Good Times ahead: Beleaguered pizza shop to open

Good Times Pizza
After months of delays and hardships, owner Franz Gilbertson is preparing to open Good Times Pizza at 38th & Grand this month. Photo by Andrew Hazzard

After months of vandalism, frustration and setbacks, the good times are on the horizon for a Kingfield pizzeria.

Good Times Pizza will open at 38th & Grand this month, according to owner Franz Gilbertson.

It’s been a long and bumpy road. The property at 322 W. 38th St. was vandalized multiple times in 2019, a pattern that occurred at several properties owned by landlord Tyler Avestini. The broken windows stopped about six months ago, Gilbertson said. But that wasn’t the only issue for Good Times. Gilbertson had issues with a contractor he hired to update the building and had to part ways after it wasn’t fulfilling obligations. The process became an exercise in perseverance, he said.

“We had to stop and consider, at least a couple times, ‘Do we stay with this?’” Gilbertson said.

But he didn’t give up, and now he’s putting the finishing touches on the building and training in staff.

A Minneapolis native, Gilbertson moved back to Minnesota after many years in Seattle. On the West Coast, he worked in kitchens, became a pastry chef and ran his own bakery for a decade. When he was growing up, his uncles ran a pizzeria in Dinkytown and he had fond memories of hanging out at their restaurant.

At Good Times, Gilbertson will focus on 10-inch, tavern-style pizzas good for individual consumption or sharing. Many of the pies will have classic ingredient combinations, but he’s going to get a little funky with it, too, like with the pepperoni and pickle pizza.

“It’s a departure for me, but it’s familiar because it’s centered around an oven,” Gilbertson said.

Good Times will also be serving salads and Izzy’s ice cream for dessert.

He plans on having local craft beer on tap, as well as some major domestic beers and some throwbacks like Old Style. A small-but-high-quality wine list will be available as well, including a sparkling wine on tap.

Gilbertson wants Good Times to have an old-school vibe. There’s a jukebox from the 1980s and an antique Old Style beer lamp. A Pac-Man head-to-head arcade gaming table stocked with classic games sits in a corner.

“The more dive bar clutter I can get in here the better,” he said.

Gilbertson lives near his shop in Kingfield and said he loves the neighborhood and the 38th & Grand corner. He’s excited to finally open his own shop there.

“I’m just looking forward to getting this thing in motion,” Gilbertson said.

Good Times Pizza 

322 W. 38th St.