There are bars and pubs near me, near you and everywhere else in the world. There is no escaping their appealing draw with well-lit windows adorning neon reminders that our favorite beverages are waiting for us inside. Add in a friendly bartender and some fantastic food and you have the right ingredients to have a great time. Atmosphere plays a big role in turning a good bar and pub into a great place to spend your free time. Some of the best places to hang out have more to offer than just great food and drink. Offering great food and drink is only half the equation as it’s the little details that make up the better half of the equation. The atmosphere, music, attentiveness of the staff, and even the parking situation must be on point. As consumers, we place more value on goods and services that were done right and properly delivered.
But what are the major differences between bars and pubs? Quaint neighborhood pubs, bustling downtown bars, and remote rural watering holes have been a large part and instrumental to maintaining a civilized society. For hundreds of years men (for the most part) have been using bars and pubs to blow off some steam after a hard day at work. Bars and pubs provide a much needed and unbiased meeting place where the working class and upper class can sit next to each other, have a pint of beer, and enjoy each other’s conversation without prejudice.
Pubs or public houses have been around for more than 2,000 years and can be traced back to a time when Rome was the world’s largest superpower. Pubs are establishments that are licensed to sell alcoholic beverages, typically beer and ciders. Also, limited menus consisting of local favorites and savory foods that pair well with beer are usually offered at most pubs. Brought to the shores of Europe by way of the Roman Empire, pubs became a large part of the culture for citizens of countries such as England, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, and Australia. In many small villages and towns the pub is the focal point of the community.
When the pub phenomenon reached the American continent the time for change was long overdue for the highly European way to congregate and consume alcoholic beverages. Popping up everywhere across the pioneer landscape were saloons and taverns instead of pubs. In towns and cities across America, saloons and taverns become the most popular venue of choice for Americans to wet their whistles. Saloons and taverns offered patrons a place to loosen up with a few cocktails. These saloons and taverns weren’t known for their excellence in culinary arts but you could certainly get your fill of alcoholic beverages. Unfortunately, happy hour wasn’t an option until the early 1900’s as our forefathers didn’t have to take into consideration mass marketing, advertising, and a highly competitive environment. Bars and clubs would soon replace saloons and taverns as people’s expectations for entertainment changed as new generations of liberated Americans continue to carry on the celebration.
Currently, the American restaurant industry is made up of over 1 million locations and employs almost 15 million Americans. Total sales for the restaurant industry in 2017 were over $799 billion dollars, an increase of $33 billion from 2016. Single unit locations (aka Mom and Pop shops) account for 70% off all restaurant locations in the US. There was never a time in American history that tasted as good as today.
Ultimately happy customers are what really set apart bars and pubs and makes one bar or pub better than the next. All bars and pubs use the same tactics to increase their popularity and customer base. Great atmosphere, good food, delicious drinks, and excellent customer service are the fundamental building blocks of any successful bar or pub. That being said, here are the best bars and pubs that offer happy hour in some of the most popular cities:
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