Local man wants to take over Colonnade

Posted at 5:46 PM, Apr 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-08 18:36:18-04

A local restaurant extraordinaire has reached out to the owners of the Colonnade Restaurant in hopes of buying the rights to continue the business. 

Richard Gonzmart, owner of the Columbia Restaurant, that started in Ybor City, wants to keep the tradition alive.

"So many people think the memories are gone, but as long as you keep it in your mind," said Gonzmart. 

On Wednesday, Ascentia Development Group and Batson-Cook Development Company bought the Colonnade Restaurant to redevelop the waterfront site. 

Gonzmart, a man of family values and traditions says he doesn't want to lose the history of a long-standing business like the Colonnade.

"I hope they'll consider our family giving me that opportunity to just be the caretaker."

Gonzmart recently did a similar purchase when he bought Goody Goody. He's bringing back the memories in a new location with an original sign on Swann Avenue later this summer. 

"You know the brand Goody Goody, that I was resurrecting. It took me 10 years to acquire the name, the rights, the recipes, etc.," he said. 

The Whiteside family owned the Colonnade dating back to 1935 when Dr. Richard and Lois Whiteside opened the restaurant. The business was a popular hangout that was known for its fresh fish. 

Gonzmart said the Whiteside family did not react to the offer, as of now, they're just finishing closing the business.