Matthew's Story: Matthew Otten was born in Bakersfield, CA and spent most of his childhood there, even living on the same dairy that his dad grew up on. After graduating high school, Matt became interested in the Japanese language and culture. He studied Japanese at the local community college, Bakersfield College, along with his general ed while working at a video game store for almost three years. After graduating BC, Matthew decided to look into continuing his Japanese education in Japan by enrolling in a language immersion school in Okazaki, Japan. After a year there, making great relationships including one with a Japanese family that he home-stayed with and still stays in contact with today, he returned to the states to finish up a degree in linguistics at California State University Long Beach.
Two years and one degree later, Matthew decided to return to Japan to teach English and fulfill his lifelong dream of being a translator. A year into his second Japan excursion however, his dad, Hank, really needed help opening a restaurant after he parted ways with his at the time job. Hank knew how to BBQ like a king, but the technical side of running a business (setting up a POS system, arranging accounts, doing taxes, managing a restaurant etc.) wasn't in his skill list. Matthew, on the other hand, was great at that kind of stuff, and could make some mean sides to boot.
Being close to his family, Matthew couldn't say no to his father and decided to return to America. A few months later, Copper Top BBQ was born.
Now Matthew and Hank make a dream team that runs one of the best restaurants in the country (Yelp crowned Copper Top BBQ the best restaurant in the year of 2014). Come down and try the BBQ that took literally all of Matthew's lifetime to perfect. You won't be disappointed. We will show you why we think Food Makes Friends.