Bar Vs Pub: What's The Difference?

The Basics: What is a Bar?

A bar is a place where people go to drink alcoholic beverages. It is usually a small establishment that serves drinks and sometimes food. The focus of a bar is on the socializing aspect of drinking, and people often go there to meet friends or make new ones.

Most bars have a counter where patrons can sit and order drinks. There are usually tables and chairs scattered around the room, providing additional seating. The atmosphere in a bar can vary, but it is generally relaxed and casual.

What is a Pub?

A pub is short for a public house, and it is a type of bar that originated in the United Kingdom. Pubs are similar to bars in that they serve alcohol, but they also serve food. Additionally, pubs often have a more historical or cultural significance in their communities than bars do.

Traditionally, pubs were places where people would go to socialize with their neighbors and catch up on local news. Today, pubs still serve as community gathering places, but they also attract tourists and visitors who are interested in experiencing the local culture.

Atmosphere and Decor

One of the main differences between bars and pubs is the atmosphere and decor. Bars are typically more modern and sleek, with a focus on the social aspect of drinking. Pubs, on the other hand, have a more traditional and cozy feel, with dark wood paneling, fireplaces, and comfortable seating.

Pubs often have a more intimate atmosphere, with small rooms or nooks where patrons can sit and enjoy their drinks. Bars, on the other hand, are usually more open and spacious, with a focus on mingling and socializing.

Drinks and Food

Both bars and pubs serve alcoholic beverages, but the types of drinks and the way they are served can be different. Bars often have a wider variety of drinks, including specialty cocktails and craft beers. Pubs, on the other hand, may have a more limited drink selection, but they often have a strong focus on local brews and traditional drinks.

When it comes to food, pubs have a clear advantage. Most bars serve snacks or small plates, but pubs typically have a full menu of hearty, traditional dishes. This can include items like fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, and bangers and mash.


Bars and pubs may also differ in terms of the entertainment they offer. Bars often have TVs showing sports or music videos, as well as live music or DJs. Pubs, on the other hand, may have more traditional forms of entertainment, such as pub quizzes or live folk music.

Closing Time

Another difference between bars and pubs is their closing time. In many places, bars are allowed to stay open later than pubs. This is because pubs are often considered to be more family-friendly and community-focused, while bars are seen as places where people go to party and socialize late into the night.


So, which is better: a bar or a pub? The answer, of course, depends on your personal preferences. If you’re looking for a casual, social atmosphere and a wide variety of drinks, a bar may be the right choice for you. But if you’re interested in experiencing local culture and enjoying traditional food and drink, a pub may be more your style.

Ultimately, both bars and pubs have their own unique charm and appeal, and the choice between them comes down to what you’re looking for in a drinking establishment.

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