A pub , or public house is, despite its name, a private house, but is called a public house because it is licensed to sell alcohol to the general public. It is a drinking establishment in Britain,Ireland,New Zealand, Australia,Canada, Denmark and New England. 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.
Historically, pubs have been socially and culturally distinct from cafés, bars and German beer halls. Most pubs offer a range of beers, wines, spirits, and soft drinks and snacks. Traditionally the windows of town pubs were of smoked or frosted glass to obscure the clientele from the street but from the 1990s onwards, there has been a move towards clear glass, in keeping with brighter interiors.
The owner, tenant or manager (licensee) of a pub is properly known as the "pub landlord". The term publican (in historical Roman usage a public contractor or tax farmer) has come into use since Victorian times to designate the pub landlord. Known as "locals" to regulars, pubs are typically chosen for their proximity to home or work, the availability of a particular beer, as a place to smoke (or avoid it), hosting a darts team, having a pool or snooker table, or appealing to friends.