A pub is a public house, serving alcoholic drinks and food. In the UK it is usually a commercial establishment, though independent pubs can also exist. It may have a specific theme, such as a music bar or sports pub, or it might be family-oriented and serve food. Some bars have specific activities, such as a jukebox, or might host events, such as pub quizzes or poker nights.
Often, a good range of beverages is available, from lightly-hopped malty milds to India pale ales and bitter stouts. Other drinks might be served as well, such as wine and spirits, or soft drinks. Some pubs now focus on their food, and they are sometimes referred to as gastropubs.
In the past, pubs used to be the centre of communities. They were places where people could celebrate, commiserate and meet friends or strangers. They were a place where all classes of society came together. They were a place where, in the words of P.G. Wodehouse, ‘gentle hubbub, good conversation, spirited debate and the occasional shaken fist’ were all part of the ambience.
Nowadays, most people come to the pub primarily for the drink, but they may be offered food as well. Some pubs have speciality foods, such as a burger and fries or a bangers and mash, and they might offer other snacks. Pubs generally have lower prices than bars, and they may serve a wider selection of drinks. In addition to the main bar, some pubs have a saloon area, which serves higher-priced drinks.