Glory Days Magazine MVP Business Profile: Golden Nugget Tavern

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Golden Nugget Tavern in Berlin has been owned by the Nunnenkamp family since 1956, and the current patriarch of that family is Porky Nunnenkamp, who has spent most of his life running one of the most well known taverns in South Jersey. Recently, Glory Days Magazine publisher Dave O’Sullivan caught up with Porky to discuss what keeps him going, and why he likes the restaurant business.
Porky on how he got into the business: I’ve been around here all my life. My father would always bring me to work, so I guess I’ve been working here since I was about 12 years old. My grandfather used to have a broom factory down the road and I would go work with him, too.
On the toughest part of running a restaurant: Just how the times have changed. It’s so much more difficult running a business today than it was back then. Everything used to be cheap and simple, now everything is high-tech. They are forcing me to use a computer now. I can’t stand it, having to come into work every day and check all these emails.
On Golden Nugget’s connection to local sports: A lot of teams come in here after games. The deck hockey guys come in here, youth wrestling teams have meetings here. A lot of people come here after sporting events.
On some of his sports heroes growing up: I was always into baseball. I started varsity when I was in 10th grade. I remember going to Connie Mack Stadium, and man, that was something walking in there and seeing all that green grass. Nobody around had a green lawn. I like Richie Allen. I was there when he hit one off the Coca-Cola sign. I also liked Carl Yaztrzemski. I wore the No. 8 on the back of my uniform when I played high school ball.
On what has changed at Golden Nugget: Not much. We had a fire years ago, but it’s still the place where people come and recognize each other. A lot of people say they remember their dad bringing them in here, and now they are coming in here with their kids. A lot of kids come in here who maybe didn’t really know their grandfather, and I knew him. People always come to me to hear a story about their dad or grandfather.
On his philosophy: I try to stick with what works. We’ve been selling chicken wings since 1980, back when nobody else was selling them. Tony would make his sauce, soak them in it, and it’s the same recipe we use today.


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