What are the differences between bars and pubs?

In modern world there are a lot of ways and establishments to have fun and spend time, such as entertainment centers, cinemas, theaters, bars, clubs, restaurants, and so on and so forth. This is a very long list. If you walk down the street and pass through numerous buildings, for sure you will encounter one of previously mentioned institutions. People visit bars and pubs for different reasons, but what is the difference between them?

Many people do not see any disparity between these establishments. Moreover, many consider these words to be synonyms, and the only difference — the names. Still, that is not true. Bars and pubs possess a number of differences.


To begin with, it is necessary to mention the first and the main disparity, which is the history. Pub is fundamental to the culture of Great Britain, and is derived from “public house”. While bar — is American (at first it was the name of a specialized counter on which drinks were served, but later the name assigned to the establishment). Generally, pubs were (and still are) places, where people of small English towns gathered to drink and chat. Nevertheless, pubs can also be found in big cities where bars set aside. In addition, some pubs were established in or near breweries in order to avoid resellers of their product.


As compared to bars, pubs possess more calm and relaxed atmosphere. There are no age restrictions on entering pubs. Even those who are younger than 18, may enter when accompanied by adults. Pubs are the places where people can come to spend long period of time. They usually provide darts, pool and a typical accessorize in British pubs is a slot machine. On the contrary, bars tend to have younger clients, loud music, dance floors and, in general, are noisier. Many bars are visited by youth, like the best clubs in Toronto, for dancing, drinking and having fun. Thus, pubs feel like being more ‘homey’.

Drinks and food

Another major difference in these popular establishments is in drinks served. Bars generally offer a wide range of alcohol such as beer, wine, gin, rum, cocktails, and usually limited menu. While pubs have a wide selection of beer, some wines and cider, as well as, great menu which allows people (families, friends, etc.) to come and eat, and spend a good time.

Types and peculiarities

There are a lot of bars nowadays: cocktail-bars, sports-bars, topless-bars, karaoke-bars, different thematic bars, etc. It is also possible to find bar-restaurants or Restaurant and Bar — establishments, providing a wide range of food, which can be compared to the restaurant’s one. Pubs can be divided into brewing and private, and also according to the national attributes: British, Irish pubs, etc.

All in all, bars and pubs are completely different drinking establishments. The only common feature is that the opportunity to drink alcohol. However, ambience, menu, audience, history — are different, if it concerns general characteristics. For sure, every bar and pub has its own peculiarities.

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