In a pub you can get a variety of drinks, particularly alcoholic ones. Most pubs also sell food. Often a pub will have a saloon bar for entertainment as part of their everyday offering, and some larger ones may have a separate room that people can hire out for events such as weddings or live music gigs.
People go to a pub because they want to relax and meet friends in a social environment. Most pubs will be open from midday until early in the morning. They will serve food throughout the day and then switch to focusing on alcohol later in the evening. They will be open to all ages, and many people will have strong views about what they think makes a good pub.
It is important to remember that the best pubs are not necessarily those with a great amount of history. The greatest pubs are those that have meaning for the communities in which they are situated. They are the place where village comedy and tragedy has been played out. They are where the locals come to hear a story told and to share their own. Their history is as much in the stickiness of the tabletops, and the suspicious stains on the carpets as it is in the grandness of the architecture.
Many modern pubs are part of a chain, either run centrally or franchised out. Some are owned by the brewery themselves, whilst others are independent locations. The chain pubs can offer a more consistent experience but tend to focus on lower cost drinks to maximise their profit margins.