The Bulldog - Lowertown

Bar, Eatery

237 6th St E
Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55101-1919
United States

(651) 221-0750 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 19 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of TheGent
TheGent from New Jersey

4.26/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

The vibe is fine but nothing special. More of a big sports bar feel with a lot of TV’s, more so than anything else. A really big bar and restaurant, which is nice.

I did not eat, but the quality of the beer was great. No issues. Service was very good.

The beer selection was excellent. Large, a lot of local beers, more so than the Dark Horse, on the particular evening I visited both.

Definitely would go back again to see what regional and local offerings are available.

Sep 15, 2019
Photo of fitzy84
fitzy84 from Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Went here on one of my nights in Saint Paul. The bar/restaurant is very conveniently located in Lowertown near other major eateries, breweries, public transit, and hotels. The space has tables everywhere encircling the bar area. I sat at the bar area where I could easily watch sports on their multiple televisions. Although sports seemed heavy, it did not feel like a sports bar. Lots of locals seemed to stop by as the bartender knew them and struck up conversations with them. But, i also got a sense the bar attracted tourists and travelers.

Despite being decently crowded, the bartender was quick to come to me and ask if i wanted food and beer. I did not have food but he did try to inform me about their new menu. There were a lot of beers on tap (maybe 25-30?). As a tourist, I wanted only Minnesota beers and found the beer menu booklet the bartender gave me to be quite helpful. Staff seemed attentive to the crowd of people at the establishment. I saw plenty of wait staff walking around serving people beer and/or food. My beers were served promptly and the bartender was incredibly nice and attentive, especially if I needed water or descriptions of beers.

For a good spot in Lowertown that has a local bar, sports bar, and craft beer bar feel, I found the Bulldog to strike a happy medium between those three characteristics.

May 18, 2018
Photo of Sludgeman
Sludgeman from District of Columbia

3.89/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Visited as my second bar of the night. It was a Monday night and the Wild were playing down the street. At 7:45 the place was more than half empty.

V - TVs, big open bright no real beer vibe other than the 20+ taps. 3.75

Sel - 20+ taps plus another 20+ cans and bottles. Toppling Goliath as well. 4.0

Q - Proper glassware - 4.0

Ser - Good friendly service, but nothing better than your average bar. When it's busy service could be an issue. 3.75

F - I had the cheese curds, which were very good, but a typical sports bar menu. 3.75

Mar 24, 2018
Photo of street1891
street1891 from Texas

3.31/5  rDev -15.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4.5

First time in the bar as I'm visiting on business. Good atmosphere. Decent number of people. Firkin nights are held on Thursdays...celebrating Octoberfest so the have around 12 taps with a German selection. So at this point I'm pretty happy.

After an Oktoberfest, I moved to IPAs. My beers started showing up with alot of head space...on my 3rd, it was an inch down. I asked the bartender to top it off and she responded with 'well, that's the way IPA's come.' Well I call B.S. She reluctantly topped it off but it wasn't much of an improvement. Lazziness or a direction from management.

When you pay $5 plus for a US pint, it should be filled to the rim. Period.

Sep 24, 2010
Photo of Florida9
Florida9 from Illinois

4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

We just happened upon the Bulldog while on a visit to St. Paul. The wife noticed the long line of taps from outside and suggested we go in to try the place out.

The Bulldog is essentially a large open rectangle. The two exterior walls are floor to ceiling windows. The two interior walls are both painted in earthy pastel tones. There are booths to one side, a bar in the middle and tables scatter throughout. It all lends to a very open feeling. It was not at all loud while we were there, but I will admit, we visited in the early afternoon during the middle of the week - about the most off-time it could have possibly been. Given the openness, I could easily see how the Bulldog could become very loud, very quickly.

During our visit, our server was also the bartender. At the time he was the only FOH person working. He was attentive, but not pushy, and he knew his beers.

As for the beers, the selection was very large with a heavy focus on regional beers (Surly, Flat Earth, Rush River, Summit) and Belgians. There were a couple of macro imports (Stella, Amstel) as well, but overall, I found the selection to be sufficiently diverse. And while I imagine many of these beers are quite common to the TC market, I appreciated being able to find a number of local beers which have a limited distribution. Of notes, the menu offered set beer flights as well, which I thought was interesting.

No comment on the food as we didn't eat while we were there.

Jun 05, 2010
Photo of BDLbrewster
BDLbrewster from Minnesota

3.04/5  rDev -22.6%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5

The Bulldog, PRO cool building and decent setup inside. CON very, very loud annoying music. PRO plenty of room around the bar even when busy and the place is well lit. Decent decor and a large bottle list. CON everything on their fairly large tap list is available at any run of the mill liquor store in the Twin Cities. PRO, bartender was a nice guy. CON, the bartender forgot what I ordered and had to come back and ask, keep in mind that it was only me and two other gentleman at the bar and the place was pretty dead at the time. PRO, beer flights for the rookies. CON, no beer flights for the vets. I will go back because it's close to home, but that's the only reason.

Dec 20, 2009
Photo of Buebie
Buebie from Minnesota

2.83/5  rDev -28%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 3 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Upon walking in at 7pm this saturday evening 9/19/09, it was somwhat quiet with only a few tables taken. I went in with a group of 7 others, so 8 total.
As we sat, the music got louder and louder and louder and louder, until I couldnt hear my wife who was sitting next to me yelling in my ear.
For a bar serving some terrific beers, they have no idea how to pour them or at what temperature besides 34 degrees to serve them. Many HD tvs to watch, so pretty great for football season.
Decent location, but parking was kind of a drag....I'll just break this review up into likes and dislikes, its already heading down that path.

First off I'll just tell you what bugged me about the place.

-Loud annoying music that gave everyone a severe headache
-The service was terrible
-the server forgot many items from what we ordered.
-the server forgot to bring several of us beers several times
***- Our server gave herself a 20% tip from our bill! The house rules state its 15% already included with 8 or more people. WTF??
-The beers were served wayyy too cold for their styles.
-the beers were side poured giving no head. I had to take my fork and stir them up just to get some head.
-The bathrroms are much too small for the size of this place. 1 toilet and 1 urinal, for a place that seats around 100 people?!
The kitchen has big ol windows that look like they were intended for the patrons to view whats cooking in the kitchen. But instead they built walls up infront of the windows so no one from the dining area can see in unless they walk infront of the walls.
-parking, its on street only and pretty terrible on a weekend when there is anything going on downtown.

The good
-pretty solid beer list including seasonals
-great food list with attractive prices
-Surly Hell ontap, long after bars in the metro were out of it

Sep 20, 2009
Photo of Gump
Gump from Minnesota

3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Fairly wide open space with a big bar in the middle. There are usually 3 or more people working behind the bar. Some nights the service is really good. The first time I went it, was standing room only and very loud.
The lowertown location is the 3rd in Minnesota and seems to be a cookie-cutter from the Northeast location, but it doesn't share the warm cozy feel. It's still a place to be seen.
The beer selection is wide. They have a great staple of Belgian beers and other imports as well as about 40 taps that you need to try if you haven't already, but they could use more seasonal and specialty brews in their lineup.
Food here is adequate and I think the menu is fairly similar to their other locations. Burgers look great, dogs are always easy and tater tots, well, just go great with beer.
The place seems to be busy in the 9 months it's been open. I wish them continued success.

Jul 18, 2009
Photo of oner0002
oner0002 from Minnesota

4.53/5  rDev +15.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I found myself lost and confused in Downtown St. Paul this afternoon, so I stopped at the Bulldog's new location in Lowertown St. Paul right on Mears Park. Now, the Bulldog North East is one of my favorite places to go for a great tap list and cheap hot dogs so I decided to check out their newest location. Food and taplist was the same and the ambiance was something to be desired since there were damn TVs everywhere and orange walls.

BUT, just like their N.E. location the dog's were $5 and the tap list was extensive with Saison Dupont, St. Bernardus Abt 12, Entire Butte English Porter and my choice for lunch, La Chouffe. Good stuff! They also had something that I haven't seen before, a list of Flights of Beer in the menu. You get smaller glasses but 5 different choices. There was a Craft Beer flight, a Hoppy Beer flight, a Dark Beer Flight, a Midwest Beer Flight and some others. The beers looked well chosen so if you got someone with you that doesn't know their beers, these flights would be a nice choice.

If you find yourself in Downtown St. Paul, $12 will get you a Polish Dog and a Saison Dupont, good deal!

Apr 22, 2009
Photo of cadenwhitaker
cadenwhitaker from Minnesota

4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I'm glad to see a place making a profit in Lowertown. Most of the bars down there are dead or dying.

Lots of belgian beers on tap, a nice mixed selection of other beers with a decent local supply.

Someone ordered wings next to us and they looked T-A-S-T-E-Y but I didn't actually try them so I wouldn't know. They were a bit charred, with a wet sauce on top, like they just came off a bbq grill.

Service was great, I sat at the bar and was given plenty to sample and the bartenders seemed to know quite a bit about beer.

Will go back to, next time I'm in Lowertown.

Mar 07, 2009
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef from Minnesota

4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Located on the corner of 6th and Wacouta across from Mears park in the highest end of Lowertown St. Paul. Its a bold, big windowed corner bar on a bus busy interesection. Street parking only, but they do offer valet parking available on weekend nights for $.
I live only four blocks, the perfect stumble home distance. They also have bouncers or someone there to ID nearly at all busy times. Which is nearly everynight! This place has awakened the area no doubt. Something like this, as in a great beer bar has been well overdue in my book for my end of town. I'm quite happy that I no longer have to venture up to the Pig or Gnome for a solid beer bar experince. I've become a regualr here and head there about 3 or more times a week, and I even went there three times in one day on a Saturday.

Anyways, when busy, its quite a loud place as its spacious open warehouse ceiling and echoing music background make for a hard hearing experience. Mostly made up of huge windows facing east and south, there's only a few beer mirros on what wall space isn't taken up by what I think is a flat screen TV every six feet. Four booths line the far wall and about a dozen tables make up the rest thats not the bar. The bar itself is pretty big and has room for 20 or so people to line around. Afternoon weekends is the best quite/down time to visit. Happy hour time is a dollar off all tap drinks and they do it from 4-6pm and then again 11pm to 1am. It gets busy from the first happy hour til about 11, then the crowds start to thin. Otherwise it stays pretty darn busy. They really don't have a waiting list, you have to linger around at what tables and boothes they have available until someone leaves. Which isn't easy, as lots of people are looking to do the same thing and swoop in on tables as soon as someone leaves. During those busy times, even when very well staffed, the service tends to get bogged down. But for the most part they try their darnest to get you your drinks and food quickly and are friendly and pretty knowledgeable about the beer menu.

For beers they have just over 30 taps, mostly a decnet line up of Belgian goodies including St.B Abt12, Tripel K, Kon's Quad, Dupont Saison, Delirium, Maresous, and others. A decent mish mash of local and other micros make up the rest. Surly, Flat Earth, and Summit seem to be the norm of local stuff and then Rush River, Bell's, Sierra Nevada, Two Brothers, and Lagunitas. They also have about another 50 to 60 bottle pics, which again match the tap line with heavy Belgian choices and the rest made up of more solid micro brew choices. I've enjoyed the hell out of Cane & Ebel on-tap there as well as when they had Lagunitas Brown Sugga on-tap. They also stay on top of serving the beers in the correct glassware. But when ordering something from the bottle, sometimes I either didn't get a glass at all or what I was given wouldn't be considered the correct glassware experience. Most prices are pretty good on the beer and might have a slight edge on the Pig and Gnome in that realm.

The food here incorporates what the other Bulldog's offer with a large hot dog menu and burger/sandwich menu. Tatter tot specialties are the norm. Solid pub grub for the most part and well priced. Served in little plastic baskets, so its not as classy as the Gnome or the Nile by any means.

So much like any other good beer bar, your experience will depend greatly on the time you're there and how busy it. I've had to turn myself back out the door once as it so packed I couldn't even get to the bar area, which is only about 10 feet from the entrance.

Feb 02, 2009
Photo of mjryan
mjryan from Minnesota

3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

The Bull Dog Lowertown is perhaps the best of the three. Its bigish, has lots more taps, and is located in a quite but pretty cool part of St Paul (ok, what part of downtown St Paul isnt quiet?). The bar has big windows that afford a nice view of Mears Park right out side. I like the atmosphere. The Bull Dog has about forty taps with a good smattering of locals and lots of Belgians. I prefer more local and American craft brews but thats just me. The food was decent and the service was good. The place was crazy packed on the night I was there but the server was quick and polite. The best thing about this place is their beer flights. They had a dark beer flight, a hoppy beer flight, a local beer flight, a Belgian beer flight, etc. Overall a nice place and one I hope to get back to soon.

Jan 28, 2009
The Bulldog - Lowertown in Saint Paul, MN
Place rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 19 ratings