The Bulldog

The BulldogThe Bulldog
The BulldogThe Bulldog
Bar, Eatery

401 E Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55414-1005
United States

(612) 378-2855 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 25 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jsprain1
jsprain1 from Minnesota

3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

The bar has a warehouse type feel with a shuffleboard table and a long U shaped bar, with a few high tables around.
The tap selection is pretty solid with a few Belgians, a few local/regional beers, and some other craft beers (Bell's Ommegang, etc.)
The service is friendly, but most of the bartenders don't know much about their beer list. One thing that bothered me is a handful of times they've asked me what I want to drink but don't have a beer list handy.
The food is tasty enough, but it's not particularly great. The burgers are pretty good, the fries are so so.
Prices are fairly high.

Dec 10, 2011
Photo of KarlHungus
KarlHungus from Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I am a regular visitor of the Bulldog Uptown, and recently had the opportunity to meet some family for lunch at the Bulldog Northeast. It was my first experience with this location, but it won't be my last. The atmosphere is less cozy/divey as the uptown location, but I still felt comfortable enough. The beer selection consists of twenty four taps about half of which are Belgian while the other half are local/regional craft beers. They had six rotating taps that were all unique tap offerings. They weren't necessarily beers that are hard to find in this area, but beers that you don't often see on tap in the Twin Cities. The food was good, but not great. I was satisfied with the Cuban I order, but it wasn't anything special. My companions said their burgers were good then went on to list places that make better burgers. Service was quite lacking on this visit. Our server knew the tap list well, but was very slow in taking our orders. I finished my first beer as the runner was bringing out our food. I had nearly finished my meal before the server asked if I wanted another, and we had to wave him down for that service. Pricing is what will keep me from coming here often. Beer prices where reasonable, and some of there Belgian beers might even be priced on the cheaper side compared to other places in town. The food, however, was rather expensive for what it was. It was the same quality as the uptown location, but everything was at least two dollars more. Overall, I can see myself coming back here, but can't see myself making it a regular stop.

Sep 30, 2011
Photo of UMNbeerhunter
UMNbeerhunter from Minnesota

4.53/5  rDev +14.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

The Bulldog NE is truly a beer drinkers bar. Bare brick walls with pictures of beer related places and events (for example a pic of the first beer being poured after prohibition), a metal top bar in the center of the room, and a good line of taps, as well as a great selection of glassware to accompany them. The service is reasonably quick and always on top of what is new on tap or bottle.

The food at the BD is really enjoyable. They have managed to take regular bar food such as hotdogs and burgers and turn them into gourmet servings without jacking up the price like crazy (think about $10 for a burger and fries). My favorite is the Rooster burger with Sriracha glaze, house made sweet pickles, roasted garlic aioli, and pepper jack cheese, amazing. For dessert they have an extensive list of cupcakes, thats right a long list of cupcakes.

Now on to the good stuff. The BD has a great selection for just about anyone. On tap the list reads from domestic like Summit, Surly, Bells and all their seasonal turnouts to Belgians like St. Bernardus, and of course some German and Austrian additions like Gosser and Paulaner. The bottle list is a also varied having everything from Miller light and Coors as well as more then a dozen belgian Trappists and Lambics. Regardless of what your tastes are you can find something you like here.

The Bulldog NE is defiantly in the top 3 of my places to hangout when I'm looking for a good beer in Minneapolis/St. Paul, the others being The Muddy Pig, and The Town Hall. There are two things that set this place apart from many of the other bars in the area. First is the unique twist on the food that is served that always goes well with something from their great beer selection. Second is their lively, not quite sophisticated, not quite blue collar clientele that fill the place looking for a cold one wether it be a Coors light or a Westmalle Dubble. I highly recommend this bar.

Nov 16, 2010
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef from Minnesota

4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Hmmm...I've been here many times and hadn't realized I hadn't put in a review. Unlike my hang out at the Lowertown location this place has some differences in lay out and menu. Atmosphere is pretty booming most often then not. A long, skinny lay out with a full retangular bar in the center, plenty of tables squeezed in as well as places around the bar. Tall ceiling, with old warehouse light tan brick walls. Large windows at the front. Small patio out front with a handful of tables. One thing - I really wished both locations would get rid of that skee board game. Takes up useful space for people to sit as apposed to only having a couple people being able to use and usually being overly loud when playing. Not sure why that is, but its true, and I find it annoying. Anywho...there's another skinner section that treads its way towards the back where the kitchen and restrooms are that is lined with more tables and doesn't get as loud.

I've always had pretty solid service here. Last nights stop in was probably the best yet and it was busy. I find sitting at the bar gets you slightly quicker service then sitting at a table. That I find to be true at most places, so it goes. Plus the servers are friendly and fairly beer knowledgeable and a high number of the female variety of the staff here are attractive. Another plus in my book.

Selection doesn't differ by much from LT. Maybe one or two tap differences and bottle selection is pretty much the same. A number of taps are what you can find just about anywhere, but they do have a a decent selection of Belgians, St.B Abt12, Tripel K, Kwak, Dupont, and Delirium. They only rotate out a couple seasonals here, just like the other locals. But what they do get in as far as those are usually pretty good and don't last long. Spanning from Laguntias, Bell's, Founders, Rush River, Flat Earth, Summit, and Surly. One thing that LT doesn't get often is Surly on draft. So selection choice here gets a extra nod for having SulryFest and Furious.

Food menu has some yummy pub grub, albiet not heart healthy by any means. Lots of greasy burgers, oily tater tots, and the such. They have their own signature burger, much like each local. Also, a couple twists to differences in apps and sandwiches. But the food is quite good and usually gets to you quickly. Somewhat pricey, depending on what it is, but averaged out to just about everything over $8.

I like my LT as it has many lulls where its not busy. However, I think there's too many TV's. NordEast barely has any compared to LT. But it has its share of flat screens. NordEast is pretty busy most times then not. Street parking is scattered but not hard to find. LT has nearly no parking except around Mears park. But I get to walk there so, no complaints there. NordEast Bulldog is a place well worth checking out and hanging out at. Its one of only a few places I actually prefer to visit in the area. Most other places really lack in beer selection, almost graveyard like. So Bulldog really stands out for beer in my book for this area.

Oct 21, 2010
Photo of oner0002
oner0002 from Minnesota

3.15/5  rDev -20.5%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I don't know where to begin, the good stuff or the bad stuff...

Good Stuff: Beer selection is fantastic. I've had Blanche de Bruxelles, Chimay Red, Rodenbach Grand Cru, barrel-aged Flat Earth, Saison DuPont and plenty of other good beers on TAP.

The food is also pretty good. The burgers and dogs are nice and once I had a burger on an english muffin here, I always serve my home-made burgers likewise.

Bad Stuff: I don't know what they are thinking but the whole place smells of sanitizer ... strongly. This was not just one case of the bartender mixing something or other wrong, it has been multiple times. It can be so bad that just last night (9-8-10) I left after only 2 beers and a dog because it was so bad.

So, sit outside or don't count on smelling your beer. C'mon Bulldog!

Sep 09, 2010
Photo of brewanddrink
brewanddrink from Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Went to the bulldog hearing that it was a great beer bar. With this in mind i thought a there was going to be a bunch of beer nerds like me swapping home brew recipes and enjoying some great brew. Although the bull dog has all that it also has a lot of college kids and not enough space to hold every comfortable. The beer list was impressive, many tasty Belgium beers and many great local beers like Surly furious. The service was not that great the number of people let in at one time was not upheld which made it hard for the servers to help everyone in a timely period. The food was good but their portions did not reflect their prices very well. Now that i know how that place can get i will go a little earlier in the evening to beat the rush.

Dec 05, 2009
Photo of jera1350
jera1350 from Minnesota

4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Stopped by the Bulldog for a beer and some food. Their burgers are amazing! Kobe beef with tons of different topping options. Very unique ones at that. Truffle fries are outstanding as well. Service was good, but it was not busy so that may make a difference. Nice selection of beers with a huge selection of Belgians both on tap and in the bottle. Prices were about average. I had a Delerium Tremens for $6. Anywhere else I've seen it no lower than $8. Happy hour is a dollar off every beer. Great food and nice beer to boot.

Sep 20, 2009
Photo of mothman
mothman from Minnesota

3.59/5  rDev -9.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

Stopped in at the Bulldog for some beer a week or two back. Atmosphere was bumpin. A lot of people in this place, so it was a tad loud. They had a ton of Belgium beers on tap which really impressed me. I was even more excited to see. St. B Abt 12 on tap. It was very fresh and served in proper glassware, always a good thing.

The service wasn't anything special. It seemed like everyone was just running around serving beers and then going back for more beers. If you had a beer in front of you, then you were ignored.

Overall, this place is worth a stop if you like Belgium beers. Good selection, but prices are a tad higher than I would have expected.

Aug 05, 2009
Photo of Gump
Gump from Minnesota

4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

A terrific place for fine beers and a dog.
Imagine drinking a Belgian Quad and having a Chicago dog with peppers at the same time. It's probably not the best combination, but it's possible here.
They usually have a few belgians on tap, a great bottle selection and several craft offerings on draft as well.

The waitstaff is quick and knowledgeable.
Parking can be had a block north, in an open lot. Pay the machine.

When you're here you have to try the garlic tater tots. (some aioli and truffle thing)

The place is often filled with a younger 20-30 crowd.

Mar 15, 2009
Photo of jjanega08
jjanega08 from Minnesota

3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Great place with a swanky feel. Everything inside is plain with some sort of cool guy hipster feel to it. I felt fancy and I saw the band quietdrive enjoying a brew here outside one summer day. Cool I guess. The service was average. Nothing really special just average. The beer selection was great though. Lots of weird little crafts to try along with some imports. I was very pleased. The food was amazing too. Great burgers. Loved my ninja burger very nice. Interesting how they got the fancy feel while still being a beer and burger place. Pretty down to earth. The prices were a tad high but it was worth it I think. Great place.

Nov 15, 2008
Photo of Durge
Durge from Connecticut

4.08/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

At first I was a bit disappointed by the Trendy Nouveau appearance of this corner restaurant/bar. We almost opted to go eat at the nearby Irish pub where the atmosphere, though typical, was much warmer and inviting. However, the advertized appeal of a strong beer selection kept us at The Bulldog and we were quite satisfied. The place is long and somewhat narrow with the bar stretching vertically through the middle of the larger front room where you enter from Hennepin Street. It's a bit crowded with a handful of flat screen televisions accommodating a decent view from most any seat in the house, which includes many tables surrounding the bar on every side. I was pleased to see they had the opening night of NFL action on for me to watch over some good brews. There is also a back dining room which is relatively small and I believe that it was devoid of any television. Our waitress, Melissa, was very attentive, quick with the brews and helpful with selections (food & beer). They had a good 20 taps I would estimate and the selection was very nice with a leaning toward imports/Belgians. I would have liked to see a few more locals but they had a few goodies. I don't recall seeing any major macros on hand. We had the burgers which were, according to Melissa, voted #2 in Minneapolis and we were not disappointed. I thought it was definitely much better than the average burger. They also apparently specialize in hot dogs and offered a number of other relatively simple choices, sort of yuppie pub grub, but very good by my experience. My biggest gripe here was that it was just a suckie atmosphere. Maybe good for twenty-somethings to take your girl out for a bite and drinks, but not really what I expect for a "beer bar". Of course, this is really more of a restaurant with good beer rather than the other way around. There is also an outdoor area with umbrellas but I didn't even get a look at it. Melissa was nice enough to give us directions to the Muddy Pig in St. Paul where we found the beer bar atmosphere that I am more accustomed to, but that's another review! The Bulldog was a good choice and it helps that it is just a block away from Surdyk's, an outstanding retail outlet for beer, wine & cheese!

Sep 08, 2008
Photo of Chaz
Chaz from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

In a working class neighborhood known for its lived-in bars, The Bulldog NE stands out as the most visually striking bar of them all, with sandblasted exposed brick walls, antique tin ceiling, and a semi-oval mahoganny and polished aluminum bar. The ten plasma screen TV's ringing the bar are more than a simple holdover from The Bulldog NE's previous life as an upscale gay bar, and lend it an additional 'slice of downtown' vibe. Overall it's an atmosphere that appeals to its youthful, clean-cut clinetele: judging by the number of patrons on this particular rainy Monday night, the bar is indeed a welcome addition to the neighborhood. As luck would have it, fellow BA Artisanal was there with a friend, and sported us our first round - Cheers to that! Service was very good although the place was not exceptionally busy - if my head count was correct about 17 of the 28 people in the place were Bulldog employees or friends thereof, judging by their logo shirts and caps: gotta love that logo (here I should note the wall-sized photo reproduction of the exterior of the Bulldog Cafe in Amsterdam; it's mounted on the right wall as you enter, just behind the shuffleboard game.)

When I first heard it was opening two thoughts went through my head: "why had Boom gone bust?" and "why not an upscale beer bar in Nordeast?" As to the first question I'd imagine it was a costly start-up (see description of the interior above), but as to the second, my answer was "why not indeed?", although 'why not' also explains the Miller Lite longnecks in front of most of the patrons already mentioned: just because it's a bar with a wonderful tap selection doesn't guarantee that everyone is there for those selections: why shouldn't they be able to drink what they want? But for a minute or so it seemed as if -with the exception of myself, Artisanal, and several others- nobody was taking advantage of the 25 taps in front of them and instead were drinking cocktails, bottles, and shots - I guess you can lead a man to better beer but ya can't make him drink!

In terms of tap selection this is among the best in Minneapolis, with what seems like half of the taps being Belgian ales. It's this particular selection that makes the place shine, and as for proper glassware, it hangs from a custom-built aluminum drying rack above one end of the bar - big points for that, both stylish and functional. There are also several notable import taps alongside half a dozen craft brews, including Rush River, Bell's, Summit, and Arcadia (see the BeerSpy for others.) I didn't pay as much attention to wine as I did beer (for what I would think are obvious reasons) but there are about two dozen bottles on display, along with as many bottles of imported and craft beer - check the menu and be sure to ask the bartender, as I didn't see all of these selections listed on the menu.

The Menu is small but interesting, essentially a spin-off of the Lyndale location but with some focus on creative appetizers, Beef Tartar being the one that stands out (not the least of which due to a friend raving about it recently.) We chose the Pickle Plate for our brief visit tonight, and I'm sure that I'll enjoy it again soon! Prices are reasonable, and their lunch prices sound especialy inviting. I hedged a bit in rating the "value" section above:there are three tiers for tap beer prices, and at the upper range we're looking at taps that are on the pricey side for most of your Average Joes - but then again, The Bulldog NE brings something that might not appeal to your Average Joe: an upscale beer bar in Nordeast - Hell Yeah!

Edit: Wednesday is Cask Night. Mmm, cask ale . . .

Nov 28, 2006
The Bulldog in Minneapolis, MN
Place rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 25 ratings