A pub (or public house) is an establishment where alcoholic beverages are served. The term originally referred to an inn or tavern where travelers were welcomed and offered food and drink; English common law early imposed social responsibilities for the well-being of the traveling public on such inns and taverns.
Traditionally, the main product served in a pub was beer. In addition to draught beer, most modern pubs serve a variety of wines and spirits, soft drinks, and coffee and tea. Some pubs also provide meals or snacks, in addition to or instead of the traditional bar snack – these are sometimes called gastropubs.
Many pubs also feature a range of games and amusements. These may include a pool table, dart board, and arcade machines. In general, however, a pub is a place where people meet with friends to relax and spend time together.
Whether it is in the pub’s garden, an outbuilding, or the local park, people enjoy pubs for their sense of community. They provide a venue for convivial conversation and a wide variety of creative or social amusements such as music, reading, playing games, and – at least in the North of England – watching week-end comedians.
Few places are as popular and enduring as the pub. It is perhaps the only truly classless venue, where all sections of society converge. In a world where so many traditions are being attacked under the spurious charges of anachronism and discrimination, the pub remains an enduring part of our national culture.