What Is a Pub?

A pub is a type of bar or tavern that serves food and often acts as a community gathering place. In many places in Britain, and in many of the world’s former British colonies, a pub is an essential part of the local culture.

The word “pub” comes from the shortened form of public house and originally meant any building that was open to the public to drink beer. Over time, the term came to mean any establishment that sold alcohol, and a pub began to be seen as a kind of community center.

Traditionally, pubs have served a wide range of drinks, including draught and bottled beer, cider, wines, spirits, and soft drinks. The menu also included a variety of comfort foods, from fried snacks to full meals and sandwiches. Today, some pubs have a more restaurant-like focus and serve dishes to a higher standard than would be expected of a typical fast-food joint. These are sometimes called gastropubs.

Some pubs have facilities for playing games, such as pool and darts. They may also have televisions for sports events. In the United Kingdom, pubs have long had a reputation for supporting music, with many famous musicians having played in local venues. In the 1970s, a genre of music known as pub rock emerged from bands such as Kilburn and the High Roads, Dr. Feelgood, and The Kursaal Flyers. Today, pubs often feature live music and act as a meeting place for locals.