foodRestaurant News

Goodfriend Burger owners plan pizza joint in Garland square named Fortunate Son

It will serve New Haven pizza, a style we haven’t seen in Dallas.

The downtown Garland square, which dates back more than 100 years, is getting a history-making makeover. Drivers tangled in road closures have probably noticed, but the $24 million revitalization project is intended to reach people outside of the immediate area, too — those who might consider a drive into Garland’s spruced-up square next time they’re hungry for dinner.

“We want to create a destination here,” says Letecia McNatt, downtown development manager for the city of Garland.

Within the $423.7 million bond package passed in 2019, the square’s $24 million project includes a new city park, event lawn, pavilion, water fountain and improvements to the streets and sidewalks in the 14-block neighborhood.


Because of that investment, the owners behind East Dallas’ Goodfriend Package and Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House have signed a lease to open a restaurant on Main Street, on a corner overlooking the new park. Fortunate Son will be a pizza joint with house-made pasta.

Restaurant News
Restaurant News

Get the scoop on the latest openings, closings, and where and what to eat and drink.

Co-owner Matt Tobin likes Garland’s mix of longtime businesses like Roach Feed and Seed, which just celebrated its 90th birthday, alongside newer family-owned companies such as Rosalind Coffee shop, which is 6 years old.

“I think Garland does a really good job of feeling like a small town,” Tobin says. “But when you look at the numbers in Garland, it’s not a small town.” Garland has a population of about 250,000 people, according to the 2020 census.


Tobin also likes downtown Garland’s proximity to East Dallas — and, thus, to their core customer base. Goodfriend is about 7 miles away, almost a straight shot on Garland Road.

Fortunate Son is named after the Creedence Clearwater Revival song.

The restaurant’s biggest draw will be New Haven-style pizzas. Here in Dallas, we have Neapolitan, Sicilian, New York, Detroit, Chicago, even Rhode Island style. New Haven? That’s new to us.


What’s New Haven pizza?

New Haven, named for the city in Connecticut, is similar to Neapolitan pizza because it has thin crust and is cooked at high heat, around 650 degrees. The crust comes out “leopard,” says executive chef David Peña, meaning it looks like leopard print because of the charred spots. Eater has a good guide.

Fortunate Son is a New Haven pizza joint that'll open in downtown Garland. It comes from the owners of Goodfriend Beer Garden & Burger House. (David Peña)

Tobin, who is from Waxahachie, grew up visiting his grandparents every summer in Connecticut. He developed a love for its pizzas.

Peña has been fussing with long-fermented dough recipes, trying to get the New Haven style right in Dallas.


“I’ve watched documentaries. I’m in a couple of Facebook groups. You name it, I’ve done it,” he says.

The toppings for a New Haven pizza aren’t limited, the restaurant owners say. Pepperoni, tomato sauce and pecorino cheese might be one; a white clam pizza might be another, inspired by famous New Haven pizza joint Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana. The team plans to fly to the Northeast soon to visit Frank Pepe and two other New Haven stalwarts, Sally’s Apizza and Modern Apizza.

“What I want to do is make sure we’re staying pretty honest to the style of pizza, and to the restaurants who started this style of pizza,” Peña says. “They focus on good-quality ingredients, simply prepared, and cooked and executed perfectly.”

Peña’s kitchen will also have traditional Italian dishes such as chicken Parmesan, meatball rigatoni, and clams with spaghetti. Peña is planning several vegetarian and vegan dishes. Matt’s wife, Tracy Tobin, is vegan, and even at the family’s Goodfriend Burger, she finds items she can eat because Peña has been intentional about meat-free options.

Executive chef David Peña says of Garland, "They’re really focusing on making that downtown square an oasis."(Jason Janik / Special Contributor)

Notably, Fortunate Son will also serve the Bourdain Burger, a favorite menu item at Goodfriend. The Bourdain is a double-double smashburger with Kewpie mayo, pickle, lettuce and tomato.

Tiramisu will make the menu, made with ladyfingers dipped in Cultivar cold brew. Cultivar is a coffee shop inside Goodfriend Package in East Dallas. And Peña has a special love for tiramisu because he learned to make it at one of his first kitchen jobs, Johnny Carino’s.


The restaurant will have a sizable patio situated around an oak tree that Tobin estimates is 90 years old. The patio wall will have three garage doors opening outside, just like Goodfriend does.

Peña describes Fortunate Son this way: “It’s like Goodfriend, with pizza, if that makes sense. It’s going to be inviting, it’s not going to be pretentious. [And] we want you to bring your dogs, we want you to bring your kids.”

Fortunate Son will be at 500 Main St., Garland. It’s expected to open in October or November.

For more food news, follow Sarah Blaskovich on Twitter at @sblaskovich.