Victorian pub in Barking faces serving last pints next year

One of the oldest pubs in Barking faces serving its last pints next year after a long period of “very difficult trading conditions”.

Manager of the Spotted Dog, Russell Humes, said the pub – which opened in 1870 – has suffered years of tough trading.

He said: “The Spotted Dog is a large property and increasingly more expensive to operate as turnover decreases.

“The lease held by Davy & Co, operators of the Spotted Dog for over 100 years, expires at the end of 2013. At this time, all options will have to be considered.

“The pub has faced very difficult trading conditions for several years.

“This is due to a combination of factors including the no smoking ban, cheap supermarket alcohol, ongoing increases on duty on alcohol and the changing demographics of the local area.”

Regulars have now launched a campaign to save their favourite drinking spot, in Longbridge Road near Barking Station.

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Paul Scott, 35, has launched an online petition in a bid to save the Victorian pub and said it is part of the town’s heritage and social scene.

Mr Scott, of Sandhurst Drive, said: “We’ve seen enough pub closures. I believe it should be preserved. We’ve got to do everything to save it. This summer we’ve got the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Euro 2012 and also the Olympics.

“These events should bring people out and encourage them to go to places like pubs.”

The news of The Spotted Dog’s difficulties came as the Campaign for Real Ale warned that 16 pubs are closing each week across the country.

A Camra spokesman said many had been “battered by a whirlwind of beer tax hikes and deep alcohol discounts from supermarket chains”.

A spokesman for Davy & Co said it was aware of the views expressed by Mr Humes and said the chain was “keeping all our options open”.

n Readers can sign up to the petition at