A pub is a social gathering place where beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) are served. Most of them feature games such as pool, darts and bowling and may also offer live sporting events like rugby or football. They are often family friendly and serve a variety of food from snacks to full meals.
In some countries, such as the United Kingdom, a pub must be licensed to operate. The person in charge of the establishment is known as the licensee. Historically, pubs were located in the middle of the main street in towns and villages but they have moved to suburban locations since the introduction of car ownership.
Many people enjoy a leisurely drink and chat with friends in a pub and they also use it as a meeting place for work colleagues. They can be found in most cities and towns, though they are less common in smaller rural communities. They are usually quieter than bars and offer a more relaxed atmosphere.
They can have a wide range of entertainment and some of them even have special events for specific groups. Some offer karaoke and open-mic nights. Others have dance floors and DJs. Some of them also have a bowling green and offer league play.
Pubs have been portrayed in fiction by such authors as Geoffrey Chaucer’s Tabard, Martin Amis’ Black Cross and Thomas Hardy’s Buck’s Head Inn. Their atmospheric settings have lent themselves to the setting of many films and television shows.