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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A pub {formally public house (a house "open to the public", as opposed to a private house), is a drinking establishment fundamental to the culture of Britain, Ireland, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. In many places, especially in villages, a pub can be the focal point of the community. The writings of Samuel Pepys describe the pub as the heart of England.

The history of pubs can be traced back to Roman taverns, through the Anglo-Saxon alehouse to the development of the modern tied house system in the 19th century.

Pub culture

Pub culture, as it is termed, pervades Irish society, across all cultural divides. The term refers to the Irish habit of frequenting public houses (pubs) or bars. Traditional pub culture is concerned with more than just drinking, even though Ireland has a recognized problem with over-consumption of alcohol. In 2003, Ireland had the second-highest per capita alcohol consumption in the world, just below Luxembourg at 13.5 litres (per person 15 or more years old), according to the OECD Health Data 2009 survey. Typically pubs are important meeting places, where people can gather and meet their neighbours and friends in a relaxed atmosphere. Pubs vary widely according to the clientele they serve, and the area they are in. Best known, and loved amongst tourists is the traditional pub, with its traditional Irish music (or "trad music"), tavern-like warmness, and memorabilia filling it. Often such pubs will also serve food, particularly during the day. Many more modern pubs, not necessarily traditional, still emulate these pubs, only perhaps substituting traditional music for a DJ or non-traditional live music.

Many larger pubs in cities eschew such trappings entirely, opting for loud music, and focusing more on the consumption of drinks. Such venues are popular "pre-clubbing" locations. "Clubbing" has become a popular phenomenon amongst young people in Ireland during the celtic tiger years. Clubs usually vary in terms of the type of music played, and the target audience.

A significant recent change to pub culture in the Republic of Ireland has been the introduction of a smoking ban, in all workplaces, which includes pubs and restaurants. Ireland was the first country in the world to implement such a ban which was introduced on 29 March 2004. A majority of the population support the ban, including a significant percentage of smokers. Nevertheless, the atmosphere in pubs has changed greatly as a result, and debate continues on whether it has boosted or lowered sales, although this is often blamed on the ever-increasing prices, or whether it is a "good thing" or a "bad thing". A similar ban, under the Smoking (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 came into effect in Northern Ireland on 30 April 2007.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Pub" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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