Are London pubs like US or American bars?

So what is the difference between a pub and a bar?  A common question asked by overseas travellers to the United Kingdom, often by Americans.

Let us show you the best London Pubs.

One of Londons best pubs

An oasis for lovers of beer

Throughout the world our local drinking establishment is referred to by many names.  In the United States (US), most drinking places are called bars, although with the Irish themed pubs that cropped up in the 1980s and 1990s, the term pub is becoming better known.

So what is a pub?

A London Pub could be a bar.

Bars and Londons Best Pubs blog King Edgar picture

King Edgar - only one pub per village . Yeah, right!

The term “pub” is actually short for “Public House” and has been used to describe English meeting houses for many years.

Travellers will find that the British pub is more of a local living room, where friends will meet and talk.  Indeed, this is how the pub developed back in Anglo-Saxon times.

A local (usually a woman) would brew beer and when ready, a green bush would be raised to the roof of the house.  The local villagers would decend to talk about business and other village matters whilst imbibing a fresh ale.  Allegedly, King Edgar in the 900s became so concerned at villagers drinking habits, he decreed that only one pub per village would be allowed.

London Pubs do have bars!

Purely speculation on our behalf, but we reckon that the term bar comes from the wooden shelf normally used to serve beer.  When the migrants set sail for the America’s it is likely that as a fresh start, bars were set up rather than pubs (as this would be hanging on to the old ways.)

Also in America, there are few buildngs specifically built for the purpose of serving beers and spirts, when compared to the United Kingdom (but what about the Wild West you may ask???)

American bar, not in London

Not one of London's best pubs, but a rather swish American bar

So, the difference between a pub and a bar?

Well, our view is a bar can be anywhere, and in any building.  It does not have to be specific.

But a pub has to be a building dedicated to the imbibement of ale.

One thing they do have in common is barmaids and the more friendly they are, the happier we are!

So if you are a traveller coming to London to experience the best English pubs in the pub capital of the world, don’t search “London bars” search for “London Pubs”.  But then if you are reading this, you have found the best site for “London Pubs” already!

Looking for London’s best pubs – your search stops here!

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