The Dirty Duck in Stratford is undergoing a clean-up - The Stratford Observer

The Dirty Duck in Stratford is undergoing a clean-up

Stratford Editorial 25th May, 2023   0

LANDMARK Stratford pub The Dirty Duck is undergoing a clean-up.

The pub, a regular haunt of thespians and dating back to the 18th century, closed its doors to punters on Friday May 19 for a major six-figure refurbishment.

It is set to reopen in late June.

The grade II listed building will undergo renovation work to its interior and exterior façade, as well as the waterside terrace which overlooks the River Avon.




Celebrated as being Stratford’s ‘real’ theatre pub, thanks to its proximity to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and its popularity with RSC actors over the decades, it has been known as the Black Swan since 1776 but was given the nickname ‘The Dirty Duck’ by locals.

It is the only pub in England to have a license under two names and was taken over by pub company and brewer Greene King in 2004.


To ensure the refurbishment protects and respects the rich theatrical history of the pub, Greene King has enlisted the expertise of consultant, writer, and pub historian Pete Brown, who will advise on how to merge the historical and modern worlds in which the pub sits.

One of many elements he will provide guidance on is the pub’s Actors Bar, which has become the focal point of the site and is popular with celebrated actors who have enjoyed a pint or two over the years, including Sir Laurence Olivier, Dame Judi Dench, Charles Dance OBE, Dame Helen Mirren and Sir Ian McKellen – whose signed poster adorns the restaurant walls.

Antony Wadeson, the pub’s general manager, said: “The Dirty Duck is a place steeped in history and a cornerstone of the local community. The whole team are really excited to see the finished product after the refurbishment, and we can’t wait to welcome back customers both old and new to The Dirty Duck in June.”

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