The old 2-lane highways and byways of America used to be riddled with unique and interesting buildings built specifically to draw motorists in with their . Today, these roadside relics are few and far between, and for that reason the Petersen Automotive Museum had been showcasing a replica of the Bulldog Cafe, an adorable pipe-smoking bulldog-looking building that used to grace Washington Boulevard in LA, to help take people on a road trip back in time.

The Bulldog Cafe operated for over 3 decades, luring road trippers in with the adorable dog design for some ice cream or tamales, and the Petersen’s recreation of the Bulldog Cafe, although slightly smaller, made visitors feel like they were cruising the boulevard again in a 50s lead sled. But like the original Bulldog Cafe, the replica faced its own demolition…


From Hemmings Motor News:

In an effort to recreate the feel of postwar Los Angeles, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County recreated the Bulldog Cafe on the ground floor of the Petersen Museum as part of its original 1994 construction. Made of stucco over mesh and supported by a metal stud frame, the pipe-smoking pooch greeted thousands of visitors to the famed automotive museum, but like the original tamale shop, the Bulldog ultimately fell victim to urban renewal.

It was time for the Petersen to redo their interior design, and the Bulldog Cafe had to go. The museum had no plans to save, salvage, or reuse the Bulldog so it looked destined for the garbage pile, but vintage car/roadside relic enthusiast Bobby Green swooped in to save the Bulldog Cafe once again.

Bobby Green had a major challenge ahead of him… To save the Bulldog he’d have to get it out of the Petersen in a matter of days without completely destroying it in the process. The team was able to cut the Bulldog into 8 sections and safely transport it to its new home: the Idle Hour Cafe.

The Idle Hour Cafe, owned by Green, is a legendary roadside relic in its own right having been built in 1941 in the shape of a giant barrel. Green and his 1933 Group bought the building at auction and have been lovingly restoring the building. The Bulldog Cafe will make an excellent addition to the patio of the Idle Hour Cafe. 


The Idle Hour Cafe, now with the Bulldog Cafe on the patio, is expected to open sometime in 2015.

In the meantime, there are plenty of awesome & unique roadside buildings you can still visit on your next road trip. In fact, we have a whole trip full of buildings made to look like everything you'd need for a picnic like The Coffee Pot , the Worlds Largest Teapot, and the Hot Dog Diner hot dog diner. Of course, if dogs are really your thing, you can actually stay in a giant one, the Dog Bark Park Inn.


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