Cafe Society

The British Bulldog reopens after renovations; painted Punch Bowl benches remain

The British Bulldog is back in business after a quick renovation job. As promised, it reopened just in time for the start of the English Premier League season, which kicked off this past weekend.

The proper English pub, a favorite spot among soccer fans, curry lovers and hipsters alike, is located in a hundred-plus-year-old building that needed a little love...and work.

"The bar was literally sinking because of the old foundation, so we poured some concrete and installed a new one," explains general manager Wendi Reed. "And we wanted to rearrange the booths to make for better game-watching while we were at it."

During the Depression, when the spot was the Punch Bowl, the backs of those benches were adorned with landscape paintings courtesy of wandering artist Noel Adams, supposedly in exchange for a bar tab. When the place became the Bulldog six years ago, the new owners gave it a facelift but kept the artwork.

Now the benches face the TVs instead of each other, which may or may not be an improvement, depending on your point of view. Fortunately, the scenery on the back remains the same.