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Matthews serves up Southern cooking for three generations
by Sarah Anne Voyles
svoyles@neighbornewspapers.com
August 07, 2013 01:28 PM | 3003 views | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye / From left, Charles Greene and his son, Michael Matthews Greene, in front of their family business in Tucker.
Staff / Katherine Frye / From left, Charles Greene and his son, Michael Matthews Greene, in front of their family business in Tucker.
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Staff / Katherine Frye / 
Michael Matthews Greene adds green beans to a lunch plate Thursday afternoon in his restaurant Matthews Cafeteria.
Staff / Katherine Frye / Michael Matthews Greene adds green beans to a lunch plate Thursday afternoon in his restaurant Matthews Cafeteria.
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Staff / Katherine Frye / 
A lunch plate at Matthews Cafeteria consisting of some customer favorites, turkey with dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy and a side of green beans.
Staff / Katherine Frye / A lunch plate at Matthews Cafeteria consisting of some customer favorites, turkey with dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy and a side of green beans.
slideshow
Staff / Katherine Frye / 
From left, Michael Matthews Greene and his father, Charles Greene, in their family restaurant Matthews Cafeteria.
Staff / Katherine Frye / From left, Michael Matthews Greene and his father, Charles Greene, in their family restaurant Matthews Cafeteria.
slideshow
Tucker’s Matthews Cafeteria continues to be family owned and operated since opening in 1955.

With the third generation at the helm, it still has the original business license and is the oldest restaurant in DeKalb County continually owned by the same family. And the décor is still the same.

“We do not want it to change hands,” owner Michael Greene said. “My parents have owned it my whole life – I do not remember anything else.”

The restaurant was started by Bill Matthews. Greene said his grandfather was always an entrepreneur and wanted to try his hand at something new. Matthews sold the business in 1977 to his daughter Alice Matthews Greene and her husband Charles Greene. Greene started in the family business at age 11 washing dishes and after that he said his summers were no longer spent by the pool with his friends.

Each morning starts early for the employees. Greene said his dad still comes in at 1:30 a.m. to help prepare the restaurant for the 5 a.m. opening. It is open Monday through Friday and closed every Saturday and Sunday.

Around 1,200 guests are served there each day. Greene said all advertising by the restaurant itself is done locally, but the majority of advertisement comes from word of mouth since it has become known nation wide.

“I was talking with a customer once who told me about a time when he traveled to Wrigley Field,” Greene said.

“He was telling his sister about us and the lady sitting in front of him with a Matthews’ shirt on asked him if they still served pork chops on Thursdays.”

The restaurant is on the second round for a casting call for restaurants in Atlanta for Gray Television. Greene said the show is a reality documentary about lunch time in the Atlanta area. Also, the restaurant has been featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”

Information:
Matthews Cafeteria
2299 Main St., Tucker
(770) 491-9577
www.MatthewsCafeteria.com
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