What is a Pub?

A pub, or public house, is a drinking establishment that also offers food and entertainment. They have a long tradition as meeting places in the UK, and they are still popular with locals and tourists alike. They are often known for serving classic British dishes such as pie and mash, fish and chips or Sunday roasts. Many serve regional favorites as well. They are also known for their drink selection, ranging from traditional ales to craft beers and basic wines to spirits and soft drinks.

In the past, English common law imposed social responsibilities upon inns and taverns to accommodate travellers. The term pub was adopted to distinguish these establishments from private homes. The name also helped people identify them as businesses that were open to the general public and served alcoholic beverages, whereas private households were not allowed to sell alcohol.

Besides the bar, pubs usually have a lounge area where patrons can sit and talk to friends and colleagues. They may have a saloon bar with pool tables and games machines, or they might host live music gigs or other events. Some have a cosy snug, a tucked away part of the pub that was once reserved for men only. It might have a frosted window pane to prevent regulars from seeing who was in there.

Modern pubs are less tied down to decorative restrictions that might have been dictated by Victorian taste or conservatism. You will no longer find dark oak and walnut furniture, opulently painted tiling and wood panelling in most. There is a growing trend for pubs to offer more than just drinks, and some now have dedicated dining rooms or even separate restaurants under their own branding.