From a underground smokers-den to a coffeeshop empire. The Bulldog's success-story reads like an American dream and as such could have filled an episode of Oprah. The Bulldog No. 90 was the first coffeeshop in Amsterdam and laid the benchmark for the contemporary coffeeshop. What once began in a cellar, has grown into an ironclad trade-name with five locations and a hotel in Amsterdam, locations in Canada and a merchandising line. Beware of the Bulldog!
In 1970 Henk de Vries sold his first African Grass in matchboxes at the 'Kralingse Bos' pop festival in Holland. How could he have known that this would result in a company known worldwide many years later.
On December 17 th, 1975, Henk emptied the contents of his fathers sex-shop into one of Amsterdam's famous canals. Now he had a place for his latest experiment, the world's first coffeeshop. But what should he call it? The answer came to him in the shape of Joris, his four legged friend.
In the early days, Henk and his customers were arrested literally hundreds of times, the police-station became almost like a second home to them. When Amsterdam Police headquarters came up for sale in the mid-eighties, we knew it was time for a bold new statement, that this was a perfect place for tourists and locals alike to experiment with cannabis safely - The Palace was born, the fight for legalization continued.
Selling more beer then any other police-station in the world allowed Henk to grow (and open a whole series of Bulldogs) in the eighties and the nineties. You'd think this would be enough for anyone, but no there is more. As well as establishments all over Amsterdam (and locations in Europe and North America), single speed bicycles (with basket) are also available for hire.