Another Santa Clara Staple Closes Its Doors

By Melissa McKenzie
Another Santa Clara Staple Closes Its Doors

Over a half-century of memories and food came to end as Santa Clara’s By-Th’-Bucket restaurant abruptly closed its doors on Labor Day.

Restaurant management issued a statement on Facebook Monday morning stating that it was “with great sadness, teary eyes and a heavy heart that the Furiosi family has decided to close By-Th’-Bucket effective today, September 4th.”

After thanking patrons for their support of the “legendary dining institution,” the family issued a special thank you to former owner Mike Garcia for the “opportunity he gave our family 20 years ago.”

There had been much speculation leading up to By-Th’-Bucket’s closure, as the restaurant’s location at 4565 Stevens Creek Blvd. and an office at 40 Woodhams Blvd. are listed as properties for sale by CBRE brokers as 6,085 square feet of existing restaurant, and 3,000 square feet of office and storage space on a combined 1.03 acres of land.  According to the By-Th’-Bucket website, 40 Woodhams Blvd. is its business office address. Patrons, too, had speculated the restaurant might be in trouble, complaining of management’s decision to start charging for bread, a previously complimentary item. Others griped that the quality of food leaving the restaurant’s kitchen had been declining for quite some time.

Still, By-Th’-Bucket remained a favorite among many current and former Santa Clarans, with some expressing their adoration through social media.

Michelle McQuay said she was sad to hear of the restaurant’s closure. “My brother, Rick, worked at By-Th’-Bucket back in 1968,” she said. “He was 14, I was 7. My parents would have to drive him to and from work [and] I’d often go for the ride. Sometimes I’d get lucky and he’d bring home pizza.” McQuay said the restaurant was also where her husband of over 31 years “officially proposed.” “On Mar. 7, 1986, Tim and I went to By-Th’-Bucket for pizza. Sitting across from him, I realized he never proposed. We just decided to set a date and get married. So there, at By-Th’-Bucket, he asked me to be his wife over our favorite pizza—combination.”

Tiffany D’Epiro also said she was saddened by the restaurant’s closure. “My memories of By-Th’-Bucket go back to my childhood when I would go with my parents both of whom have since passed away. As an adult, my mom and I would sit at the bar and have a glass or two of wine and share the oysters. When my husband and I came home after being stranded in New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina, our first ‘real meal’ was here. I watched OJ try to escape in the infamous white Bronco while sitting in [the] dining room. This has been my go-to restaurant for as long as I can remember.”

Some commenters said they heard it was closing last week and made one final trip, although the restaurant itself did not issue a statement about its impending closure.

By-Th’-Bucket was also a favorite of longtime WEEKLY photographer Christy Kinney, who was a regular customer until her death in 2012.

The restaurant was opened in 1959 by Mike Garcia and his family. The Furiosis purchased it in 1999. Paul Furiosi, Jr. served as the restaurant’s executive chef and Jim Furiosi was its general manager. The WEEKLY reached out to By-Th’-Bucket ownership for comment and, as of press time, had not received a response.