New Restaurant Alert

Payson Spaghetti Restaurant By the Bucket Is Coming to Phoenix

Finally, By the Bucket is coming to Phoenix.
Finally, By the Bucket is coming to Phoenix. Lauren Cusimano
If you’ve recently dined in Payson, Arizona — or maybe even if you haven’t — you’ve probably heard of By the Bucket. The local restaurant is known for its spaghetti, and particularly the vessel in which it's served: a bucket.

Now, By the Bucket is finally headed south to the Valley. Owner Bret daCosta (“They ran out of Ts when I was born”) says an Ahwatukee location is set to open within the month, at 1420 East Chandler Boulevard.

The restaurant's takeout-only concept is ideal for the COVID era, though the restaurant was founded in 2018. Raising a 7-year-old as a single father, daCosta says, “We didn’t have much money, so I would buy spaghetti." Sometimes, though, they’d overbuy. “I’d say, ‘Hey, if we could sell our leftover spaghetti, we could make buckets of money.”

click to enlarge
By the Bucket's former location along the Beeline Highway in Payson.
Lauren Cusimano
He used to be in marketing, in case you couldn’t tell. In Payson, daCosta offered hot spaghetti in popcorn buckets for takeout, as well as garlic bread and meatballs in the eatery's first location along the Beeline Highway. Eventually, he combined the bread and meatballs to create insanely cheesy meatball subs.

The restaurant eventually jumped the Beeline Highway and moved to an iconic, stand-alone green house. By fall 2020, a second location was opened in Pinetop. In early 2021, the business moved again to a suite near Safeway along Arizona Route 260, leaving the green house empty.

But 2021 has more in store for By the Bucket. In addition to the Valley's first spot in the southeast Valley, daCosta says more locations are set to open in Tempe, Apache Junction, Mesa, Queen Creek, and west Phoenix in the next six months. More on those locations as the details come in.

For more information or to peek at that tight menu, see the By the Bucket website.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.