This London pub may have inspired Taylor Swift's new song 'The Black Dog.' Now it's welcoming Swifties and teeing up merch.

"Being part of the Taylor Swift lore is amazing for us," the pub's events and social media manager says.

The Black Dog, right, is now a Swiftie tourist destination. (Getty Images)

A South London pub is seeing its business boom in the days following the release of Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department. Fans are convinced that the pub, which shares the name of Swift’s 17th track “The Black Dog,” is the establishment Swift references in the song. The Black Dog is now a must-visit location for Swifties — and its staff is wholeheartedly embracing it.

“We’re getting a lot of Swifties. We’re loving it,” Lily Bottomley, the Black Dog’s events and social manager, told Yahoo Entertainment.

To accommodate its new clientele, Bottomley said the pub has since added Swift-related menu items, including the Swift Burger and Taylor’s Versions of all cocktails since the album’s April 19 release.

“We have the lyrics of ‘The Black Dog’ on the side of our pub. So that’s definitely become a photo destination. We have consistently about 10 to 20 people out there all the time,” she said.

In the track’s chorus, Swift sings, “In the Black Dog, when someone plays the Starting Line / And you jump up, but she’s too young to know this song / That was intertwined in the magic fabric of our dreaming / Old habits die screaming.”

Initial fan theories suggested that Swift’s ex-boyfriend, actor Joe Alwyn, inspired the track. (In a recent interview with Sky News, Bottomley hinted at a “certain blond regular” coming in.) Other Swifties, however, are convinced that the 1975 frontman Matty Healy, who made headlines for his short-lived romance with Swift following her split from Alwyn in 2023, is the song’s muse.

When Swift brings her “Eras Tour” to Europe this summer, which includes eight shows in London, the Black Dog knows Swifties have added it to their travel plans.

“We’ve definitely seen an increase in sales and bookings are really high at the moment, especially during her tour dates [at] Wembley [Stadium] in June and August,” Bottomley said.

After receiving hundreds of requests, the Black Dog will soon be selling merch too.

“Honestly, it’s just been motivated by Swifties,” Bottomley explained of the pub’s decision to create clothing. “I think being part of the Taylor Swift lore is amazing for us. [Swifties] want a piece of it as well because it’s such a great song so we’re more than happy to oblige.”

Stefan Peters, a self-proclaimed Swiftie and London native, paid the Black Dog a visit two days after TTPD was released. He told Yahoo Entertainment that going there was a no-brainer.

“I have loved Taylor for years. As soon as I listened to ‘The Black Dog’ and realized it was a real location in London, I knew I had to visit,” Peters said. “There were plenty of Swifties there. You could hear groups discussing the album and talking about how amazing it is.”

Michelle Lopez, a Swift fan from Chicago, told Yahoo Entertainment that she’ll be traveling to London in May and booked a dinner reservation at the Black Dog.

Swifties are flocking to the Black Dog in London.
Inside the Black Dog in London. (Universal Images Group via Getty)

For many Swifties, the appeal of visiting The Black Dog lies in the fact that it’s now steeped in Swift history. Fans feel connected to her lyrics and now they’re able to step foot in an actual place she visited and maybe even frequented. There’s a tangibility to it.

“Fans feel so connected to Taylor that they want to see, hear, feel [and] touch anything that she may have experienced,” Danielle Marie, a Swiftie TikToker, told Yahoo Entertainment. “In this case, it’s a pub in London [that is] quite possibly a place [where] she experienced a lot of turmoil.”

Nikki King, another Swift content creator, believes fans flock to locations like the Black Dog to deepen their understanding of the pop star’s lyrics.

“Being in a place she’s written about or even reading novels that inspired her art deepen our understanding of her perspective,” she explained. “Just like [how] fans visited Cornelia Street in New York to be photographed with the street sign or Clara Bow’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. … These locations are immediately immortalized.”

Swift isn’t the only artist whose fans are making pilgrimages to locations tied to their favorite songs. In 2019, Harry Styles name-dropped L.A.’s Beachwood Cafe on his track “Falling” and it’s since become a highly trafficked tourist location. Similarly, Sabrina Carpenter fans are paying homage to her “Feather” music video by performing the song’s choreography outside of the Brooklyn, N.Y., church where it was filmed.

“There is a fine line that fans can cross with [Swift’s] personal life and there’s extremes in every fandom … but really I think the intent of most fans here is to just be able to find some sort of connection that makes them feel closer to Taylor and her music,” Marie said.