PHOENIX — Up in Payson and Pinetop-Lakeside is a local takeout restaurant that serves spaghetti and meatballs in easy-to-carry buckets, which makes sense when the restaurant's name is "By The Bucket."
Those buckets come in three sizes: small, which is a half-pound of spaghetti, medium, which is a pound of spaghetti, and large, which is 1 1/2 pounds of spaghetti. Each tub comes with garlic bread. Meatballs can be added for an additional charge.
The local staple is expanding to the Valley with multiple locations expected to open in Ahwatukee, Apache Junction, Mesa, Queen Creek, Tempe, and Tucson, according to owner Bret da Costa.
Da Costa said he's sold licenses to other business owners to open the locations using the By The Bucket name and menu and hopes to eventually raise enough money to begin a national franchising program.
He said the Ahwatukee location is expected to open in April, but has experienced delays due to the ongoing pandemic. He expects locations in Apache Junction, Mesa, and Tempe to open within the next few months, followed by Queen Creek in the next six months.
Da Costa founded the concept in 2018 as a way to support his son as a single dad.
"I built my concept on the words I once said to my son, Sam, as a single father: 'If we could sell our leftover spaghetti we could make buckets of money,'. Literally that's when my idea came to fruition," he said in an email to ABC15.
The original Payson location recently relocated to the Safeway plaza at 319 AZ-260 Payson, AZ 85541. A second location opened in Pinetop-Lakeside.
Visit www.bythebucket.com for more information.