A pub is a type of bar or public house where alcoholic drinks and sometimes food are served. The word is derived from the Old English term for “inn”. Pubs may have a range of drinks, including beer and wine. Food served at a pub may include fried foods such as chips, burgers or chicken wings; sandwiches; and soup. Pubs may also have a wide variety of games, such as darts or snooker.
A large part of a pub’s appeal comes from its social atmosphere. It is a gathering place for friends and family, and a meeting place for groups of workers or sports enthusiasts. People go to a pub to get away from the humdrum of daily life and relax with fellow patrons. Pubs are generally frequented by men and women of all ages, social classes and occupations. Until the 1970s, many pubs had separate rooms for different social groups. For example, working class drinkers would go to the public bar while middle-class drinkers would take a seat in the saloon bar.
Pubs often feature live music, particularly in the form of pub songs and traditional Irish music. During the 1970s, some pubs in Britain were converted into venues for pub rock, a musical genre that predated punk. In the United Kingdom, pubs are licensed to sell beer, and are usually owned and operated by a licensee (the term for a publican in Ireland). Pubs may be tied to a particular brewery and can only sell their own beer. A pub that is not tied to a brewery is called a free house.