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Dan Mathus was born in 1971 and raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he learned about food from Italian grandmother and indulged a passion for golf. He attended Lehigh University to pursue his golf dreams and later played professionally for years. As a college freshman in 1990, he started working in restaurants, waiting tables and working in the kitchen. Serving was the perfect job for him because of the flexibility it provided. He was able to earn money in the fall and winter, when he wasn’t golfing, and take summers to play professionally.
When he moved to Atlanta in 1992, Mathus met the manager of Chops Lobster Bar while playing golf. At the time he was working at a different restaurant. The manager successfully recruited him to work for his Buckhead restaurant in 1995. As of this interview in 2019, Mathus still waits tables at Chops Lobster Bar and occasionally plays in golf tournaments.