Almost 500 residents have signed a petition to ‘Keep the name of Whitby’s Golden Lion’ on Change.org.
Star plans to operate under the moniker of the Salty Dog after revamping the site into “a stylish bar with a premium feel”.
The Yorkshire pub has operated under its current name since the early 18th century and is a Grade II-listed building within the town’s conservation area.
The petition argues that the name change “has already attracted a lot of negative comment on social media, and is likely to prove highly unpopular with locals”.
Lively negative reaction
Dr John Field, chairman of Whitby Civic Society, wrote to the pubco to ask that the current name be kept.
He said: “We are delighted that you plan to retain the pub and maintain its external features.
“We would, though, strongly prefer that you keep the existing name, and the success of a local petition as well as the lively negative reaction on local social media sites suggests that many of the townspeople feel the same way.
“Whitby’s great attraction for visitors and locals alike is its history and heritage, and people rightly have great pride in its historic identity.”
A spokesperson for Star Pubs & Bars said no final decision had been made on the name change yet.
They said: "The Golden Lion, Whitby, is in desperate need of refurbishment to ensure its long-term future.
“We're having ongoing discussions with local planning and conservation officers – no final decisions have been made as yet about changing the name of the pub and we’ll be listening to the views of the community."