Mathon's Seafood Restaurant was at 6 East Clayton Street in Waukegan, Illinois, at Lake Michigan's shoreline. Mathon's, owned by Mathon Kyritsis, was the only restaurant in Illinois operating their own fishing boats, gathering fresh fish daily for their restaurant. Personally, I loved the restaurant until the last couple of years before they closed. My favorite dishes were the fresh catch of the day, cooked on wood planks.
Fishing is a sport that many residents of Waukegan enjoy at the mile long pier. In it's heyday many residents would arrive in the early mornings of July and August to fish for perch, which were plentiful and always a success at local Friday fish fries.
Many people would see Mathon Kyritsis and his tug boat leave the harbor (4 to 5 am) for the early catch of the day.
The fresh-caught fish was served at Mathon's restaurant, a block away from the lakefront next to a bait shop and the coal yards which were profitable ventures in their day.
The rail would bring people from other Lakeshore communities along the Sheridan road line to enjoy the fare at Mathon's restaurant. Always packed on Fridays. Residents of the harbor town, and persons that are not native Waukegans, have reported seeing ''the Mathon tugboat'' leaving the harbor in the early mornings and also seen by other boating and fishing enthusiasts.
The name of the tug is visible on the boat, white on a dark background. The tugboat whistle can be heard as the tug puts out to the lake waters to fish. When it vanishes quickly, some boaters and fishermen have reported it's quick disappearance to the local police, thinking that something had happened to the tug, since it vanishes so quickly. Sightings have been reported to the coast guard and local police, several times, over the years.
Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.