The Goldmark: An Interview with DJ Nugget

Published On December 8, 2015 | By Leah Kennedy | Interviews

goldmarkFor most dedicated music lovers, the name “Goldmark” can easily be referenced to the creator of the long-playing phonograph disc–more commonly known as the vinyl record. But that name might hold a new meaning for Pittsburghers in the coming months…

The Goldmark, a lively new nightlife establishment, recently opened its doors in Lawrenceville, and it’ll be co-owned and operated by a special member of our nightlife community–the one and only, DJ Nugget.

Nugget, aka Adam Kulik, got his start spinning records back in high school, and he’s been captivating club audiences and party people ever since. He’s played venues all over the country, from Las Vegas to Miami, and at Ginger Hill in Slippery Rock–my former work place/favored establishment among college students–where he’d sway us into a shitfaced oblivion every Thirsty Thursday.

Now, he and his fiancée Nicole Billitto are putting their skills and talents to the test for a new purpose. The Goldmark opened on November 20, and it’ll be the perfect place to check out some local, need-to-know DJs and artists.

goldmark6“I did a decent amount of traveling and DJing around the country when I was younger, and there were a few places [in NYC, LA and Chicago] that I specifically drew from when I was coming up with the concept for our place,” Kulik stated in a recent interview with us. “I’ve always wanted a small, dark, moody space to showcase DJs and really specific music formats. My fiancé and business partner Nicole also loves to travel, and we always made it a point to check out new places in and out of town that interested us. She has a great eye and really helped make the space come to life.”

Kulik assured us that there will be much to look forward to in months to come. And when it comes to quality assurance, he and Nicole have done their research:

goldmark7“I’ve worked at a ton of places over the years in Pittsburgh and I was always in a unique position to witness what worked and what failed. I kept a notebook with positive and negative notes about venues, clubs, and bars, and what I would do differently if I ever had the opportunity. In my head, the goal was always just quality. Quality in everything from the sound system, to cleanliness, friendly bartenders, doormen, awesome DJs, eclectic music, customer service, etc. Now that I’m running the show, I definitely see the struggle that some places have with keeping up on certain aspects of their business because it’s a huge undertaking. Nicole and I made a commitment to give one hundred percent of ourselves to this place and make sure our crowd is enjoying themselves as much as possible. Our goal was always to attract the neighborhood locals as well as people that are open minded about music and who would enjoy something a little unique on the bar side.  We’ve made it a point to ask our patrons what they like or dislike about The Goldmark, and we’ve already implemented a few changes from the advice we’ve received.”

Since its doors opened, the venue’s already hosted a selection of top-notch entertainment with drink specials that are second-to-none, featuring beer-and-shot tiers and specialty cocktails that are perfect for getting your buzz on before you hit the dance floor.

Additionally, Kulik and his fiancée have put some exciting new events and monthly showcases into place to spice up your weekday rendezvous:

“On Sundays, we’re open, but aren’t featuring any nightly entertainment at the moment; if you’re looking for a new place to watch the Steelers, we’re open for the games. Tuesdays are [our weekly] SIN Night with resident DJ Pete Butta and guest DJs from all around the city. We’re really hoping to draw in the [service] industry crowd from the neighborhood, and throw a party with some great specials for them. Wednesdays are basically an Anything Goes night. No DJs for the moment, but we do have a few special events booked in the next couple of months. Thursdays [will be] a different monthly event every week, and one of the nights we’re most excited about. First Thursdays are classic house music nights with DJ Strobe; Second Thursdays are “Groove Theory” with DJ Selecta & Paul Dang playing neo soul and lounge vibes; Third Thursdays are “The Butters,” which is a 90s party I started earlier this year; and Fourth Thursdays are still in the works, but we’ll be announcing that night very shortly… On Fridays, we have DJ Midas, one of my favorite open format DJs in the city, and I’m in the booth every Saturday night playing everything from funk and soul, to hip-hop and house. I couldn’t be more excited to play at my own place and curate a unique playlist every week.”
Kulik also shared his excitement about working with multiple artists in the PGH. He hopes to draw crowds that are down to support local music they maybe haven’t experienced yet, and help DJs get the word out to them:
“I guess I was just being selfish and wanted to book nights that I knew would excite me and hope that people went along for the ride. It’s been working so far, which is awesome… Last [Thursday] was Strobe’s first house night, and it was jumping! One of the most frustrating parts of being a DJ over the years was that, many times, a venue would book you but then never fully show you the support that would help to elevate the night. My main goal is to work with the DJs, week in and week out, to really help push their nights.”

Aside from music and drinks, expect to come across a few venue staples, like Kulik’s vinyl collection on the wall behind the DJ booth, and their wall-length mural (pictured above-right) that parallels the bar:

goldmark4“[That mural] is from a group of artists from Amsterdam, [and] we have every intention of bringing in local artists to switch things up frequently. We’re actually working with local artist Ben Carley at the moment on some pieces for our back room, as well. Any local artist interested in displaying their work at our place, please feel free to reach out to us on Facebook.”

So what can we look forward to in the coming months? Expect a unique kitchen concept with an equally optimal menu selection, future nightlife showcases, and a few visits from some amazing cross-country DJs.

“We also just want to say thank you to everyone who’s been out to support The Goldmark… We appreciate it so much,” Kulik shared. “We spent every waking minute of the last six months getting the space together, and it means the world to us when we get a compliment, or see a group of familiar or unfamiliar faces really enjoying themselves. If you haven’t been through yet, come check it out!”

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