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.”
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.
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