‘We have a certain blonde regular’: The Black Dog pub booms after Taylor Swift album leak

A pub in Vauxhall has been swamped by Taylor Swift fans after it was referenced in a track on the singer’s latest album which was leaked last week.

Within an hour of the leak – which happened on Thursday – the small venue was flooded with fans of the world’s biggest pop star, while management ramped up working hours and security to meet the demand.

When the South London Press visited the pub in Vauxhall Walk today, just minutes after opening time, tables were full with reservations fully booked for the afternoon.

Lily Bottomley, 24, from Brixton, an events and social manager for SC Soho, the hospitality group that owns the Black Dog, said: “It all started on Thursday after the leaks. I saw it on Twitter myself and thought it was a coincidence but then it just exploded.

“We set up a Tik Tok account and within 72 hours we had more than two million views and our Instagram following tripled.”

The Black Dog Pub in Vauxhall Walk (Picture: Claudia Lee)

According to new data from industry data platform Stocklytics, Google searches for the phrase “The Black Dog” has gone up 895 per cent in the last week, from about 2,300 searches per day to about 78,600.

Over the course of the weekend, devoted fans descended on the quiet neighbourhood in Vauxhall to get a first-hand insight into the superstar’s latest release.

Ms Bottomley described the “Swifty effect” as “amazing” and “extremely positive”.

She said: “The atmosphere is electric. Right now we’re seeing a massive increase in bookings and walk-ins so we’re definitely feeling the effect and we’re just loving it.”

The Black Dog is the 17th track on Swift’s long-awaited 11th album, The Tortured Poets Department, which broke Spotify’s record for the most-streamed album in a single day when it was officially released on Friday.

The lyrics, “and so I watch as you walk – into some bar called The Black Dog” appear in the first verse of the song.

Benches outside the Black Dog pub (Picture: Claudia Lee)

Fans have been speculating which of Swift’s British ex-boyfriends – Joe Alwyn or Matty Healy – could be behind the reference.

Ms Bottomley said: “We know the song is about one of her ex-boyfriends and without giving too much away I will say we have had a certain blonde regular in a few times.”

The pub is making amazing use of the free PR, first with drinks deals and now merch.

Ms Bottomley said: “We’ve got some Black Dog glasses you can get at the bar but we’re hoping to do more and maybe get some T-shirts out.”

A blackboard with the famous lyrics scrawled across the front has been hung up on the outside of the listed building, opposite Vauxhall pleasure gardens, which has become a hotspot for Tik Tokers to film their content.

Taylor Swift (Picture: PA)

Ms Bottomley said staff are “bracing themselves” and “preparing” for the surge to continue throughout summer when Swift will visit London on tour.

She said:  “We’ve been getting more staff in than usual and have been staying open a bit later, we’re looking to extend our opening hours too.

“It’s great and so exciting.”

Pictured top: Lily Bottomley outside The Black Dog Pub today (Picture: Claudia Lee)

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