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Grumpy Bulldog

Not Rated.
Grumpy BulldogGrumpy Bulldog

Taps: 10 / Bottles: 70
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

18 Ratings
Ratings: 18
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 7.56%
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]

7 W Jackson Avenue
Naperville, Illinois, 60540
United States
phone: (630) 922-8040
// CLOSED //



Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: AAAPPLEGATE on 06-29-2008)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 18 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohnnyTightLips
JohnnyTightLips

Illinois

4.6/5  rDev +15.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$

I only went here for a release party that a local brewery (Two Brothers) was throwing to introduce a new beer that was on tap just for one night. At 6:45 on a Monday evening this place was packed. I luckily found a seat at the bar, which seemed like the only unoccupied seat there. Already, I was impressed by their selection of craft beers. They must of had about 15 beers on tap & their prices ranged from $5-7. As Far back as I can remember, I saw Matilda $7, Fleur, Shiner, and, Cane & Ebel $6. Bottled beers were $3.50. I can remember seeing Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold & Eliot Ness, North Coast Scrimshaw, a variety of magic hats, goose islands, Three Floyds, Dogfish Head, La Fin Du Monde, Allagash White and (unfortunately) a variety of Michelob ultras. The demographic seemed mainly mid 20's to mid 30's & seemed like half were beer geeks & the other were bmc drinkers. Really, the only thing I didn't like was the loud music which would make you yell your drink request to the bartender and the small size of the place which made it uninviting when you enter during its peak crowd time. My tab came to $17 with 3 drinks on tap. I would go back if I was in the area.

12-31-2009 01:29:28 | More by JohnnyTightLips
Photo of DownDaHatch
DownDaHatch

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$

Re-evaluating this establishment since there seems to have been an issue in the past. For the record, I spend a great deal of time at this establishment, however I am in no way part of the ownership or management of this bar.

This place is ia diamond in the rough in the normally lame downtowm Naperville. The place is quite small but a great benefit to this place is that it is an independent and not a corporately owned place. Big brick walls and concrete floors with low ceiling lead to a bit of an echo and loudness to the place. At times the music can be a bit to loud but generally not until the "later/lamer" crowd makes their way in. This place has a split personality, Craft beer drinkers until about 10 pm on the weekends and then the younger, college "Bud Bucket" crowd make their way in.

The service is very good and both the servers and bartenders can generally make good reccomendations and know their way around a beer menu.

Food is better than average, yet pub style. Burgers and wings are probably the benst entres. But don't forget the fried pickles or gravy fries for an appetizer.

11 beers on tap which seem to change frequently but generally include, Surly Furious, Triple Karmeleit, Widmer, Kasteel Rouge, Delirium Tremens, Shiner Black Lager, Stigl, Left Hand Milk Stout, Couple of Goose Island and unfortunately Bud Light. As for bottles, about 40-50, these seem to change very frequently, and are sometimes out of stock, which is a drag. I am told it is a cold storage issue at the bar. Bottles regularly include, DFH 90, FFF products, Alagash White, Victory, Boulder, LaGunitas, North Coast, Bells, Dark Horse, Two Brothers.

If you get there at the right time...on the right night, you can even enjoy the Blackhawks game on TV WITH SOUND. Yahoo!

Make this a stop if you are in the Naperville area.

01-09-2009 02:09:26 | More by DownDaHatch
Photo of makdeco
makdeco

Illinois

4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$

I agree with other posted about being great for that area, its a waste land out there in the Naper Plainfield area. Stopped by for lunch today to get Metros Lager which went on tap. very nice, also had a few Deliriums. Nice bottle selection for a bar in the burbs, Ottercreek, left hand, few selections from Victory.. Shiner in bottle and on tap. Plenty of Goose in bottle and on tap.. Also had Hopslam on tap. plenty more...

A beer rep stopped in and was trying to sell them Corona and they passed on it thought that was funny...

Had a sandwich and it was good, pricey?? a little but probably spot on for downtown Naperville.

When I am looking for something good to drink beer wise I will return for sure.. Music a little loud but hey its a bar if I want to listen to what I want to listen too I will sit at home!

02-12-2009 01:10:34 | More by makdeco
Photo of jkblodge
jkblodge

Maryland

4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

I am sitting in the bulldog as I write this. I am realy excited to have a beer bar ten minutes from my house. While this place won't replace the map room, it is a welcome change from the usual suspects in Naperville. The bar seats 12 with more table seating in front of the bar. Ten beers on tap including Matilda, alpha king, surly furious, left hand milk stout, and 90 minute IPA. Over 70 bottles on the menu. Grouped by country selections include Avery, Boulder, de dolle, koningshoeven, victory and Hitachino. Prices are very reasonable. $3.5 for a bottle of kzoo wheat $13.5 for a bomber of Avery Hog Heaven barleywine. My server has very little beer knowledge but this is a fairly new place so beer ed will come. My only real complaint is how bright it is in here. Dim the lights please! Besides that great place with a friendly staff. I'll be back many more times. I know people on BA delight in shitting on Naperville, but give this place a shot and you might love it

07-17-2008 02:43:30 | More by jkblodge
Photo of jaster
jaster

Illinois

4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$

My good friend lives in Aurora and enjoys beer, though he isn't a beergeek (yet). We went out after dinner on a Saturday night in Naperville a few months ago and he suggested going to Jimmy's, which I shot down (I was there once, and once was enough). I asked what the other options were, and he mentioned the Grumpy Bulldog, "which has a bunch of beers." Sounded good, so I said, "let's go."

Walked in and was instantly happy to see about a dozen taps at the bar. It's a small place, which, to me, is a plus, though not much atmosphere. One average-sized bar, plus several tables. Wasn't overly crowded, which is also good, but most of the people in there were drinking Miller Lite and such, which was disappointing, if not annoying. And the music was louder than necessary. After cracking the menu, I was happy to see a great selection of local craft and foreign bottles (about 75), plus another dozen on tap. Our server was very knowledgeable and personable, and happy to engage in conversation about the different beers they had. Good sense of humor to boot.

The jackpot was finding a beer that my wife enjoys. She's not a beer drinker, though I'm trying hard to slowly get her interested. Though it barely qualifies as a beer imo, she ordered some Kasteel Rouge and really enjoyed it. It's a baby step, but a step nonetheless!

08-12-2009 07:20:51 | More by jaster
Photo of Rhoobarb
Rhoobarb

Georgia

4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$

Met up here with two buddies last Saturday afternoon (1/24/08). Small place, but had no problem getting a table. For those complaining about it being too bright inside - not so for us. We took a table towards the back and it was like being in a place at night! One TV screen, not visible from where we sat, had NCAA basketball on.

Beer selection was good and our server was pretty knowledgeable. She once slipped up and attributed Great Lakes' Eliot Ness to North Coast Brewing, but I have to give her a pass there. With everything else, she was on the ball and able to offer a good alternative to anything listed on the menu, but no longer offered.

Beers on tap that I can remember included Ommegang's ObamaGang, Triple Karmeleit, Widmer, Kasteel Rouge, Delirium Tremens, Shiner Black Lager, Left Hand Milk Stout, and Goose Island Maltilda. Lotsa bottles, as mentioned by others, ~50. Only ones I had was Eliot Ness and Alagash White; a buddy had La Fin du Monde.

Food is very good. Nachos are great with a nice, spicy chili ladled over the chips. Cuban sandwiches and onion rings were also a hit with us.

I can imagine this place gets pretty packed with the typical, young, BMC drinking Naperville crowd on a Saturday night. I don't know about you, but I'm too old for that crap. I'll stick to visiting on a nice Saturday or Sunday afternoon - especially since the Bavarian Lodge doesn't open until 4pm!

01-27-2009 17:16:37 | More by Rhoobarb
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $

This is seemingly the best Naperville has to offer better beer enthusiasts. It's in the quaint downtown area, where there are a few free parking lots thankfully. Signage out front is nondescript, I only noticed the Blackhawks bud light neon from down the street.

Inside it's your typical sports bar atmosphere, with a few craft beer signs on the walls. Exposed brick on one side, wood trip and tan paint on the other. Nice tap list with zero macros. Green Flash West Coast, BCBS, Hop Stoopid, Brown Shugga, Bridgeport IPA, Gumballhead, Mild Winter, Big Eddy, and others. The bottle list was pretty extensive, but nothing too obscure. Mainly craft/import staples such as Bells, Lagunitas, Goose, GLBC, Breckenridge, DFH 90, SNPA, Smuttynose Big A & Brown Dog, Stone Ruination, FFF AK & P&J, 2 Bros, Tyranena Hop Whore, Victory Prima Pils and Golden Monkey. Imports: Hopus, Chimay Red, Duvel, Sam Smith, Weihenstephaner, Youngs Double Chocolate.

Service was great at first, quick beers served up when we sat down. Unfortunately it took almost 45 minutes to get a cheese pizza! Can't complain too much though, it was a $5 special of the day. Crowd was mostly Bears fans on a Sunday afternoon, along with a family or two, and tables of cougars with shopping bags.

Overall the best thing about the place is the beer selection, in most every other aspect it's fairly average (atmosphere, crowd, service).

12-05-2010 23:49:09 | More by emerge077
Photo of bluemoonswoon
bluemoonswoon

Illinois

3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$

Stopped by here today for dinner, it was early so we just walked in and sat down. The place is pretty bright and seems to be partroned almost exclusivly by Cubs fans so it loses points (i suppose i'm being a bit unfair here) there. A few people at the bar and a few at some other tables the place is small but doesnt feel cramped, though I imagine this changes as the night progresses.

Nice selection of 7 or 8 taps with a predominatly domestic focus and composed of mainly midwestern selections. Surly Furious was on tap along with FFF Gumballhead and some others I can't remember. Our server gave us a print out of the bottle selection as well as a tap list, all of which seemed well priced if a little uneven (Flying Dog IPA was 6 a bottle while Mojo IPA and HopDevil were 4 a piece). Beers were served in the appropriate glassware but only because we didn't order anything that fancy. The furious was served in a pint glass which is fine but it didn't have any head, the bar tender gave it one of those stadium pours where the beer took up all of the glass. He was doing this for every beer he served, so I'm guessing he wasn't the owner of the place.

Service was quick but again we were the only ones ordering food at the time. The food is traditional bar and grill fare, burgers and sandwiches dominate. I had a rueben that was good if a little skimpy on the meat and a bit overcooked. Still I love ruebens so it scores a good in my book.

Low pressure waitstaff, its nice to be at a bar and not have somebody come up to you every few minutes and ask if you want another beer, we were allowed to sit back and enjoy our meal.

Overall a good experience, great selection and prices. A gem for beer geeks who live in the suburbs and don't want to make the drive out to the city to get a decent beer.

08-05-2008 06:34:55 | More by bluemoonswoon
Photo of ahq514
ahq514

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$

My second time to the Grumpy Bulldog.

They have some good beers on tap and in bottles. Ordered a LH Milk Stout and a FW Double Jack. They have around 12 or so taps and 40 or so bottles. Bartender I talked to seemed to know about beer, we had a 5 minute or so conversation about the different beers and breweries that were on tap there. Bartender actually didn't charge my buddy for one of his beers on purpose which is pretty cool.

Atmosphere is pretty typical of downtown Naperville, kind of douchey with most people drinkin BMC, but there were some people there also obviously to drink good beer. If I ended up drinking in downtown Naperville I would definitely go here for the beer, but there are other places around the area that have better selection and better atmostphere, but it is worth a stop if you are in downtown Naperville.

03-27-2011 06:08:26 | More by ahq514
Photo of rscot231
rscot231

Colorado

3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$

Stopped in for dinner and drink a few weeks ago. They have a great beer selection, head and shoulders above anything available in the area.

The staff basically read the menu to me when I asked any questions about the beer. I got the impression the owner knew more, but he wasn't there. It took a long time to get a beer more than once.

The food was average. Not bad, but not great.

The place is tiny and doesn't have any real atmosphere.

We took our 2 young kids and the staff was very accomodating.

I'll go back, but probably not for dinner.

07-18-2008 17:26:21 | More by rscot231
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Grumpy Bulldog in Naperville, IL
90 out of 100 based on 18 ratings.