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London pub The Black Dog reveals it’s at ‘max capacity’ after mention in Taylor Swift song

‘We’re a local pub, so to get this worldwide attention has been crazy,’ establishment’s marketing manager says

Amber Raiken
New York
Friday 26 April 2024 04:53 BST
Related: Taylor Swift Tortured Album Lyrics

A London based pub, The Black Dog, has revealed how its business has been booming after Taylor Swift mentioned it in her new song.

The restaurant’s marketing director, Amy Crowley, spoke candidly about the business’ recent success during an interview with People, published on 25 April. Her comments came after Swift released her new album, The Tortured Poets Department on 19 April, followed by a second album with additional songs. One of the bonus songs on the record - The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology - is “The Black Dog,” which tells the story of someone watching their ex going into their go-to bar following their breakup.

Speaking to People, Crowley discussed the popularity The Black Dog has experienced since Swift’s album release, noting it’s “been surreal”. She also opened up about how grateful the South London based pub is for the press, since it’s a small business.

“We’re quite lucky because we’re a well-established and well-loved local pub already, but that’s the key word, we’re a local pub, so to get this worldwide attention has been crazy,” she added.

Crowley specified that since Swift’s album release, people from all over the world have made their way to The Black Dog, with the biggest interest coming “from the States, Spain, Germany and Australia”.

She acknowledged that while the pub hasn’t been able to seat every guest that walks in, many customers, specifically Swifties, have bonded with each other when in the restaurant.

“We’ve had to turn people away as we’re at max capacity, so that shows the levels that we’re talking about,” she said. “What’s been great though is that the fans have been amazing. We’ve had them shifting up to share tables with strangers to let people get in the door which is really cool.”

In honour of the album and rise in business for The Black Dog, the restaurant is also offering Swift-themed food and drinks.

“We’ve got our Swift Half which is our Black Dog lager and then we’ve got the Swift Burger which is a classic burger with our special house sauce with fries and chili sauce,” Crowley said. “They’ve been very popular.”

Crowley revealed that the restaurant has continued to pay homage to Swift’s new work, as the pub even has lyrics from the album on its chalkboard outside. She also said that customers have been requesting merchandise that references Swift’s hit album.

“We’re creating T-shirts and people are already buying our pint glasses. The number of people signed up to our mailing list for the merchandise is already in the thousands, so we absolutely anticipate things will sell out as soon as they’re ready,” she said.

Since its release, there’s been ongoing speculation from fans that “Black Dog” is about one of Swift’s exes, such as her previous boyfriend of six-years, Joe Alwyn, or 1975 frontman Matty Healy, who she briefly dated last year. The first verse of the song refers to the singer noticing her ex’s phone location and seeing him go to The Black Dog, which is based in Vauxhall, London, after their breakup.

“I am someone who, until recent events,” the song begins. “You shared your secrets with / And your location you forgot to turn it off / And so I watch as you walk into some bar called The Black Dog.”

Speaking to People, Crowley noted that she “couldn’t possibly say” if either Alwyn or Healy has been to The Black Dog or not. In addition, she acknowledged that staff at the restaurant have no idea who Swift is singing about and probably never will.

“We have been furiously looking back at CCTV, but we couldn’t possibly comment and I think that is part of the allure of Taylor isn’t it, she’s got to keep her fans in suspense, so we will go along with that,” she said.

However, the restaurant has still joked about the meaning of the song on social media. Earlier this week, The Black Dog took to TikTok to share a video of someone in the pub rushing to the computer, in order to go through the security footage and see who’s been in the restaurant before.

“POV, 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.”

The Independent has contacted a representative for The Black Dog for comment.

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