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Public house

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The Sun pub, a traditional-style public house that serves beer and ale
The Gate, a 20th century 'estate pub' on the Seacroft Estate in Leeds

Public houses (better known as pubs) are businesses that serve alcoholic drinks such as beer and ale, and usually also non-alcoholic drinks such as lemonade, coca cola, tea, coffee to be consumed within the limits of the public house. They are subject to the licensing laws of the country and may be closed down if not properly conducted. Many pubs also sell food such as fish and chips and meat pies.

Pubs are found in English-speaking countries such as England, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and the United States. In villages and small towns in many parts of England, Ireland, and Scotland, pubs are the center of community life. Some pubs hire bands or singers to entertain patrons. If the pub offers rooms where people can sleep at night, it is usually called an inn.

Ownership and staffing

Public houses may be owned and operated in various different ways. Breweries may own a number of pubs themselves, or they may be run as franchises by large catering companies. However they are owned a pub will be entrusted to a "landlord" or "landlady". A variety of staff do different jobs to provide a good service. Bartenders (also called "barmen" or "barmaids") serve the drinks at the bar. In most pubs, the customer orders the drinks at the bar and waits for them to be prepared, then carries the drinks back to the tables or area of seating.[1] However, some pubs hire servers, called waiters or waitresses, to bring drinks to people who are sitting at tables or in chairs. Some pubs also hire people to take away empty bottles and glasses though commonly the bartenders will do this as well.

Pubs that serve food have cooks, dishwashers, and servers to prepare, cook, and serve the food. Bands and singers who entertain patrons during the evening are not usually employees of the pub. Instead, the pub signs a contract with these entertainers, in which the entertainer promises to come to the pub on a specified day or night, in return for a sum of money.

Comparison with nightclubs

Another type of business that serves alcohol is the nightclub. Like pubs, some nightclubs also serve food and have bands or singers as entertainers. Most people go to nightclubs because they enjoy the music and dancing. However, nightclubs often have a much wider selection of alcoholic drinks than pubs. Most nightclubs sell a number of different brands of spirits, liqeurs, wine, sherry, and apertifs.

The bartenders (also called "barmen" or "barmaids") at nightclubs often make a much larger variety of mixed drinks, or cocktails, than those who work in pubs. Mixed drinks are alcoholic drinks that consist of one or more types of alcohol (e.g., rum, vodka, whiskey, etc.) mixed with flavorings such as orange juice, cream, chocolate syrup, or soda. Many mixed drinks also include ice, crushed ice, or sliced lime. Some well-known mixed drinks include the martini, the "Rum and Coke", and the "screwdriver" (orange juice mixed with vodka)


  1. In some types of pubs may sit at the bar or remain standing with their drinks.