When it comes to unwinding with a drink and good company, two establishments come to mind – bars and pubs. While the two have some notable similarities, they also have distinct differences that set them apart. In this article, we will compare bars and pubs and help you decide which one could be your next go-to spot for a night out.
First, let’s begin with a definition of both bars and pubs. A bar is typically an establishment that primarily serves alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, and spirits. They often do not serve food, or if they do, it is limited to snacks or small plates.
On the other hand, a pub, short for public house, is a little more than just a place to grab a drink. Pubs have been a cornerstone of British social life for centuries, dating back to the 1700s. They are establishments where people come together to eat, drink, and socialize. Food is often a significant aspect of a pub. Pubs are also known for their cozy atmosphere and their association with live music and other cultural events.
One of the essential differences between bars and pubs is their drink menus. While bars typically serve a wide range of alcoholic beverages, pubs are known for their selection of beers. Pubs often have a rotating selection of craft beers on tap and bottled beers from local and international breweries. Due to this reason, beers available in a pub are often more varied than in bars.
Music and ambiance
Music plays an essential role in setting the atmosphere of a bar or pub. In general, bars often have a louder, more upbeat music selection compared to pubs, with regular DJ sets and live performances. On the other hand, pubs tend to play background music, allowing patrons to relax and socialize without much distraction. In terms of ambiance, bars have a more modern and upscale vibe, while pubs have a cozy, rustic atmosphere.
Bars often have dimmer lighting to create a more intimate atmosphere and highlight the bar’s design. Dim lighting, coupled with loud music, gives bars a more nightclub vibe. Pubs, on the other hand, have a warmer, more inviting ambiance, thanks to their brighter lighting. This allows for patrons to have a better view of their surroundings and socialize with each other with ease.
Food and amenities
While food is not a priority in bars, pubs often have a menu that ranges from hearty pub fare to fine dining options. Pubs keep their customers comfortable with armchairs, a fireplace, and a relaxed ambiance that’s more conducive to conversation. Additionally, pubs often have amenities such as pool tables and darts to add to their patrons’ entertainment.
Happy hours and discounts
Bars often have a happy hour where they offer discounted drinks and food options to attract patrons during off-peak hours. Happy hour timings in bars are often late afternoon to early evening. In contrast, pubs usually offer all-day discounts and deals for patrons.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs):
Which is better, a bar or a pub?
It depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re interested in a cozy evening with friends over good food and a selection of beers, a pub may be the right choice. But if you’re looking for a high-energy, upscale environment for music or dancing with a cocktail, a bar may be a better option.
Can you eat at a bar?
Some bars serve food, while others solely serve alcoholic beverages. It’s best to enquire ahead of time to know whether the bar you want to visit has a food menu.
What is the legal drinking age in bars and pubs?
The legal drinking age varies by country, state, or province. In the United States, the legal age is 21 years old. In the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, it is 18 years old.
Both bars and pubs are great places to unwind after work or meet friends for drinks. But it’s essential to understand the differences to choose the right one for your preferences. Whether you’re looking for a high-energy, modern environment or a cozy atmosphere with good food and beer, both bars and pubs have a place in the nightlife scene.