In Seattle, Franz Gilbertson opened a neighborhood bakery around the corner from his home, serving flaky croissants and sweet-and-salty kouign amann pastries. Now a Kingfield resident, Gilbertson is ready to open another neighborhood spot around the corner. This time it’s a tavern-style pizza place.
Called Good Times, the restaurant will offer simple pies with classic ingredient combinations and a few salads. It will serve beer and wine and scoops of about six crowd-pleaser ice cream flavors.
“The overall vibe we want is nostalgic,” Gilbertson said. “Sort of timeless, really casual.”
Personal pizzas will come with a thin and crispy crust. Toppings will cover the pizza edge-to-edge so a caramelized cheese cooks against the pan. It reminds Gilbertson of his ham and cheese croissants in Seattle, where bakers would grab the extra melted gruyere as it came out of the oven. He operated the Honoré Artisan Bakery for 10 years, selling the business to become what is now Rosellini’s.
“We’ll focus on a small thing and making and executing it really well,” he said.
The restaurant will stand in part of the former Peter Pan Dry Cleaners space at 322 W. 38th St. The counter-service venue will hold less than 30 seats, with a few bar seats and tables and a drink rail along the window. Sidewalk seating may come in the future.
Gilbertson will bring in a popcorn machine, a CD jukebox and arcade-style video games stocked with Frogger and Pac-Man.
The dimly-lit spot will be suitable for families or date nights, he said.
“It will be a fun hangout place, someplace I would want to go and hang out,” he said.
In the 80s, Gilbertson’s uncles owned the former Campus Pizza on Washington Avenue near the University of Minnesota campus. His uncles gave him sacks of quarters to play video games while his dad helped with the build-out. This time around, Gilbertson’s nine-year-old was paid a penny for every nail pulled out of the floor, and earned a full dollar.
Good Times is slated to open this fall, with a target opening date in late September.
Good Times is on Instagram @goodtimes_mpls.