What is a Pub?

A pub is a social drinking establishment which serves alcoholic beverages and may also serve food. Pubs are often found in cities and have a distinct atmosphere or theme.

The word pub comes from the Old English term ppelnuh, meaning “public house”. The name reflects the fact that pubs were originally indistinguishable from private houses and were open to all members of the public. As pubs became more established, they began to distinguish themselves from other drinking establishments by incorporating a number of recognisable features including bar counters, etched glass windows, ornately decorated mirrors, wood panelling and, most importantly, hand pumps for the dispensing of beer.

Pubs typically sell a wide variety of drinks, including draught and bottled beer, cider, wine, spirits, tea and coffee. Some pubs also serve meals and snacks, while others are referred to as gastropubs and offer a full menu more similar to that of a restaurant. Pubs generally allow minors if they are accompanied by an adult.

Pubs are a common setting for fictional works such as books, stories, films and video games. Notable fictional pubs include the Admiral Benbow Inn in the pirate story Treasure Island, The Garrison in the 1920s crime drama Peaky Blinders, The Leaky Cauldron and The Green Dragon in the high fantasy books The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, Moe’s Tavern from the animated television series The Simpsons and the Golden Lion in the medieval fantasy film Excalibur.