Payson could soon have a regular food court with smoked meats and homemade Italian food next to Mike’s Fish and Chips and the Culture Crepe in the Twin Pines Shopping Center.
Jade Kaufman and her family hope to open Italio To-Go, a casual Italian restaurant that will offer delivery to even the outlaying areas of Payson.
“Our main goal is to provide fresh and homemade food,” said Kaufman. “Our family has been in the restaurant business for 60 years combined.”
Italio To-Go will serve homemade bread and serve Italian sausages, sandwiches and pasta with the family’s signature sauces. There won’t be wait staff, but there will be a small dining room.
The Kaufman family has its eye on the space next to Farm Bureau in the Twin Pines Shopping Center, 512 S. Beeline Highway.
Payson’s Water Department Manager Tanner Henry asked if Kaufman would deliver to Round Valley.
“We are going to provide to the outskirts. We will provide our own drivers,” she said.
Town Councilor Jim Ferris, also an Illinois native, asked if Kaufman had heard of Avanti, an Italian restaurant that serves “the best homemade bread.”
“We’re from Peoria, Ill. We know of Avanti. It will be the same bread as theirs,” said Kauman.
When he heard that, Ferris promised he would be a frequent customer.
Also in Twin Pines, Brenda and Carson Clouston hope to open Colt Grill.
Currently, the Cloustons have a restaurant in old town Cottonwood.
The Colt Grill serves smoked meats, including brisket, pork, chicken, bratwurst, turkey and ribs.
The Cloustons make everything from scratch — from the food to a custom smoker and furniture.
“I’m a professional interior designer,” said Brenda. “I try to design our restaurants to reflect the town where we do business.”
For Payson, she would like to mimic what she did in Cottonwood and decorate with equestrian and firearm motifs. She said her father used to collect Colt guns.
The couple also hopes to contribute to the community by holding monthly gatherings.
“It has an educational component,” said Brenda. “(In Cottonwood) this week, we’re having a Madera dinner. The next month it might be a featured brewery. It’s always exciting and not stale.”
Carson said they hope to have patio seating with a shade arbor.
Many steps remain before these restaurants open, but mouths are already watering thinking about the possibility of more culinary options in Payson.