What is the Difference Between a Pub, a Bar, a Lounge and a Club?

For the uninitiated, these terms can be pretty confusing. There are so many names for drinking establishments and if you are someone who isn’t used to these kinds of things, then it can be pretty intimidating.

On the other hand, if you are an entrepreneur who’s looking to start a business in this area, it’s really important to understand the differences between them in order for you to be successful.

Anyway, let’s see the difference between a pub, a bar, a lounge, and a club. Let’s start with the pub.

What is a Pub?

Pub is short for public house and they originated in Britain. British people have been drinking ale in pubs since the bronze age where they serve traditional English ales. This is usually a place of focus for a community in British villages. They are very popular in Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Newfoundland. It’s an establishment that is fundamental for their culture.

Pubs can also be considered as a mini-bar with the main focus for drinking or boozing. Often, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are served along with foods. There’s a wide variety of food available in a pub and they are usually heavy meals, compared to bars with just light ones.

Clientele is typically locals or regulars who come to the pub to unwind after a day of work. Because of the wide variety of food they offer, they can also be considered as a restaurant. In fact, children can even go to one as long as they are accompanied by adults for dining purposes only.

What is a Bar?

Bars originated in the United States. It is often costlier than a pub, but it also offers a more sophisticated drinking environment compared to pubs. They can be classified as for either high-class or lowbrow clientele.

Bartenders serve drinks in a bar. They usually serve a variety for liquor ranges from wine, beers, cocktails and many others. Contrary to what pubs offer, they only offer lighter foods, most likely just appetizers and, though some of them might offer heavy meals, choices are often limited.

One of the main differences of a bar to a pub is that bars often have singers, bands or other live performances. That means they are also louder. The typical atmosphere in a bar varies greatly, depending on its niche and target demographics.

Bars is generally an umbrella term that encompasses several different kinds of bars. Gay bars, karaoke bar, comedy bar, sports bar, etc. are just some of the examples. Generally, these are a bar’s theme and the food offering, events, and other things are heavily affected by the bar’s “theme”.

Another thing that sets a bar apart from a pub is that they don’t allow children at all, no exceptions.

What is a Club?

While it can also be considered as a drinking establishment, a club is mainly for entertainment purposes. One thing that sets this apart from others in this list is that they require registration to get in.

Clubs and discos are generally the same things. They offer VIP administrations, have a dancing floor and they often hire well-known entertainers to play music. A club is your go-to place when you want to have fun with friends, have a good time, etc.

The typical atmosphere in a club is lively, loud and energetic. People are generally moving around and dancing. There’s always loud music playing which depends on the target customer. In addition to that, there’s often a dress code.

What is a Lounge?

A lounge has the most relaxing environment out of everything on this list. It’s mostly associated with quiet places and the main focus is on relaxation and socializing with others. Going into one you’ll find people comfortably table talking and mingling.

While their main focus is relaxation, they also offer foods and drinks. In fact, a lounge can also be considered as a bar (lounge bars are actually a thing).


And that’s it! I hope you enjoy reading this short post and I hope you can now understand the difference between a pub, a bar, a lounge, and a club.