The British Bulldog is one of the few bars where you’ll see people drinking coffee from one hand and beer from the other — the coffee because it’s not quite 8 o’clock in the morning and the beer because there’s soccer on TV. Oh, and because it’s free.
When I pushed open the front door of The British Bulldog one Saturday morning I felt as if I was back in one of the pubs I visited in London. The 15 or 20 people gathered around the bar were alternately shouting, booing and drinking as they watched soccer on the pub’s three televisions. If 8 a.m. seems a little early to be at a bar, it is. But the promise of live English Premiere League games and free beer is enough to draw some of Denver’s most passionate soccer fans.
I should probably admit that I am one of these fans. When I heard of this soccer Mecca of sorts, I set my alarm and rolled out of bed early enough for the Arsenal vs. Middlesbrough game, eager to experience the world’s most popular sport in a rare,
The St. George’s Cross — the red and white flag of England — hangs prominently on one wall, and near the bar is a poster of Wayne Rooney, one of England’s young rising stars.
The tin ceiling, dark wainscoting and booths painted with countryside scenes were enough to make me forget for a while which side of the pond I was on.
A large selection of imported beers — among them Fuller’s ESB, Boddington’s and Stella Artois — and an extensive menu that includes proper English meals such as bangers and mash and shepherd’s pie contribute to the authenticity of the pub. The British Bulldog also serves “Pakistani food the way Momma used to make it.”
Still, as good as the food is, what draws most people to The British Bulldog is the soccer. It’s no secret that America’s soccer following is a relatively small group, especially when compared
with the rest of the world, and it’s good to hang out with other serious fans. It feels reassuring, intimate, like the strangers in the room with you are your best friends, regardless of what jersey they’re wearing, because they are, even if it’s only for 90 minutes.
If You Go
The British Bulldog, 2052 Stout St., Denver (the southeast corner of Broadway and Stout). 303-295-7974. Be sure to call ahead to confirm game dates and times of games.
Josh Bishop is a graduating senior in Metropolitan State College of Denver’s journalism program. He is a native of Michigan.
From the Editors: We spent a heap of time making sure this story was accurate when it was published, but of course, things can change. Please confirm the details before setting out in our great Centennial State.