Hop Poles

Hop Poles, Middle Street: then and now

Before becoming the Hop Poles, this pub was known as the Spotted Dog.

Photo:Spotted Dog

Spotted Dog

Image reproduced with permission from Brighton History Centre

Photo:Hop Poles

Hop Poles

Photo by Mike Snewin

Added to the site on 06-01-05 
This page was added on 22/03/2006.
Comments about this page
In the late 60s when it was the Spotted Dog, it was well known as a gay bar and a place we were warned to stay away from. Having been away in Australia since 1973 I don't know what it is like now. Just down the road from there was a large night-club, Sherry's, where the young would go for a chat-up and a dance to the disco music. The dance floor was downstairs - upstairs was a huge runaround balcony where the tables and chairs were. We sat there looking down on the dancers and sipping our drinks. I remember at one time the favourite song to be played was 'Mouldy Old Dough' when absolutely everybody would stamp their feet heavily. It was a wonder the balcony didn't collapse! Coming out late at night we would see the gay couples lounging around outside the pub subjecting themselves to much ridicule, sometimes fights, in those prejudiced days.
By Patricia Silsby (06/03/2006)
As the 'Spotted Dog' this was where Brian Epstein used to drink when The Beatles came down to Brighton in about 1964. I was at Brighton Tech at the time and a group of us decided to try and kidnap Paul McCartney as a rag stunt. It never came off.
By Steve Byers (06/08/2006)

Went into the Spotted Dog as a 16 year old with a bunch of mates before going to Sherrys. It was the first time I'd had any significant awareness of the Brighton gay scene as the bar staff were openly gay. We left pretty sharpish as it was girls we were chasing.

Went back a few years ago and was amazed at the transformation as the whole building had been opened up. In the sixties it was a small cozy bar.

By Robert White (26/06/2016)

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