Pub vs Bar

Pub vs Bar

The pub is the short form of the term public house, and these are drinking establishments particular to British culture. Bars are retail establishments serving alcohol to drink inside the premises. The main difference is that pubs usually draw a slightly older, more mellow crowd than bars do.

Many people enjoy hanging out at a bar or pub from time to time. Have you ever thought about why we use two names for the same place? 

Difference Between Pub and Bar

Pubs also have the license to sell alcohol, but their primary focus is not simply selling alcoholOverview Bars are licensed to serve hardcore alcohol
There is generally no age requirement because pubs also serve food. If accompanied by an adult, children can also visit pubs.Age RequirementGenerally, 21+
Types of pubs are- brewery owned, free houses, or private ownership Ambiance There are numerous types of bars- sports bars, dance bars, salsa bars, gay bars, biker bars, cop bars, karaoke bars, etc. 
Serves a wide variety of food, including appetizers, full-course meals, desserts, etc.Availability of food Mainly serves drinks with simple appetizers
Multiple choices available- cocktails, wine, beersAvailability of alcohols All types of beer, cider, wine, cocktails, etc.
Owners or manager of a pub is called publican or landlordOwnership Owners or managers of a bar is called bar manager
Mostly sophisticated people, small communities, and mature peopleClientele  May vary from average to high-class people depending on the location, interior, and entertainment provided
Dartboards, snooker, foosball, music, and other gamesEntertainment  Bands, live music, dance floors, live music, strippers
Dartboards, snooker, foosball, music, and other games

What is a Pub?

Pubs are public houses where people go to hang out, drink, and mainly enjoy hospitality. Pubs originate in the cultures of Britain, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.

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The original British pubs were called taverns, and they were popular in Roman times. After that, the Anglo-Saxon alehouse replaced the Roman taverns, which have now gained the more popular term pub.

People go to pubs to relax and have healthy conversations with their companions after retiring from everyday work. Pubs hold an official license to sell liquor, and you will get a variety of alcoholic beverages in a pub.

Not only liquor, but pubs are also great places to enjoy wholesome food, play games like darts, billiards, foosball, and groove on your favorite music.

Pub vs bar
Bars are retail establishments that serve alcohol.

What is a Bar?

The word bar refers to the counter where bartenders serve alcohol. Bars are places where you can go to enjoy a drink, where food is a secondary choice.

A bar is the modern version of a pub. The main crowd of the bars is young, vibrant people who love music and dancing and are more interested in alcohol than food.

You won’t see games in a bar as these are mainly for enjoying drinks and music. The original bar setting had high chairs with a counter where people would sit and have their drinks.

The concept has, however, changed over time.

Examples of Bar Entertainment

  • DJs
  • Live bands
  • Other live music
  • Dancers
  • Special musical nights
Pub vs bar
A pub is a public house, or gathering space where people come to socialize and have a drink. They’re common in England.

Themed Pubs and Bars

Due to the popularity of bars among the younger crowd, people have opened different kinds of bars like biker bars, wine bars, lounge bars, karaoke bars, gay bars, sports bars, etc.

Similarly, there are themed pubs also. For example, you might find a pub themed around your favorite NFL team, even though you’re in a completely different city.

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We can also call bars a small section of the pub. Most pubs also have a bar section where people can sit, chill, and enjoy drinks.

Pub vs Bar – Key Differences


Pubs have been among us since the Roman days. People used to visit pubs or inns in ancient times to enjoy their ales and have healthy conversations with friends and associates.

In contrast, bars are modern versions of pubs. Young people are the main crowd of bards, and most bars have a lower age limit of 18 to 21, depending on the country’s location. Teens below these age limits usually aren’t allowed in bars.


Bars and pubs have different ambiances. You’ll experience a noisy, vibrant environment in bars with dance floors and karaoke stations, but pubs are typically more mellow.

While people mainly go to bars to party, pubs are primarily for relaxing and enjoying drinks with delicious food. You’ll experience more soothing, relaxing music in pubs as the pub crowd is mostly sophisticated people who are not fans of very loud music.

Bars also have special days or happy hours where you get drinks at special prices, but this is less common at pubs.


The main item on bar menus is alcohol. Bars sell a variety of liquors, including- cocktails, gin, wine, beers, cider, whiskey, you name it, they have it. But their food menu is limited to a few appetizers.

Pub menus are not limited to alcohol. They sell a variety of alcohol, but their food menus are equally versatile, and you’ll find everything from appetizers, soups, and salads, to desserts.

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Bars and pubs are places where people relax and enjoy great drinks with friends and family. The key difference lies in the type of people who visit them.


Vanessa is passionate about written communication, especially after beginning her career as a middle school English teacher. She’s an experienced content marketer as well. Vanessa loves to analyze, compare, and contrast, which is why she writes for ContrastHub. Besides writing, Vanessa is a wife, mom, entrepreneur, spicy food enthusiast, comedy nerd and lifelong learner.

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