A year and a half after a fire destroyed Goff's Hamburgers on Hillcrest Avenue, the shop has reopened in the same neighborhood, but not in the same building.
"We've got a very loyal Park Cities client base, and SMU's been a great partner with us for the last 10 years," says owner Jim Francis. Goff's has moved less than a mile away, to Mockingbird Lane and Central Expressway, in the same shopping center as the SMU Barnes and Noble.
Goff's was abruptly shuttered in August 2016, when, on the hottest day of the year at that point, a three-alarm fire broke out during lunchtime. At the time, former owner Harvey Gough (pronounced "Goff") "watched the fire burn the eatery to the ground Friday," we wrote in a 2016 Dallas Morning News story.
He wasn't the owner at the time -- Francis had purchased Goff's from Gough in the mid-2000s -- but for anyone watching, Goff's burning down was like watching a piece of Park Cities go up in flames. No one was injured, though some firefighters became overheated. Goff's was reduced to a pile of rubble within 24 hours.
Francis had intentions of reopening the business at the same address, 6401 Hillcrest Ave., after the fire, but he guessed a rebuild "was going to take a really long time." The building is currently under construction.
So Francis hunted for a new address, preferably one in Highland Park or University Park, he says. Goff's on Mockingbird Lane opened in mid April after completing a nine-month renovation of the strip-mall space, a former Alphagraphics printing company.
Though all of Goff's memorabilia was lost in the fire, Francis' team made replicas of many of the photos from the last burger joint. Many customers are going there to soak up a bit of history, anyhow; the first Goff's opened in 1950 on Lovers Lane in Dallas, making it a staple in the Park Cities for decades.
In fact, Francis bought it for that reason: "I needed some way to get my hickory sauce fix, so I bought the company," he says. Its simple menu of burgers and hot dogs hasn't changed much, and that's part of the plan for Goff's future, Francis says.
"The Park Cities and SMU sure make a good, sweet spot for Goff's," he says.