Signs and Wonders No 2: A Dog's life

Where: Starbucks and Whittard’s, Bridlesmith Gate
What: You can shut an old pub easily enough. Erasing it is another matter.
Take the sculpture on this building. It tells you what the place used to sell (the products of grapes and hops), what it was called (the Dog and Bear), when (1876) it was last rebuilt. It even gives the monogram of its landlord at the time: TS, for Thomas Smith.
When Smith commissioned architect John Collyer, the Dog was already more than a century old. Gordon Wright and Bryan Curtis, in their Inns and Pubs of Nottinghamshire, find a reference to it in borough records in 1733; and they find bear-baiting, the source of its name, in Weekday Cross the century before. (The faces at the top of two arches are most likely “champions”, the men who tried their dogs against the chained bear.)
Bear-baiting left Nottingham in the 1840s, shortly before being outlawed, but the pub is a more recent death. It hit trouble in the late eighties, when it lost its licence for a year, and fatal trouble in the early nineties, when then owners Bass decided to move the licence round the corner to the old county court.
The Dog shut in 1993; The Court, its St Peter’s Gate replacement, went through several incarnations before ending up as a Hugo Boss shop. You have to look rather harder for traces of a pub there.