How a music festival influenced Henk de Vries to start his carreer in Cannabis.

In 1970 Henk de Vries and a group of his friends visit the ‘Woodstock’ of the Netherlands at Kralingsebos. Henk was in charge of bringing something to smoke, which he did and divided amongst his friends. Within hours, to his amazement, he was offered to buy the weed he shared. This infuriated him and thought what they can do, he can do better. Henk drove back to Amsterdam to get more, much more than original and once back at the festival he found himself a nice spot near a little bridge to sit and sell his cannabis stuffed in matchboxes (which he had picked up along the way). Within a short time two police officers confronted Henk and were at the point to arrest him, when the festival organiser Koos Zwart got involved and after debate overruled the police, even so much that he announced to the crowds via PA that Henk was sitting near the little bridge with Cannabis for sale. This made Henk the first ‘legalised’ cannabis dealer of the Netherlands and hereby sowed the seed to grow this action into an empire.

We take you back to the place where it all started.

When Henk returns from Germany in 1974, he noticed that his neighbourhood had deteriorated, hard drugs had taken control of the streets, his neighbours and friends. Henk decided to take action and threw all the inventory from the sexshop he had inherited from his father in the canal. With the space now available he created a safe location for neighbours, friends and the occasional tourist to buy, chill and smoke some herb. A living room for all to enjoy. A strict policy was held to keep hard drugs outside the door. The use of – what we call cannabis – was illegal in the Netherlands at this time and Henk became the focus of the local police department, raid upon raid took place during the first years of operating in the basement of where The Bulldog still is. Henk kept a promise to the visitors that were taken to the police station, after thirty minutes of being held they could return and receive replacement of what the police had taken from them. This eventually lead to great frustration of the police that the first steps towards the blind eye policy was taken. Henk’s fight was successful, you break the rules to create the rules.

The Bulldog is actually the first coffeeshop there was. That means, the term ‘coffeeshop’ as we know it today for Amsterdam, was coined by Henk.

According to Derrick Bergman, chairman of the Alliance for the lifting of the ban on Cannabis (VOC), “As founder of The Bulldog, Henk de Vries is not only a living legend but also the owner of the first global cannabis brand in modern history. Since he started in 1974 in a basement on the Oudezijds Voorburgwal in Amsterdam with The Bulldog, his brainchild has grown into an empire with global fame. Like no other, Henk de Vries put his stamp on the phenomenon that according to Professor Egbert Tellegen should have been proclaimed ‘the most important Dutch social innovation of the past half century’: the coffeeshop”.

"I want to create a living room atmosphere. A good vibe, relaxed. A place where people can smoke, talk and feel good. It simply doesn't get any better than that."

Henk de Vries

The Bulldog Boat Tour


Amsterdam, April 1, 2022 – Be our guest on The Bulldog Boat Tour, a tour like no other. On a spacious and comfortable boat you get to see the city with a different view, experience a ‘relaxed’ time in one of the living rooms of Amsterdam, this one on a boat.

There are two (2) options to take a tour: single ticket or private.

Single Ticket Tours are 75min. in duration with an English speaking guide. Regular departures from The Bulldog Hotel and include three (3) drinks.

Private Tours are for groups from eight (8) to fifty (50) people and departing time is set by you. The tour is 120min. with English speaking guide and include four (4) drinks.

Tickets can be purchased online (simply click the BOOK NOW button on this page) or at our locations;

The Bulldog Hotel (Oudezijdsvoorburgwal 216-220),
The Bulldog Brand Store (Oudezijdsvoorburgwal 206)
The Bulldog The First Brand Store (Oudezijdsvoorburgwal 88)

When in Amsterdam, you’re not in Rome. Come boat with us and be entertained.

Heineken Star Serve vote for Nathalya

The Bulldog Aruba’s very own Nathalya Wauben is competing to be your favourite bartender in Aruba! Heineken Star Serve is a competition to find the most skilled bartenders from across the world & get them to compete in a Grand Final here in Amsterdam! Good Luck Nathalya! We hope to see The Bulldog in the final.

The Bulldog Streetgasm Bentley

Henk de Vries participating Streetgasm in honor of his wife

Henk de Vries participating Streetgasm in honor of his wife

Amsterdam, june 4, 2019 – Always a dream, together Henk en Willy participating in the Bentley car rally. These plans were cut short due the unfortunate illness and passing of Willy. During the hospitalisation period of his dear wife, Henk made the promise to participate in the rally no matter what, to up hold the dream. Now, to follow up on this promise, Henk is participating in the StreetGasm in memory of Willy and to realise their dream in spirit.

The Bulldog Energy Drink is sponsor of the epic StreetGasm 2000 held from June 8 to June 15, which is Europe’s most epic road going adventure. Since 2012 has the show been on the road with all makes of supercars, travelling the smoothest roads and visiting the hottest spots along the way and this year is no different. The Bulldog Team with drivers Henk de Vries and Ron Joinking are guaranteed an exciting and memorable time.

StreetGasm is a growing event with a field of 100 cars that include International Dj’s, Youtubers, Athletes and TV personalities joining the ride from Rotterdam (NED) to Cannes (FRA) in 8 days.

You can follow the event by instagram.com/streetgasm/ and instagram.com/explore/tags/sg2k/

New Collection The Bulldog and Skateshop BEN-G

The Bulldog and Skateshop BEN-G launch a new collection on World Weed Day

On Saturday April 20th a one-off pop-up store will open at The Bulldog in the Red Light District

Amsterdam, 15th of April – On ‘4/20’, when International Cannabisculture is celebrated, 2 shops – located in the center of Amsterdam – join hands to launch an exclusive clothingline. ‘ The Bulldog’ and ‘BEN-G’, who’s logo’s are both represented by a dog, sell this new collection on Saturday the 20th of April as from 10 o’clock at the first Coffeeshop of the Bulldog, located on the Oudezijds Voorburgwal 88 at the Amsterdam Red Light district. For this special occasion NIKE SB releases a limited edition of the Nike SB Dogwalker.

A unique collaboration and pop-up store

It’s the first time that ‘The Bulldog’, an international phenomenon with affiliate locations all over the world, opens a pop-up store in honor of this unique collaboration at the Worlds leading coffeeshop at the Red Light district. To celebrate this collab the Nike SB Dogwalker shoe will be sold as a limited edition item, being part of the 4/20 annual returning theme of Nike SB shoe with cannabis as theme.

The pop-up opens for this one time on the 20th of April from 10AM till 17PM at the Oudezijds Voorburgwal.

The Bulldog

The history of the Bulldog goes back till 1975, when Henk de Vries took over the shop of his father in the famous Red Light district, also know as ‘de Wallen’ and transformed it to the World’s first coffeeshop. Today the Bulldog is renowned and has affiliate locations in Barcelona, Rome, Ibiza and of course save haven Amsterdam.


BEN-G is known as one of Europe’s leading skateshops. BEN-G has, apart from a International skateboard team, done a lot of collaborations with brands like Nike SB, Trasher and Converse. The skateshop is located at the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 142, Amsterdam.

© Images via Nike, BEN-G, The Bulldog

The Bulldog Barcelona

The Bulldog Barcelona


Barcelona, March 26, 2019 – Yes it’s true we opened a new location. The Bulldog is pleased to announce The Bulldog Barcelona. This members only social club is another great addition to The Bulldog Family and we are very excited to join the community of Barcelona.

For more info regarding membership and more please drop us a message or email info@thebulldog.com.

The Bulldog Foundation Salvation Army

The Bulldog Foundation

The salvation army or ‘Leger des Heils’ as it is known here in The Netherlands has always been very closely associated with The Bulldog since the very beginning of our company. This relationship began when our founder Mr Henk de Vries was a young boy  growing up in The Red Light District of Amsterdam or De Wallen as it is known locally. When Henk was 6 years of age he was fortunate enough to encounter Major Bosshardt , she was the neighbour of Henk  and a major influence in The Salvation Army and in particular The Red Light District. Major Bosshardt taught Henk allot growing up about compassion, respect and much more that helped to shape Henk into the man he is today and their relationship continued throughout their whole lives.

Once The Bulldog had begun operating as a business Henk immediately began making regular donations to The Salavation Army, initially donating socks and underwear and other essentials which still continues to this very day. As The Bulldog developed more this relationship grew with it and so did the generosity.  Today The Bulldog participates in a range of activities throughout the year which involve a hands on approach from the staff throughout The Bulldog.

With food being of such importance to those less fortunate The Bulldog has always played a active role in feeding the local community. Once every month some of our staff members shop for groceries and cook meals for The Salvation Army guests at their shelter in The Red Light District, this work is increased over the months around Christmas to ensure warm healthy food is brought to those who need it. We also participate in a mobile soup bus distributing food to the homeless all around Amsterdam that continues this great work outside The Red Light District. These home cooked meals & soups are well received and give our staff a great insight into the community in which they work in and the difficulties some people have to deal with when it comes to such important things as food and nutrition and hence giving us all a greater appreciation for what we have.

On top of food activities The Bulldog also host a variety of different events to help out the people who come to visit The Salvation Army. Two times a year our staff will go to the headquarters of the salvation army just outside the city centre. There we host Spa Days at the facility and provide a number of services including hairdressing, manicures , pedicures and much more. All care is carried out by The Bulldog staff and at the end of the day a bag of cosmetics and care products is handed out to everyone for their own personal use. These small gestures can mean allot to someone who is down on their luck and its these sort of principles that Henk learned from Major Bosshardt.

As Christmas is in particular a very difficult time for those less fortunate, the Salvation Army holds a number of events that we like to help out with and some that we host ourselves. We provide traditional Christmas dinner and of course lots of toys for those children to try and make it as special a experience as possible. Its during times like this that the Salvation Army needs help and assistance the most and thus we make sure to do as much as possible during this period of the year, which also includes a personal donation from Mr de Vries.

It’s amazing to think that what once started with a young boy and his neighbour has now grown into a loving and caring relationship between both the two organisations they worked their whole lives to build, even after Major Bosshardt sadly passed away in 2007. This work will continue to grow and we will continue to work closely on many more future projects in co-ordination with The Salvation Army to ensure the people who need help the most can receive it.

Should you wish to donate to the salvation army or leger des heils please contact your local branch via www.salvationarmy.org.

The Bulldog Aruba

The Buldog Aruba is now open to everyone! This is the newest edition to the rapidly expanding Bulldog-family, spreading the world famous ‘livingroom of Amsterdam’ atmosphere across the globe.

Just like in Amsterdam, the Bulldog Aruba Bar and Cafe will allow guests to experience the atmosphere that is so typical of The Bulldog: inviting, comfortable and relaxing this time in a indoor and outdoor setting, the location features a full outdoor terrace and pool area adorned with lighting scenic views. This pool bar feeling is something we hope the people of Aruba will enjoy and tourists also from all over the world.

Next to all the typical Amsterdam-elements our new location highlights a new design style to fit the Caribbean surroundings Alongside the standard drinks list the bar will serve fresh smoothies and cocktails with some light finger food and snacks typical of The Bulldog Mack.

The Bulldog X NCMA Collab

The Bulldog X NCMA Collab


We are very happy to announce a unique one season collaboration with the brand NEWAMS for their pre-fall 2018 NCMA collection. 

This international Luxury brand has taken inspiration from Dutch culture which will be visible in various artworks.

The collaboration contains a tracksuit, hoodie and, T-shirt. The artwork presents a picture of Henk de Vries (founder the Bulldog, Amsterdam) sitting in front of the first coffeeshop in the world, “The Bulldog nr. 90”. The picture is mixed with Mondrian art inspiration to create a unique artwork. The Hoodie and T-shirt also contain a patch stitched to the main fabric with a printed text about how Henk de Vries started this internationally known company. All tagging on this collaboration contain a packet of The Bulldog rolling papers.

Various artists are already spotted wearing this new Collab collection and since last week the collection dropped at international retailers, to name a few; Harvey Nichols (Hong Kong), Margo (Russia), B-space (Malaysia), Bonvicini (Italy), Pulp (Japan), Pop up Concepts (Lebanon) and a selected mix of retailers in the Netherlands, including Concrete Amsterdam.

Message for the editors:

For more information about The Bulldog, contact:
Danielle Albek
Telephone: 0031 20 624 82 48
E-mail: danielle@thebulldog.com

Acquisition in response of this press release is not appreciated.

The Bulldog Ibiza


We are very happy to announce that as of the 1st of June Cloud Ibiza became part of The Bulldog Family.

This collaboration agreement will open the presence of The Bulldog in Spain for the first time as a social club. The Bulldog Ibiza is an important step in the further international roll-out of The Bulldog.

The Bulldog Ibiza is a non-profit private association. Exclusive for members. No visits are allowed at the association without a previous appoinment.