Public house

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A public house, informally known as a pub and sometimes referred to as the "local", is a drinking establishment which is part of British culture.[1][2][3] There is no formal and generally accepted difference between pubs and bars, or other premises where alcohol is served commercially. A pub that offers lodging may be called an inn or (more recently) hotel in the United Kingdom. Today, many pubs in the UK, Canada and Australia with the word "inn" or "hotel" in their names no longer offer accommodation, and in some cases have never done so. Some pubs bear the name of "hotel" because they are in countries where stringent anti-drinking laws were once in force. In Scotland until 1976,[4] only hotels could serve alcohol on Sundays. In Wales, an 1881 Act applied the same law until 1961 when local polls could lift such a ban in a district and in 1996 the last ban was lifted in Dwyfor. The need for such polls was removed by the Welsh Assembly in 2003.[5][6]

There are approximately 53,500[7] public houses in the United Kingdom. In many places, especially in villages, a pub can be the focal point of the community, so there is concern that more pubs are closing down than new ones opening.[8]

The history of pubs can be traced back to Roman taverns,[9] through the Anglo-Saxon alehouse, to the development of the modern generally prevailing tied house system.

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