A pub is a kind of social hub; a place to celebrate, commiserate, meet friends and strangers. It is where you are most likely to find a friendly fire, the gently hubbub of animated conversation and maybe a spirited argument or two (though perhaps not as many shaken fists as in days past). It is also where one can go to meet fellow enthusiasts in a particular hobby, or to hear live music from bands. It is where one can be sure to find a pint of local ale and a frosted glass on one’s favourite table. It is the place where you can encounter the warmth of a whole community – it is no wonder that Shakespeare’s Prince Hal frequented the Boar’s Head Tavern.
Bars and pubs differ from each other in many ways, but most significantly in terms of whether food is served. Pubs tend to focus on homemade slow-cooked foods like stews and savory pies, while bars usually serve more snack-style fried finger foods and appetizers. Both establishments typically have an emphasis on alcoholic drinks and may be age-restricted. Bars can have specific themes such as biker bars, sports bars and gay bars.
Both bars and pubs often open at similar times of the day, but pubs are generally open much longer than bars because they provide both a food service and alcoholic beverages. Pubs may be owned by large companies known as PubCos or tied to a brewery, while bars are usually independently owned and operated. Both types of establishments are common in cities, as city residents are more likely to support a drinking establishment that focuses on alcoholic drinks than rural and suburban populations.