Photo by Eric Best

Bulldog building gets mural of mutts

Updated: December 22, 2017 - 9:26 am

Fans of the Bulldog have two more bulldogs to love — not bars, but two larger-than-life pooches painted on the home of the downtown bar and restaurant.

Owners of the building near 11th & Hennepin commissioned local artist Chuck U to paint a mural on the side of the restaurant. It joins a block already well known for another piece of public art: The Butcher & the Boar’s mural by artist Adam Turman.

Owner Brianna Norstrom said the new mural is a “worthy companion.”

“I like that the block has two very strong pieces of public art as bookends,” she said in an email. “I really enjoy seeing that. It just softens our city and it makes me … happy.”

Photo by Eric Best
Photo by Eric Best

The piece depicts two blue-eyed bulldogs with multi-colored and multi-textured fur with a pattern of skyscrapers as a backdrop.

Norstrom said her and her partner Deen Braathen appreciate public art. Braathen owns Opening Night Gallery, a gallery and framing studio in Lyn-Lake. Norstrom said they see the piece as a nod toward the theater district.

“The other goal, for me, was to provide an opportunity for a local artist to leave their signature on Downtown,” she said. “We gave Chuck a blank canvas and he gave us the honor of being his first permanent outdoor mural. We’re very proud.”

Chuck U is known locally for his frequent collaboration with Northeast’s Indeed Brewing Co., which has commissioned the artist to design several cans. He’s also done work for the Minnesota State Lottery, designing “Bearded Bucks” scratch-off cards that involve scratching off a beard to find craft beer and bird icons.