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Bottoms up: British Bulldog Pub combines UK traditions, Southern hospitality

Bulldog cocktails, clockwise from top left, are rum butter, Bulldog bloody Mary and the Jameson Black Barrel mule.
Bulldog cocktails, clockwise from top left, are rum butter, Bulldog bloody Mary and the Jameson Black Barrel mule. dsellers@thestate.com

Columbiana Station is home to a number of daytime and nightlife businesses that draw as many patrons as any downtown location.

Case in point: The British Bulldog Pub.

In its nearly five years in business, it has built up an extensive clientele who look forward to taking a load off in the heavily UK-sports themed locale. The pub’s extensive selection of beers, cocktails and authentic fish and chips are the perfect trifecta for customer satisfaction.

“Our customers vary incredibly, from just-graduated-college up to older professionals,” said Kim Blaiss, head bartender, who has worked at the pub since it opened in 2011.

“Fridays and Saturdays, it’s solidly young professional – early 30s, late 20s. During the week is when I get the regulars, and they range from 50s to 70s. I’ve got lots of families that have young kids that come in and a ton of people with dogs that we accommodate outside.”

Over the years Blaiss has seen various drinks peak and plummet according to customers’ tastes, but one people can’t seem to get enough of is the mule.

“It’s Russian vodka, bitters, lime juice and ginger beer,” said Blaiss. “We’ve got a couple. We do a Jameson Black Barrel mule made with Jameson Black Barrel whiskey, which is very good. Really balanced. We do one with Absolut Mandarin that’s really good also.”

Beer drinkers can rejoice in knowing that the best-sellers at the pub are all the standards – Carlsberg, Yuengling, Bud Light and best in show, Guinness. Blaiss said ciders also have been incredibly popular this summer, along with dark brews normally consumed during cooler weather.

New beers are introduced on tap every other day. New bottled beer arrives at least once a week.

“We have some staples that we’ve had since we opened and we’ll have till we shut the doors,” said Blaiss. “But people like to see rotating options. We’ve had customers that have been coming in for almost five years, and if I had everything that was the same, they’d be burned out on it.”

And what’s better to pair your ale or cocktail with than a platter of fish and chips?

On average, Blaiss said, the British Bulldog serves hundreds of orders a week, averaging roughly 50 orders a day. So what’s its secret?

“We use haddock instead of cod,” said Blaiss. “It’s the one thing we’ve consistently done incredibly well. And the chips are hand-punched in-house, which makes a big difference. It’s delicious.”

But Blaiss is not biased.

“Everything on the menu is fairly popular,” she said. “For a lot of bars, the focus really isn’t on the food, and that’s one thing I think that we excel at. Our food quality is right there with our quality of service and our draft-to-tap selection.”

The pub also hosts a brunch buffet on Sunday that features another customer favorite – the Bulldog bloody Mary.

“It’s got bacon, Guinness and an Old Bay rim. It’s incredibly feeling,” said Blaiss.

This pub may technically be on the wrong side of the pond, but it sounds like Columbians aren’t complaining. Regards to the monarchy.

If you go

British Bulldog Pub

LOCATION: Columbiana Station, 1220 Bower Parkway

INFO: (803) 227-8918