Grumpy Bulldog

very good

18 Reviews
Grumpy BulldogGrumpy Bulldog

Type: Bar, Eatery

7 W Jackson Avenue
Naperville, Illinois, 60540
United States

(630) 922-8040

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Added by AAAPPLEGATE on 06-29-2008

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Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 18
Photo of akokandy
3.45/5  rDev -13.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 4

A- Seems to be something of a college bar, located only a few blocks away from North Central College. It was bright when I came in, but the lights were dimmed around 10PM. Smoke-free, like everywhere else in Illinois, and not as crowded as all the other bars in the area. The music was TOO loud, and hard rock/heavy metal was all I heard.

Q- They had a number of good beers on tap, but other than Matilda, all the beers were served either straight in the bottle or in a standard pint/mixing glass.

S- When I first came in, my waiter was all over me. He must have come up to me five times in the first ten minutes. As the night wore on and more people joined my table, I had to seriously wave my arms to get this guy's attention. I was in the corner, so I was tough to see, but he didn't stop at the table once in 2 hours without me waving my arms like a madman. It wasn't even that busy, so I didn't understand it.

S- They had 13 beers on tap: Goose Island Matilda & Imperial IPA, Left Hand Milk Stout, and a bunch of other quality brews I can't recall. They didn't have 80 different bottles, but they did have at least 40, and about 35 of them were great craft beers. Some parts of the menu made me shake my head, especially the prices, and Dark Horse was listed as a Colorado brewery.

F- I had some nachos, and they were delicious. You get a lot for your food dollar. Some midwest favorites, like Cheese Curds, and a few good burgers. The $8 nacho appetizer could have been a meal for 3 people, and had fresh veggies all over it. I'm pretty sure they fry their own nachos on site.

V- The food prices were reasonable. The beer prices were pretty high. Some of the craft brews on tap, like Left Hand Milk Stout, were $7+. I think a six-pack at the liquor store (2 miles away) is about $8. Not as good a value as the Bavarian Lodge.

Overall, it wasn't too bad of a place. I would go back, but never, ever on a Saturday night, unless I was sitting at the bar. The bartender's service, when I got impatient and got up to get another beer, was excellent.

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Photo of DownDaHatch
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.

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Photo of JonB1958
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Went here with a buddy tonite, rather than the Bavarian in Lisle. A little disappointing. I'm not the kind of guy who thinks that bars with good beers need to be filled with beer snobs, but the people here tonight (about half of whom were sucking on Miller Lite) seemed here for other reasons.

From the outside, it looks just like a lot of other downtown Naperville bars; nothing really says it's anything different.

Inside, the staff was reasonably attentive and knowledgeable about what was on tap. I remember: Trumer Pils; Left Hand Milk Stout; Kasteel Rouge; Delirium; Widmer Wheat: Triple Kramallet; Goose Matilda; Goose Reserve; Surly Furious, and Two Brothers Bonfire. An extensive bottle menu, plus a dozen or so rotating bottles.

The food was OK; the hard rock music was WAY too loud. Three big screens with Bowl games.

I'll stick to the Bavarian.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
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.

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Photo of thewimperoo
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

My wife and I were here earlier in the week. It's a nice cozy space. Our server was friendly, attentive and prompt but lacking in beer knowledge. She mispronounced Lagunitas multiple times and imo misclassified the Lost Coast Great White as just a "wheat" beer. Also, someone else in our party asked about the Brasserie Des Rocs Triple Impériale. She told him no one ever orders it so it probably isn't that good.

The selection of beer was pretty solid. 10 taps and tons of bottles. The Cynicale and Hop Stoopid were great. The food was above average for bar food. Fried pickle spears were awesome. My burger was well cooked and flavorful.

I would definitely recommend it to others in the area. It's a gem in the barren wasteland of downtown Naperville.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

this place is a real diamond in the rough; it's hard to believe that this place exists in the meathead/preppy/trustfund baby wasteland that is downtown naperville. quite small and with some craft beer memorabilia on the walls, but otherwise pretty non-descript. 10 taps plus a delirium tremens tap which was out. alpha king, gumballhead, allagash white, surly cynicale, dfh 60, and others on-tap on my visit. also 50-60 selections available via bottle, almost all of them good. the bottle list primarily featured american craft beers along with a decent belgian and german selection. some of their beers are served in their proper branded glassware but this seems to be limited to belgians/etc. otherwise you get a standard shaker pint. my first beer on tap was unfortunately served in a miller lite glass, which fucked with my head a bit. service was helpful and attentive. menu was regular bar food. prices were decent, especially considering the location-people are paying more for bmc crap in every other place around here. a must-visit if you are stuck in downtown napertucky.

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Photo of rscot231
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.

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Photo of jkblodge
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

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Grumpy Bulldog in Naperville, IL
3.97 out of 5 based on 18 ratings.
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