The Bucket ribbon cutting

The Bucket, seafood restaurant, is now open at 777 Lexington Ave. in Mansfield.

MANSFIELD -- Alana Gillson loves to fish. It's a perfect way to relax, get away and spend time with the people she loves. 

The mother of three is hoping people feel the same way when they walk into The Bucket, her new restaurant at 777 Lexington Avenue.

“We just have a story to tell and hear about all these great times with family and friends and how fishing brings people together," she said. “We want everyone to have fun, be casual when they come in and just really enjoy themselves.”

The restaurant specializes in seafood, served primarily in buckets. Highlights include fresh fish and fresh oysters. 

Gillson said the restaurant gets fresh seafood delivered three times a week. 

The bar will also feature signature cocktails including a painkiller, blood orange margarita, a rum runner and buckets of beer.

In the back, patrons can toss darts or rent the golf simulator for $40 an hour. Gillson said the restaurant plans to have live music on a regular basis.

the golf simulator

The golf simulator at The Bucket can be rented for $40 an hour.

Gillson, a Lexington native, co-owns The Bucket with Lou Serrenti, owner of The Local on 97. The two have been friends for decades. 

The pair share a love for fishing and food -- Gillson was the founder and chef at Ooh La La Catering. 

“I’ve been looking for a restaurant for a couple years, nothing made sense," she said. "(Serrenti) was looking to do something and I said 'OK.'"

Gillson is also the chef at The Bucket. Her goal is to craft dishes that are healthier than they taste.

“We're using like light mayonnaise, we're using fresh ingredients versus processed ingredients," she explained. "We really want people to feel like they're indulging, but they're not.”

Gillson's love of cooking began early, when she was a little girl visiting her grandmother's farm.

"We would go pick all the ingredients together, go back in her kitchen and we would cook," she recalled. 

The Bucket menu

Her love of fishing came later in life, after her youngest son was born. Pictures of Brock holding up his catches are all over the walls of the restaurant. He started fishing with the family at just 3 years old. 

Now 6 years old, he can easily point out his best catches -- a 30-inch trout, 12-inch perch, and 7-pound bass among them.

“He started to love it from the time he was little," Gillson said. "It was like something we could really bond over and relax and just get away.”

The Bucket is open from Tuesday through Thursday from 3 to 10 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays from 3 to 11 p.m. The bar is open Tuesday through Thursday from 3 to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 3 p.m to 1 a.m.

“We plan to expand those hours. I think we're just trying to keep our concepts very small at this time, do it well and then build from that,” Gillson said.

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Staff reporter focused on education and features. Clear Fork alumna. Always looking for a chance to practice my Spanish. You can reach me at katie@richlandsource.com