A pub is a place that sells alcohol and/or food. Pubs are usually located in established areas and offer a friendly atmosphere. Often they have televisions to watch sporting events, and some offer table service for meals. The owner of a pub is called the licensee and may also be known as a publican.
Pubs in the UK are typically licensed by the local authority to serve alcohol. They are sometimes referred to as bars, but this term is also applied to establishments that primarily serve food and do not sell beer or wine, such as restaurants. In addition to traditional pubs, there are a number of chains that sell beer, such as Wetherspoons and Punch Taverns. These chains usually have a franchise agreement with the brewery, resulting in a legal obligation to buy all of their beers from that brewery.
The main role of a pub is to serve alcohol, although some also provide light snacks. Many people choose a pub for its atmosphere and social interaction with friends or acquaintances. In the UK, some pubs also specialise in a particular type of cuisine or activity such as live music or quiz nights.
Many British people are familiar with the fictional pubs featured in their favourite television soap operas, including The Rovers Return in Coronation Street, the Queen Vic in EastEnders and the Woolpack in Emmerdale. The names of these pubs have become household names. In Scandinavia, some pubs have opened that eschew the concept of ‘theming’ and focus solely on serving carefully conditioned beer from independent breweries in an environment that would not be unfamiliar to a British pub-goer.