Sip, Stay At Bulldog Bar & Grill

The Bulldog front entrance and patio with guests enjoying food and drink
The Bulldog

HOW MANY Butler University students and alums frequent the reborn Bulldog Bar & Grill is anyone’s guess. However, it certainly seems popular with actual, four-legged bulldogs, two of whom chilled at the eatery’s pet-friendly outdoor dining area during a recent lunchtime. The Bulldog is a revival of sorts, operating at the same 54th and College location where an establishment by the same name served as the university’s unofficial watering hole from 1974 to 1994. After a 26-year interregnum when the space was occupied by Moe & Johnny’s, the Butler name was resurrected by new owners Caroline Smith, Brian Knoderer, and John Bales. Flat-screens dominate the dining area (because it’s 2022), and the menu is ruled by burgers, pizzas, and smoked meats like pulled pork and brisket. There’s also an automated “tap wall” where patrons who purchase special bracelets can select from 48 different pours. Be advised, however, that the bracelet also keeps track of how much you’ve knocked back, and will cut you off when it feels like you’ve had enough. Though you’d think a self-serve setup like that would wind up with as much amber liquid on the floor as an Indianapolis Motor Speedway men’s room on race day, the wait staff say that guests have so far kept things pretty neat. The menu also includes some 20 handmade sauces ranging from garlic aioli to dragon’s breath (described on the menu as “Hot AF”), plus a lineup of pet treats, including a Peanut Butter Whipped Cream Cup that one of the two porch bulldogs quickly annihilated. 5380 N. College Ave., 317-377-4735