Tue. May 21st, 2024
taylor-alert-–-black-dog-pub-says-sales-have-boomed-since-it-was-referenced-in-taylor-swift-album-as-they-rename-cocktails,-sell-new-merchandise-and-give-free-drinks-to-fans-who-can-sing-lyrics-as-they-bid-to-cash-in-on-their-overnight-fameTaylor Alert – Black Dog pub says sales have boomed since it was referenced in Taylor Swift album as they rename cocktails, sell new merchandise and give free drinks to fans who can sing lyrics as they bid to cash in on their overnight fame

The Black Dog pub has been booming with business after Taylor Swift referenced the south London boozer in a song on her new album.

Staff at the south London pub say there is ‘definitely an increase’ in sales since the singer’s new double album The Tortured Poets Department, which features a song called The Black Dog, was released on Friday.

‘We just had one of our best Monday’s ever yesterday,’ Lily Bottomley, who works with The Black Dog in Vauxhall, revealed on the Capital Breakfast show this morning.

The pub has hired extra security staff since becoming overrun by Swifties – a term used to described Taylor’s fans – and has even have to turn customers away as the building has been reaching full capacity since the new album release. 

In a bid to cash in on its overnight fame and appeal to the hitmaker’s fans, the traditional English pub has added a bit of Swiftie flare to its menu.

‘We’ve got a ‘Swift half pint,’ which, you know, people can get for free if they sing a lyric. We’ve got a Taylor versions of our cocktails, we’ve got loads of lovely stuff for the Swifties,’ Lily said, adding: ‘We love the Swifties!’

The Black Dog pub in Vauxhall, south London has been booming with business after Taylor Swift referenced it in a song on her new album

The Black Dog pub in Vauxhall, south London has been booming with business after Taylor Swift referenced it in a song on her new album

Staff at the south London pub say there is 'definitely an increase' in sales since the singer's new double album The Tortured Poets Department, which features a song called The Black Dog, was released on Friday

Staff at the south London pub say there is ‘definitely an increase’ in sales since the singer’s new double album The Tortured Poets Department, which features a song called The Black Dog, was released on Friday

Swifties Jordan Ludwig (middle), 20, Kylee Ludwig (left), 20, and Katelyn Anziano (right), 20, who is wearing a Taylor Swift branded cardigan, are pictured outside the Black Dog

Swifties Jordan Ludwig (middle), 20, Kylee Ludwig (left), 20, and Katelyn Anziano (right), 20, who is wearing a Taylor Swift branded cardigan, are pictured outside the Black Dog

The Black Dog pub has leaned into all the media attention, adding 'home to tortured poets' to its Instagram bio, making reels linked to the song and including quotes on signs outside

The Black Dog pub has leaned into all the media attention, adding ‘home to tortured poets’ to its Instagram bio, making reels linked to the song and including quotes on signs outside

The Black Dog track 17 of the songstress' 31-song double-album The Tortured Poets Department (album cover pictured)

The Black Dog track 17 of the songstress’ 31-song double-album The Tortured Poets Department (album cover pictured)

The Black Dog is not some high-flyers exclusive venue for celebs, but rather – like seven other watering holes name-checked on the LP – a typical London corner pub with a small beer garden out the back.

But the charming pub is now an unofficial landmark for Swifties after Taylor suggested she visited it with one of her British ex-boyfriends.

Lily, seemingly shocked by the mass influx of visitors, said that Taylor did not warn staff that she would be showcasing the establishment in her song.

‘No, she didn’t give us a heads up personally, but we’d love to see her back maybe to have a debrief,’ Lily, a manager for SC Soho, the small hospitality group that owns the Black Dog, told the radio show.

Capital Breakfast host Jordan North, seemingly excited by Lily’s remark, doubled-down and asked the question every Swiftie has been dying to know the answer to: ‘Hang on. Back? Have you got proof she’s been, that she’s actually been in the pub?’

‘I couldn’t possibly say,’ Lily replied. ‘We do have a certain blonde regular though.’

Programme presenter Chris Stark, citing how ‘there’s like hundreds of people turning up’ at the pub, asked if the singer was ‘barred from The Black Dog?’ after causing so much ‘chaos’.

‘No, she’s got a pint behind the bar if she ever wants it,’ Lily answered.

Lily Bottomly, a manager for SC Soho, the small hospitality group that owns the Black Dog, appeared on Capital Breakfast this morning to discuss the pub's overnight fame. She even suggested Taylor had visited herself, saying: 'We do have a certain blonde regular though'

Lily Bottomly, a manager for SC Soho, the small hospitality group that owns the Black Dog, appeared on Capital Breakfast this morning to discuss the pub’s overnight fame. She even suggested Taylor had visited herself, saying: ‘We do have a certain blonde regular though’

The programme's presenters were trying to guess which one of Taylor's former British boyfriends were being referenced in her song The Black Dog

The programme's presenters were trying to guess which one of Taylor's former British boyfriends were being referenced in her song The Black Dog

The programme’s presenters were trying to guess which one of Taylor’s former British boyfriends were being referenced in her song The Black Dog

Despite its traditional feel, The Black Dog was only established in 2009 - though the ornamental dog design on its wall predates it

Despite its traditional feel, The Black Dog was only established in 2009 – though the ornamental dog design on its wall predates it 

Connor Price, assistant manager at The Black Dog, poses for a picture inside

Connor Price, assistant manager at The Black Dog, poses for a picture inside 

A fan shows off her Taylor Swift t-shirt as she sit son a bench outside The Black Dog and enoys a pint

A fan shows off her Taylor Swift t-shirt as she sit son a bench outside The Black Dog and enoys a pint

In her song The Black Dog, fans speculate that Swift is singing about the pub being somewhere she frequented with one of her ex-boyfriends and how heartbroken she was to find out he had gone there without her after they split. 

Swift was in a relationship with actor Joe Alwyn from 2016 until April 2023 and started dating 1975 frontman Matty Healy a month later before the pair broke up in June.

EXCLUSIVEREAD MORE: Look what you made me do! Taylor Swift famously uses her mega-hits to settle scores and take brutal digs at her exes…so why DO they stay so silent?

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Capital Breakfast’s Sian Welby also appears to be deep-diving for answers and even probed Lily for some insight.

‘So the lyrics about the pub, are more about her sort of tracking an ex-boyfriend going into there,’ Sian said. ‘We know that she’s got at least two British ex-boyfriends. So there’s actor Joe Alwyn, and there’s singer Matty Healy from The 1975. 

‘So, let’s go into a bit of a deep dive, right. So Taylor swings about her ex going into the pub and hearing the Starting Line band. Is this a band that you’ve had in this pub?’

Lily answered: ‘We’ve had them on the, you know, the pub speakers’, before reaffirming that they play music by the Starting Line in the bar.

‘It’s like a detective novel this. There’s so many questions,’ added Jordan. 

‘She does say in one of the lyrics – I can’t say the actual lyric because it’s a swear word – she says it’s, let’s say not pretty in The Black Dog. Do you have a response for Taylor about that?’

However, Lily noted that it’s ‘never not pretty in The Black Dog’.

She said ‘it’s always positive vibes in the back’ and said that staff ‘definitely, like, on that good wave with all the Swifties coming’.

A video posted to their TikTok page shows a member of staff looking through old security camera footage in a desperate bid to find out which one of her British ex-boyfriends Swift visited with

A video posted to their TikTok page shows a member of staff looking through old security camera footage in a desperate bid to find out which one of her British ex-boyfriends Swift visited with

Fans have come from all over the world to have a pint at the pub in Vauxhall

Fans have come from all over the world to have a pint at the pub in Vauxhall

Taylor Swift decorations can be seen behind the bar in the pub including an image of Swift looking like a religious icon

Taylor Swift decorations can be seen behind the bar in the pub including an image of Swift looking like a religious icon

Fans have taken to TikTok to film themselves visiting the pub in honour of the songstress

Fans have taken to TikTok to film themselves visiting the pub in honour of the songstress

The Black Dog has a charming Victorian-style interior featuring wood paneling, green tiles and antique chandeliers.

The listed building sits opposite Vauxhall pleasure gardens and with tables outside and out back it can be an idyllic spot to perch outside with a drink in summer.

Speaking of which, drinks at The Black Dog will set you back at the typically uncomfortable London rate.

A pint of their varying draught beer or cider will set you back between £5.75 (for their own Black Dog Lager) and £7. Meanwhile, a glass of red comes in from £7.50, with white wines slightly cheaper.

When it comes to food, the pub’s traditional English look is contrasted by a Spanish-inspired menu boasting a range of hot and cold tapas options if you are after small plates. But they do also offer all the pub classics, on a rotational basis depending on what is in season.

According to the most up-to-date sample menu, punters can sit down for a burger and chips for £15.50, fish and chips for £17.50 or steak and chips for £22.

Sunday roasts are naturally towards the top-end of the price range. Beef rump with all the trimmings will set you back £22 with pork belly and crackling £1 cheaper.

The Black Dog is even available to book out for events such as weddings or private events, and can even be booked for filming.

The pub is not some high-flyers exclusive venue for celebs like English actor, Joe Alwyn, rather it is a classic London corner pub with the usual fare of steep prices

The pub is not some high-flyers exclusive venue for celebs like English actor, Joe Alwyn, rather it is a classic London corner pub with the usual fare of steep prices

On the corner of Glasshouse Walk and Vauxhall Walk, The Black Dog sits on land which likely once housed Buckingham's glassworks

On the corner of Glasshouse Walk and Vauxhall Walk, The Black Dog sits on land which likely once housed Buckingham’s glassworks

The pub has a Spanish-inspired tapas menu as well as all the classic pub grub. Fish and chips would set you back £17.50

The pub has a Spanish-inspired tapas menu as well as all the classic pub grub. Fish and chips would set you back £17.50

With both its food and drink menus, the pub rotate options depending on what is in season. Pictured: The Black Dog cheeseburger, which is £15.50 with chips

With both its food and drink menus, the pub rotate options depending on what is in season. Pictured: The Black Dog cheeseburger, which is £15.50 with chips

A Sunday roast at the pub can come in above £20, while the cheapest pint is £5.75

A Sunday roast at the pub can come in above £20, while the cheapest pint is £5.75

Staff at the south London pub have been trawling through old CCTV footage to figure out when the pop sensation may have visited.

A video posted to the pub’s TikTok page shows a member of staff looking through old security camera footage in a desperate bid to find out which one of her British ex-boyfriends Swift visited with – despite none of them recalling her visiting.

The caption reads: ‘You work at The Black Dog (yes the actual pub Taylor name-dropped) and are trying desperately to figure out if it was Matty or Joe’.

EXCLUSIVEREAD MORE: What I discovered about the real Taylor Swift when I visited her £40m home: The superfan invited into her house reveals the star’s secret doors hidden in bookcases and what she keeps in the toilet

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In an interview with The Guardian Lily Bottomley said: ‘We’ve been looking at past security footage [for Swift].We haven’t found anything but you never know. 

‘I’ve heard that whenever she visits places she puts a cap on, so we could have missed it. We’d love to have her back.’

The pub started flogging their branded glasses to fans desperate for a souvenir and announced yesterday that they will soon be launching a range of Swift inspired merchandise.

They have truly leaned into all the media attention, adding ‘home to tortured poets’ to its Instagram bio, making reels linked to the song and including quotes on signs outside.

But they are struggling to keep up with demand and have had to open bookings months in advance to deal with customers making a pilgrimage to the beerhouse according to The Times.

The pub has been overrun with booking requests for a table during Swift’s Eras tour performances in London and are even considering introducing a bottomless brunch.

Fans have flocked to the pub to film themselves sipping on pints of beer and ordering from the Taylor- Swift-themed menu.

In the videos, which have gathered thousands of views, Taylor Swift lyrics and pictures of her can be seen decorating the interior of the listed building while customers gather on picnic benches outside.

A look at all of the different mentions of areas in London in Swift's new album the Tortured Poets Department

A look at all of the different mentions of areas in London in Swift’s new album the Tortured Poets Department

This is her first new album since the end of her six-year relationship with British actor Joe Alwyn and, while she doesn't mention Alwyn by name, speculation will be rife that tracks such as So Long, London are about him. Pictured together in 2019

This is her first new album since the end of her six-year relationship with British actor Joe Alwyn and, while she doesn’t mention Alwyn by name, speculation will be rife that tracks such as So Long, London are about him. Pictured together in 2019

Taylor Swift and Matty Healy seen leaving The Electric Lady studio in Manhattan on May 16, 2023

Taylor Swift and Matty Healy seen leaving The Electric Lady studio in Manhattan on May 16, 2023

Twins Kylee and Jordan Ludwig and their friend Katelyn Anziano, all 20, visited the pub.

Kylee said: ‘As soon as we heard the lyrics and realised it was a real place, we knew we just had to come here. I mean, we can now say we were in The Black Dog on the day of its release.’

Katelyn added: ‘It’ll become part of Taylor Swift lore. Especially because it’s such a sad, emotional song.’

READ MORE: Inside The Black Dog: The London pub Taylor Swift fans are flocking to where pints are £5.75 and roasts cost £20 which inspired song on The Tortured Poets Department despite bar staff claiming they’ve NEVER seen pop star 

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Jordan was particularly excited to visit The Black Dog and said she had already fallen in love with the new album.

‘I love Taylor’s more depressing songs, and for me Tortured Poets was the perfect mix of the production value of Midnights with the tone of folklore and evermore,’ she said.

‘I love it.’

The trio are all from the United States but have been studying abroad at London’s Arcadia University since January. They describe themselves as mega Swifties – and have all already been to The Eras Tour.

Connor Price, assistant manager at The Black Dog, said the three students weren’t the only fans who have visited the pub.

He said: ‘We’ve already had quite a few groups. Some came in and asked for a vodka and Diet Coke, as that’s apparently Taylor’s favourite drink.

‘And last night we had a group in Taylor Swift t-shirts, which was before the whole song was even out.’

Mr Price, 36, said he’s hoping the mention might be good for business. He said: ‘At the moment, it’s all a bit of fun – people have been giving us Google reviews based on the song, which are mostly 5* so that’s good.

‘But we’re thinking we might get some more customers here around the time when Taylor’s tour comes to London, so that would be good.’

Aware of its Taylor Swift-related appeal, The Black Dog is even offering a special deal to fans.

Amy Cowley, 41, the pub’s marketing consultant, said: ‘We are running a deal for anyone who comes in and quotes a lyric from Taylor’s song. The first 100 through the door will get a free ‘Swift Half’ of Black Dog lager.

‘And, after that, the ”Swift Half” will be free with a purchase of food for a week.’

The Bolter Pub reference isn't as explicit as the one relating to The Black Dog, but it's still a track title - and fans have noticed

The Bolter Pub reference isn’t as explicit as the one relating to The Black Dog, but it’s still a track title – and fans have noticed

The Black Dog has capitalised on its newfound fame and included Taylor Swift-themed menu items including a Swift-inspired burger

The Black Dog has capitalised on its newfound fame and included Taylor Swift-themed menu items including a Swift-inspired burger

Fans have taken to TikTok to discuss The Black Dog pub and some have even scrawled through its google reviews

Fans have taken to TikTok to discuss The Black Dog pub and some have even scrawled through its google reviews

Some fans have said the song hits close to home and others feel they have a personal connection with the story telling

Some fans have said the song hits close to home and others feel they have a personal connection with the story telling

Dedicated Swiftie Philippa filmed her visit to The Bolter pub including the sign outside which read 'Have a swift one'.

Dedicated Swiftie Philippa filmed her visit to The Bolter pub including the sign outside which read ‘Have a swift one’.

The Black Dog isn’t the only Swift-related spot The friends have visited while in London.

Kylee said: ‘We’ve actually been living in Highgate, which is obviously mentioned in the song ”London Boy” and is around where Joe Alwyn is from. So we’ve really been immersed in the Taylor Swift culture.’

Another London pub which Swift may have referenced in her new album is The Bolter in The City.

READ MORE: Taylor Swift’s fans are CONVINCED her new album The Tortured Poets Department is more about her brief fling with Matty Healy than her six-year relationship with Joe Alwyn 

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The reference isn’t as explicit as the one relating to The Black Dog, but it’s still a track title – and fans have noticed.

Dan Block, the pub’s site manager, said: ‘We’ve had people in here asking if Taylor Swift has been in here. People have asked which table she sat at – who she was with.

‘Personally, I’m pretty sure she’s never been here, but we do have a karaoke bar downstairs so we’re ready if she does want to stop by.’

The sign at the pub’s entrance reads: ‘Have a Swift one.’

Another London pub – The Spaniards Inn in Hampstead – is also a confirmed Swift spot, with she and Alwyn spotted leaving the pub after what was believed to be their first public date.

One staff member, who did not want to be named, said: ‘I wasn’t working here at the time but I know that definitely happened.

‘There were photos of her inside near the bar. So we do sometimes get fans coming in asking if it’s true, asking if we saw her.

Dedicated Swiftie Philippa visited the pub and filmed her experience including the sign outside which read ‘Have a swift one’. 

Staff at the pub said: ‘We get quite a few celebs here actually, especially in the summer. I’ve served a few in my time.’

Swift and Alwyn are said to have been looking for a house together in North London, so it’s no surprise the area has featured heavily in her lyrics.

The couple were said to be looking for a ‘house with a garden’ – with the location widely speculated to be Hampstead Heath.

Swift seems to confirm this in So Long, London, where she sings ‘you left me at the house by the Heath’.

Her pre-breakup song London Boy also name checks the area, with Swift singing how Alwyn 'took me back to Highgate, met all of his best mates' before comparing herself to 'a Tennessee Stella McCartney on the Heath'.

Another North London landmark mentioned in the song is Camden Market, with the American singing how she enjoys walking there 'in the afternoon'.

Further south, Shoreditch and Soho are named as places where she likes to walk.

Swift's mention of 'high tea' and 'stories from uni' may not be anchored in any particular geography, but she does describe visits to the West End - no doubt a common haunt for her actor ex.

And South Londoners will be pleased to hear she ventures into the SW postcode, singing how she 'enjoys nights in Brixton'.