his 2nd Dolores Restaurant in California
In 1946, Ralph
Stephens' son Robert and his wife Lucille moved to Los Angeles to help
Ralph manage the Dolores Restaurant on Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills. The restaurant was a hit with the locals
in the 40's and 50's with its carhops, Su-Z-Q French fries, and Jumbo Jim
Burgers with Z Sauce, and became a staple in the community for the next
Menu from eBay
Pages from a circa 1949 Oklahoma City
Dolores menu show the Hollywood and Beverly Hills locations and the one in
Oklahoma City. A notice at the top of the right side page states:
"CONTRARY TO MANY RUMORS, this place is still owned and supervised by its
originators, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph A. Stephens and managed by Robt. A. Ogle.
Click each page to view larger.
In 1972 they offered hamburgers
made-to-order, but the standard burger had pickles and the special Dolores
sauce. Pies were still handmade, and the chili was still an old
favorite. Burgers were 85c to $1.25, pie was 45c to 60c, and chili
Ralph Stephens turned ownership of Dolores over to his son Bob. Meanwhile,
Ralph's second son, Vince, was building up a legend of his own back
in Oklahoma City with the "Split-T Charcoal Broiler" at 56th and
N. Western Avenue in Oklahoma City.
Vince Stephens opened the Split-T Charcoal Broiler in 1953 at 5701 N.
Western Ave. with David "Johnnie" Haynes as the manager until 1971.
named it for University of Oklahoma football coach Bud Wilkinson's
successful offensive formation with three running backs lined up behind
the quarterback, and a single receiver that split away from the end of the
line of scrimmage. A friend suggested that Vince split a "T" across
the front doors.
With its football-themed
decor, scattered OU paraphenalia on the walls, and red and white checked
table cloths, Split-T was THE hang out for every high schooler of every
generation from 1950 to the millenium. It was the place where a lot of
people had their their first kiss, their first beer, etc.
Using his mother's recipes for Caesar, hickory and
thousand island sauces on his hamburgers, Vince's Split-T, home of the "Theta
Burger" and the T-Bar, became a highly popular hangout for teens in the
1950s and an institution in Oklahoma City for nearly 50 years.
The Theta Burger was
named when members of the sorority started asking to have mayo added to
their No. 1 burgers. Eventually, someone taking the order started noting
“theta” on the ticket so the kitchen would know what to do.
In 1994, Split-T closed
for a few months due to bankruptcy. The same year, former football
players from Texas Tech and Northwestern Oklahoma State, Brad Vincent and
Chad O'Neal, revived the Split-T.
Brad and Chad first
had to convince founder Vince Stephens to reveal the recipe of the hickory
sauce for which the Split-T became famous. They said Stephens never
gave anyone the full recipe until he gave it to them and Stephens went to
great lengths to make sure he was the only one who made the final mix.
Brad & Chad still own the recipe to that hickory sauce, which graced the
No. 1, a hickory burger, and the Theta.
Except for the few
months in 1994, the Split-T was in constant operation until it closed
Sept. 15. 2000. The building was demolished in late Nov. 2001.
a Sonic drive-in occupies the same intersection and tries to keep the
memory of the Split-T alive. Sonic tried to keep the Split-T Burger
on the menu, but T-fans said it was nowhere near as good as the original.
To add to T-fans wounds, a shopping center called the Split-T Center was
built on the former restaurant site.
In the early 1960s, the
building which housed the Dolores Drive-In on Sunset Blvd. in
Hollywood was demolished and replaced by a 900-square-foot concrete and
glass building that served as the showcase (a unique concept at the time)
apartment for the luxury, high-rise Shoreham Towers apartment building
that was built a half a block up Horn Avenue.
After Shoreham Towers
was completed in 1964, Earl “Madman” Muntz, later known for his wild
advertising tactics, took over the showcase building on Sunset & Holloway.
Muntz’s car stereo
installation center closed in 1970 and the building, which previously
served as a showcase apartment building, was demolished. In its place, a
new 8,660 square foot building was built with Tower Records as its tenant
and according to the 1974 Guinness Book of World Records, was the largest
record store in the world.
In 1968, the Stephens
family went back to their roots when Bob Stephens took over operation of
Bob Reid's former Santa Monica Goody-Goody Drive-In. (LA Times,
11-5-1970) Their fathers were co-owners of the first Goody-Goody
Barbecue in Tampa in 1925-26.
Around 1970, the Dolores
on Wilshire in Beverly Hills was bought by 43-year-old
Dean Williams from Great Neck, NY. Williams added a terrace
overlooking the neighboring gas station and coffee shop with faux
stained glass windows. The restaurant grossed 900k a year mainly
from Dolores burgers, Jumbo Jims (double burgers) and Su-Z-Q fries.
Under a local sign ordinance, Williams was forced to remove the pointed
tower atop the building which had pink neon lights blinking "Dolores"
until its 2am closing time.
In Feb. of
1981, after 35 years of delicious service, Williams, the Beverly Hills
Dolores owner for the
past 10 years, lost a six-month eviction notice battle with the land owners,
Don Levin and the Mardon Investment Company, who had owned the land since
1979. They planned to build a three-story building in its place.
Williams obtained over 50,000 signatures on a petition to save the
building, including those of Independent party presidential candidate,
Rep. John Anderson, and many celebrities, including Sally Struthers,
Ricardo Montalban, Shelly Winters and Chuck Barris but was unable to have the Dolores preserved as a historic landmark
because the site was “not of sufficient archeological or cultural
significance,” according to the Beverly Hills Architectural Commission.
(Today, it would be recognized for its Googie architecture, a truly
Southern California style.) The architecture has been immortalized in
such films as "Sunset Boulevard", "Mildred Pierce", and "The Big Fix."
In a scene from "The Big Fix" when Richard Dreyfuss is driving around in
his Volkswagen he goes past the Dolores Drive-In at Le Doux Road and
Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills.
When Dolores Drive-In
Restaurant closed its doors in 1981, Williams promised to bring it back to
life sometime in the future. He wanted to move the building to a site
about a half mile away to the corner of Olympic Blvd. and La Peer Drive in
south Beverly Hills. Nostalgic patrons were thrilled at the news.
Co-owner Izzy Freeman planned to open it in late Sep, 1987 with no more
than seven cars permitted in the drive-in area at a time and waitresses
wearing tennis shoes, not roller skates. Income from drive-in customers
was needed to make up for seats that would be lost to a bakery inside.
Dolores was to have 66 seats. The interior was to replicate the old
Dolores Drive-In, even down to baking "the same old muffins and
cakes--everything the way it was."
Neighbors near the proposed site
opposed it. They
feared that the drive-in would generate traffic and parking problems and
would attract boisterous teen-agers with blaring car stereos and that the
parking lot would be used as a meeting place for drug dealers and addicts. Armed with 325 signatures from residents opposed to the drive-in,
Concerned Residents of Southeast Beverly Hills, a neighborhood group, persuaded the Beverly Hills City Council
in July 1987 to adopt a temporary
ordinance that would make it difficult for businesses to get approval for
drive-ins. Mayor Benjamin H. Stansbury Jr. said "We don't think the
outdoor drive-in type activity is appropriate for the neighborhood, I
don't think it is going to be allowed." Apparently, it wasn't.
The last of the remaining Dolores Restaurants
was the one opened in 1970 at 11407 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Los Angeles. In 2008,
Restaurant was put under new management, with new owner, Kourosh Izadpanahi, bringing
"a new take to this classic
Ralph Stephens celebrating his 90th birthday in Oklahoma City, with
his daughter Dolores Boyle, and sons Robert and Vince. 1982
RetroMetro Oklahoma City
After living in
California for around 9 years, Ralph and Amanda Stephens returned to Oklahoma
City around 1955 and took personal charge of the Dolores in Oklahoma
A year later he sold the OK City Dolores
Restaurant to a group of investors. In
January of1966 Amanda Stephens died. Ralph
Stephens quickly remarried, and in 1968 he bought The Pub at
6418 N Western.
closed the Dolores in Oklahoma City for good in 1974. After eight
years of standing vacant, The Catering Co. announced plans to reopen
the restaurant, but if it did reopen (there is no further record of
the restaurant), the venture was short-lived. The building was razed
a few years later.
Amanda Ellen Ogle
Stephens was born June 2, 1890 in Hannibal, Missouri and died at her home in Oklahoma City
on Jan. 11, 1966. She was survived by her husband, sons and
daughter, and five brothers.
Ralph Augustus Stephens
was born October 17, 1892 in Eaton, Ohio and died Nov. 18, 1983 in
Santa Monica, California. He was a son of Eaton, Ohio grocer
Henry King Stephens and his wife Sarah J. Fraley Stephens; both were Illinois
natives. He had an older brother named Grover H. and older
sister named Nellie. Survivors included his daughter, Mrs.
(Dolores Stephens) Boyle, and two sons, Vincent Stephens, Oklahoma
City, and Robert Stephens of Santa Monica, California, five
grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Robert Emery "Bob"
Stephens passed away on May 7, 2003. He was born in Chicago, IL on
December 4, 1915 to Ralph and Amanda Stephens. He graduated from
Georgia Military Academy and the University of Oklahoma School of
Engineering. He worked at his parent's Oklahoma City Dolores
Restaurant during his early years. He married Lucille Utley of
Pryor, OK in 1939. After serving as a Captain during World War II,
he moved his family to Los Angeles, CA to run the Dolores restaurant
in Beverly Hills. His wife, Lucille, passed away in 1987. He
returned to Oklahoma City in 1989 to marry Mary Frances Baraglia and
spent the last 13 years with her. Bob was survived by two daughters
and sons-in-law; Ann and Des Wassell of Alexandria, VA, and Margie
and John Chestnut of Vancouver, B.C; three grandsons, Steve Wassell
of Charlottesville, VA, Chris Chestnut and his wife Nicole of
Dallas, TX, and Robert Chestnut of Denton, TX; a brother, Vincent
Stephens and his wife Donnelle of Oklahoma City, and a sister,
Dolores Boyle of Oklahoma City.
Stephens passed away Sat. Nov 15, 2003. Vince was born in Oklahoma
City on Jan. 24, 1917. He attended Classen High School, the Georgia
Military Academy, and was an SAE at Oklahoma University where he was
also a "Roughneck". Vince served in the US Air Force
during WWII as a flight instructor. Vince opened the Split "T"
Charcoal Broiler in 1953 and operated it for 50 years. He was a 32nd Degree Scottish
Rite Mason, a Shriner, and a Jester. He was also a member of
Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club where he played golf, tennis, and
gin rummy. Vince was survived by his wife Donelle, sister Dolores
Boyle, a son Vincent Jr. and his wife Pattie, a stepdaughter Debbie
Hazen, and a stepson Mark Roberts. He is also survived by 7
grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren, and 4 nieces.
Boyle passed away on Aug. 25, 2011, in Norman, OK after a brief
illness. She was born in Oklahoma City on Dec. 14, 1921, to
Ralph and Amanda Stephens. She attended Classen High School,
Fairmont College in Washington D.C. and the University of Oklahoma,
where she pursued a degree in Home Economics. Dolores said she
could take no credit but for the name of the restaurant her parents
founded and felt fortunate to have the establishment named for her.
Several months after WWII ended, she married J. Philip Boyle, Jr. on
Dec. 19, 1945. They were happily married for 52 years prior to his
death in 1998. She enjoyed volunteering for many organizations,
including the Junior League of Oklahoma City, St. George's Guild at
St. Paul's Cathedral, All Souls Episcopal Church and the Museum
Store at the Omniplex. Dolores has told friends and family
repeatedly to let all know, "I had a very happy life." Dolores
was also preceded in death by her brothers, Bob and Vincent
20, 2014 - Richard Gonzmart of the Columbia Restaurant to Resurrect
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
Gonzmart has turned to old friend and Tampa native Marc Zudar to run
Goody Goody, the local hamburger restaurant Gonzmart resuscitated last
year. Zudar's title will be operating partner.
"A lot of people, including me, remember the Goody Goody with fondness,"
Zudar said. "I look forward to helping restart this iconic brand and
bringing it back to life."
Zudar and his wife Didi took over Zudar's Original Deli and Catering in
1980 and ran the Tampa institution until selling it in 2009. Following
that, he was part of the ownership group that launched the World of Beer
in South Tampa.
Photo courtesy of
Tampa Bay Business Journal
"Marc and I go way back," Gonzmart
said. "I've known him since we played Little League baseball at Ed
Wright Field on Davis Islands. And like many others, I used to love to
eat at Zudar's. Marc has a reputation for great breakfasts, sandwiches,
pies and overall quality as well as an attention to detail and customer
service. He's the perfect choice to help me achieve this dream of
reopening the Goody Goody for breakfast, lunch and dinner and recreating
the famous Goody Goody hamburgers."
Gonzmart acquired the Goody Goody brand— which dates back to the 1920s
in Tampa — in October from longtime owner Mike Wheeler. The restaurant,
located on the fringes of downtown, closed in 2005, and Gonzmart has
been crafting a strategy to bring a much-loved local brand into the 21st
Gonzmart, Zudar and the rest of the team have yet to announce a
location, but their plan is to have multiple units.
Marc Zudar has been inundated with
congratulatory texts, phone calls, emails and handshakes since being
announced operating partner of Goody Goody on Thursday.
The decades-old Tampa burger brand, which Richard Gonzmart acquired last
year and plans to reopen in 2015, causes nostalgic stirrings all over
And Zudar — a 1972 graduate of Plant High School who ran another Tampa
institution, Zudar's Deli, for nearly 30 years — only adds to Goody
Goody's hometown bona fides.
"I think when we open it's almost going to be the world's largest
reunion party," Zudar said, sitting on a couch in Oxford Exchange.
And therein lies a presumed advantage as Goody Goody prepares to enter a
crowded and growing restaurant category known as "better burger," which
includes BurgerFi, Burger 21, Burger Monger, Culver's and others.
"Goody Goody is more than a hamburger," Zudar said. "It's a breakfast,
lunch, dinner experience. We'll have the local tradition, the family
aspect. I look at it more like we're bringing back a diner experience."
As it turns out, Gonzmart, a year older than his new hire, had his
sights set on Zudar for several years. The two grew up on Davis Islands
and were acquainted, played baseball against each other.
"When I started planning to buy Goody Goody 10 years ago, I had Marc in
mind," Gonzmart said. "He has a great family and has been in the
restaurant business for years. I liked the way he operated. He loves
breakfast, like me. I figured, 'What better way to do it than partner up
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.
Zudar and his wife Didi worked
alongside each other after taking over the family business, Zudar's
Deli, in 1980. "It was a consistently successful restaurant," Marc said.
The couple sold the concept in 2008. In early 2010, Marc opened a
Mexican-themed restaurant/bar called Mateo's on Howard Avenue.
Then World of Beer came calling, hungry for space in SoHo. Zudar became
a founding partner of the WoB at the Mateo's location — it opened in
late 2010. The unit became immensely popular. That partnership group
sold their store to WoB corporate in October 2013.
Zudar had no knowledge of Gonzmart's master plan to bring him on board.
The two bumped into each other in October at Gonzmart's Ulele restaurant
— just before he closed the Goody Goody deal.
That led to a round of discussions, a lag in discussions, further
discussions and finally an agreement. Zudar started Feb. 27. "I
know that I deliver on the same things that drive Richard Gonzmart,"
Zudar said. "We're very much the same in our traditional values, staying
true to the business, no shortcuts."
Goody Goody is close to finalizing a location (which the operators won't
reveal) and has begun developing the concept, emphasizing tradition
while understanding that in 2015 hewing to the old model will not work.
"When Richard and I were in discussions, he looked at me and said, 'Y'know
Marc, if we do this together we're gonna have some fun."
Amid all the hubbub and hoozahs, Zudar texted Gonzmart on Thursday
night, thanking his new boss/partner for the opportunity, and
concluding, "Let's go have fun."
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
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."
— 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."
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
of these restaurants shared a common thread. Even today, former Goody-Goody and Dolores patrons in several cities share their memories of
the good times there, the unique hamburger sauce, and the delicious
homemade pies (in particular, Yvonne Freeman's butterscotch pie of
Tampa's Goody Goody and the "Black Bottom" pie of Dolores
Restaurant.) According to Yvonne Freeman and Mike Wheeler(the last
of the Goody Goody proprietors/owners in Tampa), the recipes have not
been changed since the time they were passed to them by the Stayers,
who got them from the Stephenses.
Jan. 19, 1928 ad is proof that the Stephenses brought the
"Come-Back" sauce to Tampa and was in use here before its use at
Dolores' Restaurant in Oklahoma City.
See Goody Old Days at TampaPix
by this ad that the sauce recipe was brought to Tampa in 1925
by Ralph and Amanda Stephens, considering their restaurant business
background. Amanda's reputation as an excellent baker points to her
as the likely source of the pie recipes. Ultimately, the sauce
originated as the "secret weapon" Come Back sauce
recipe they obtained from a barbecue stand in Quincy, Illinois in the
early 1920s before coming to Tampa. Ralph Stephens' short-lived job
with the Dallas "pig stand" before opening his Goody Goody in Hannibal
in 1925 may also have played a role in developing the sauce recipe.
Amanda Stephens had a history of creating delicious salad dressings
and sauces for Dolores and the Split-T, which could be an indication
that she had a hand in creating the final recipe that would become the
legendary Goody Goody hamburger sauce.
The Dec. 4, 1927
ad at right is evidence that Amanda Stephens was the originator of the
famous pie recipes--"Have you ever tasted Mrs. Goody Goody's pies?"
that Stephens and Reid knew each other long before they came to Tampa,
though they took different routes here.
Each spent their childhood and early adult years in Preble County,
Ohio, in and near Eaton, Ohio where they lived with their parents. Judging by
William Reid's accounting background before his short time in Tampa
(1926), and his restaurant endeavors after Tampa, it appears that he
found something in Tampa that he thought would work in Dayton--and was
convinced enough to change his livelihood. Taking into consideration
Stephens' financial record before Tampa, Reid may have even been the
"money man" behind the Tampa Goody Goody operation, helping Stephens
get started by financing his operation, but this is only speculation.
Whether or not Stephens had an agreement with
William Reid before Reid left for Dayton will probably forever remain
Though William Reid was back in Dayton
by 1927, it wasn't until 1939, four years after William Reid's death,
that the Reid's lunchroom was advertised in city directories as "Goody
Goody", owned by William's widow, Jessie Reid. Before that, it was listed
only as a "lunch room" owned by William Reid. It will also probably forever remain to be known if the Reids used the same sauce and pie recipes from Tampa in Dayton, or
"tweaked" them for their own use. But there is no doubt they became a
hit with the Dayton community, as evidenced by the long-lasting
memories they produced.
At Tampa's Goody-Goody in the later
years, it was simply
known as "Secret Sauce". With the Dolores Restaurant, it was known as
"Come Back" or "Kum-Bac" sauce. In California, it was known as the
"Z-sauce" on the JJ (Jumbo Jim) burger. In Tampa, the recipe for the
sauce remained a closely-guarded secret through all its years of
operation, true to the Stephens' original recipe, even up until the Goody
Goody's closing day in Nov. 2005 (and even afterward with the
franchising of the hamburger to the Pine Grove family restaurant,
which received the key secret ingredients in pre-mixed batches from
Goody Goody proprietary owner Mike Wheeler.)
Yvonne Freeman, 2005
Image is for
illustrative purposes only, the sauce is not for sale.
There are numerous postings on the
Internet that claim they have the Goody-Goody secret sauce recipe. Some recipes have
been shared by relatives or friends of the Reid family, others are
attempts to reproduce the sauce recipe from taste. Only two people
currently really know the composition of the original Stephens recipe,
and the cooking instructions: Mike
Wheeler and Yvonne Freeman, and they’re not telling! Like Coca-Cola
and other businesses that depend on the secrecy of their recipes, the
owners of Goody-Goody in Tampa have continued to maintain the secrecy
of their proprietary recipes, on the possibility that the restaurant
might at some point be reopened at a new location. Any recipes
found on the Internet, claiming to be the secret sauce recipe used at
Tampa's Goody-Goody are dubious at best.
If you have Goody
Goody or Dolores memorabilia you'd like to contribute for use here, or reputable
information concerning their histories, see the
TampaPix Story for
Information about the parents of Ralph Stephens, William Reid and Jessie
Weaver Reid are conclusions based on census records.
Ralph Stephens was born in Eaton, Ohio, and was in Eaton with his
parents, Henry and Sarah Stephens on the 1900 census living in Preble
County, the Washington Township, in Eaton Town, Ohio. Ralph was 7.
Henry was a grocer. Ralph's birth month and year, Oct. 1892, are
consistent with his known birth date of Oct. 17, 1892.
1900 census, Washington Township, Preble Co., Ohio
In 1900, William Reid's future wife, Jessie L. Weaver, was also living
in Preble County, Washington Township, Eaton Town, Ohio, with her
widowed father Lewis S. Weaver, and her sister, Gertie. All three
were living in the home of her brother, Lewis W. Weaver and his wife
and kids. Jessie was 10. Lewis was a blacksmith.
1900 Census, Preble Co., Washington Township, Eaton, Ohio
In 1910, Lewis Weaver was living in his own home in
Eaton, Ohio, with only his daughters Gertrude and Jessie L.
1910 Census, Preble Co., Eaton, Ohio
Reid's 1900 census shows he was born April 1889 and lists his parents,
brother and sister
Preble County, Jefferson Township, Ohio. William's father was a
farmer and had been married for 16 years.
Reid's 1910 census shows his family had moved just across the Ohio
state line into Richmond Ward, Wayne Co., Indiana. It shows that
William's parents Adison and Jenna had been married for 26 years.
Eaton is about 10 miles from Jefferson Township in Preble County,
Ohio. Due to the proximity of the Stephens family to the Reid
family in the 1890s to 1910s, it's likely that Ralph Stephens knew
William Reid way before they partnered in Tampa at the Goody Goody in
The marriage of Jessie Reid to John
H. Bischoff is based on the following:
John H. Bischoff was a lodger living in the home of widowed Jessie L.
Reid on the 1940 census in Oakwood, Dayton, Ohio.
The 1940 census appears to have a line drawn through Jessie's marital
status of "M". William Reid died around 1935.
John Bischoff's 1940 city directory
listing shows he lived at 305 Fauver, same address as Jesssie Reid,
and he worked at Goody Goody.
Jessie is listed as
Jessie L. Bischoff in Santa Monica, as the owner of Goody Goody on
Wilshire, in 1952.
The obituary of
Katharyn Coffman Bischoff says that in 1955, Katharyn married John Henry
"Jack" Bischoff, a restaurateur who had recently moved from California
to manage the new Explorers Restaurant in Columbus, Ohio.