Pub vs. Bar

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Difference between Pub and Bar

Pubs and bars are both places where people gather to drink alcohol and socialize with each other. Pubs and bars can be very different places, although it is difficult to determine the precise difference between these two types of drinking establishments. The main differences are usually in the atmosphere and in whether or not meals are served as well as drinks.



Pubs are often more traditional establishments than bars, in terms of both their atmosphere and the decor, particularly in the UK and Ireland. Bars are often thought of as more modern, stylish and classy places in which to enjoy a night out.

In a bar, the design of the space is often very important, and it determines the sort of people who may decide to visit the bar, while in a pub it is more important for the space to be welcoming and friendly. Pubs are often traditional meeting places for the local community, while bars may tend to have a more diverse clientele.


Bars are often loud and busy. They tend to offer entertainment, often in the form of music and dancing. Pubs tend to be more relaxed, casual and friendly and they are often quieter. Pubs are also more likely to be family friendly and to be open during the daytime than bars are. Minors may be permitted into some parts of the pub, particularly if they are having a meal with their family, but they are not usually admitted into bars.

Pubs often have games and pool tables, and they may also have a garden where people can sit outside. Pubs may have a public bar and a more comfortable lounge, offering different types of spaces for eating and relaxing.

Bars tend to be thought of as classier and they often provide space for dancing. Bars are more focused on nighttime entertainment and drinking alcohol, while pubs are a place in which people can relax or spend time with their friends or family.

A bar can also be an area within a hotel or restaurant and the part of a pub where drinks are bought can also be known as the bar. However, a pub is always self-contained. Pubs can be found in towns and cities, but it is also possible to get country pubs. Bars tend to be within the city center.

Food and Services

One of the main differences between a pub and a bar, particularly in the US, is that a pub will serve proper meals while a bar will not usually serve more than light snacks or appetizers. Pubs may have a separate dining area and a livelier, bar-like section. Pubs and bars can also differ in the type of drinks that they serve. Both will usually offer a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks. Pubs tend to focus more on wine and beer, while bars may also serve cocktails.

Pubs sometimes also provide accommodation, in which case they may be called inns. Pubs may also be known as taverns or even as hotels insome areas where alcohol has tended to be restricted to hotels.

Similarities and Differences

  • Pubs and bars are two types of drinking establishments where people can meet up with their friends and spend time socializing.
  • Traditional pubs are common in the UK and Ireland.
  • Pubs usually serve meals while bars usually offer appetizers.
  • Pubs are often open during the day and welcome families.
  • Bars are often about dancing and meeting new people, while pubs are more relaxed.


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