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Bar vs. Pub: Unveiling the Key Distinctions

Bar vs. Pub: Unveiling the Key Distinctions

For many people on a Saturday night, hitting a bar or a pub may seem to be the same thing but let me tell you one thing. IT’S NOT!

A bar and a pub are two very different things. A bar is a place that provides its customers with alcohol and snacks that can go with the liquor. And a pub is a place where you get a variety of food, not just alcoholic drinks.

Let’s get into a more detailed difference between a bar and a pub.

What is a bar?

A bar is a place that is operating with the motive of serving you alcohol. A LOT of it and ALL of it!

The bar got its name because of the counters that the customers use to sit and drink and it was introduced in the US first.

When going to a bar, keep in mind that the food you will be served is going to be the snacks that go better with the hard drinks. All in all, a bar is a place that focuses on making your alcohol experience worth it!

Here is the list of the variety of bars you can come across,

  • Beach bar
  • Sports bar
  • Oyster bar
  • Wine bar
  • Cocktail bar
A public house
Public House- Something for ALL.

What is a pub?

A pub is more of a restaurant that has a variety of food and drinks.

A pub has its origin from the British. A pub is the short form of a Public House. Britishers have been drinking ales in such pubs for ages.

If you are looking for a great variety of alcohol and are heading towards a pub rather than a bar, keep in mind that you can be disappointed or not.

A pub may or may not serve a variety of alcohol. It is not a pub’s motive to have every kind of hard liquor in stock. A pubs menu is full of starters, snacks, main meals, desserts, and selective drinks that people generally ask for.

Modern pubs also have rooms for people who need to stay overnight. So you can say that a pub also acts as a rest house for some people.

Are a bar and a pub the same thing?

No, bars and pubs are not the same!

To answer how are they not the same, let me elaborate on how are they different from each other.

A bar’s motive is to serve alcohol and alcohol only.A pub serves both, alcohol and food.
Bars can have a restricted clientele like ladies bar or gay bar.A pub is, as stated above a Public House means it is open to all.
You can have a whole variety of alcohol here.The alcohol served in a pub is limited in variety.
A bar is more about loud music and fun. A pub tends to be quite than a bar.
Only people age 21 and above are allowed in a bar due to the alcohol in question. Minors are also allowed due to the food served in a pub.
A bar is more of a city-center thing. A pub can be best suited in a suburbs but is becoming popular in towns too.
To keep your customer entertained, a bar owner must hire skilled DJs and bartenders.To keep your customer entertained, a pub owner must install indoor games and comfy furniture.
Difference between a Bar and a Pub
People having fun
Mates being mates!

Who occupies pubs and bars?

Pubs and bars are a good source of relaxation, entertainment, and socialization after a long day. Both pubs and bars are occupied by either the customers or the workforce that runs the show.

The audience that a bar caters to can be categorized by a bar’s theme but pubs are for everyone.

From barmaid or barman to the bouncer standing outside a bar: ensuring that people who are allowed to go inside go inside, everyone comes under the category who occupies a bar including the customers of course.

The ambiance of a bar is more dark and intense with loud music. Also, as the name came from the long counters in which the drinks are served, a bar is more about space covered with counters and stools.

In an establishment of a pub, employees like a busboy, waiter, and hostess along with other people can be counted for occupying space. A pub is a place where people come to relax with their mates, this establishment offers indoor games like; snooker, dartboard, and things like these.

The ambiance of a pub can either be intense or calm. The music there is not as loud as the music at a bar but people playing at a snooker pool can be a sight to enjoy. The furniture is a mixture of cozy and comfy.

An assortment of alcoholic drinks
Drinks served at a Bar

What are the drinks served at bars?

The establishment of a bar focuses more on serving as many drinks as possible and in order to do so, they keep a good variety of drinks in stock.

Here is a list of the drinks that are served at a bar.

  • Bourbon
  • Whiskey
  • Tequila
  • Vodka
  • Cointreau
  • Gin
  • Beer
  • Ginger beer
  • Rum
  • Aperol
  • Lemonade
  • Fruit Juice
  • Soft drinks and
  • Cocktails

People often order drinks; neat, mixed with a fizzy drink or a cocktail to make the most out of the day, but not everyone is well versed on how and what to order. You can always try to make your own kinda cocktail to give yourself a happy ending of the day.

What are the drinks served at pubs?

The drinks mentioned above may also be available at a pub but whether a skilled bartender is available or not depends on how good the establishment is.

Most pubs offer a great variety of drinks and skilled workers, to give their customers a top-notch experience and take the flag away from a bar for being a better setup.

Being a regular at a pub or a bar is one thing, and ordering a delicious drink that will make you go wild is another. Most of the time, I come across people who know so little about what to order, they often copy people around them for experimenting with the drinks until they get something amazing they could drink for the rest of their life.

In order to know what to get at pubs without having to rely on a stranger, have a look at this video:

How to order a drink.


Most of the time people cannot distinguish the difference between a bar and a pub. And sometimes people think that it is unnecessary to give a thought to their comparison. But if you ask me, to make the most out of your day at any of these establishments. It is very important to know what you want and what each of these establishments can offer.

For some people, it is just the difference in history. For some, it is just the difference between being British or American.

But the basic difference between them is that bars were designed to serve alcoholic drinks meanwhile pubs are more of a place to eat and hang out. That’s not to say, pubs don’t serve alcohol, because they do, it’s just that it’s not at their very core.

So, I have summed up for you the essence of the discussion here, you can have a bar in a pub but you cannot have a pub in a bar!

Next time when you are heading with your mates towards either a bar or a pub, I hope this article will help you out to choose the right destination.

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