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Friday, 30 December 2011

#042 The Spotted Dog, Digbeth : 1998 to 2011

There were two Spotted Dog pubs in Digbeth and I've been in both of them. This one is on the corner of Alcester Street and Warwick Street...and is still open.

This is how it looked in 1998, but at that time I'd never been inside.

However, in 2007 I had the opportunity to visit some pubs that we'd never been in on any of our canal trips before. So we did a mini pub crawl through Digbeth and started at The Spotted Dog. This photo was taken on the evening of 24th August 2007.
In the intervening 9 years there are few changes apart from a lick of paint and some greenery added to the outside. Inside I remember it as being a nice, cosy Irish pub with a friendly atmosphere. Our friends were already there and had stationed themselves in the quite substantial garden/patio area. Inside the pub was a fantastic map of Digbeth from the 1800's that showed all of the pubs within about a quarter of a mile. Out of the approximately 20 pubs shown, only 3 or 4 were still in existence! The only downside was that the only lager available was Carlsberg which, in those days, was almost undrinkable (but that didn't stop me!!)

And here we are in 2011! Another lick of paint and the greenery on the corner appears to have grown unchecked! Like many pubs in the area, The Spotted Dog is also a venue for live music. It is also one of the establishments at the forefront of the campaign to keep live music in Digbeth. Over the past few years, more and more people now live nearby in the new developments and some of them don't like the sound of music at night. So they complain and the council have to investigate, resulting in the potential for any of these venues to be closed down. Very frustrating for the pubs that were there and playing music long before the influx of new residents. So far the resistance has been successful.

This is the nineteenth in my 'Birmingham Eastside' series.

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