The pub has become a mainstay in modern American culture. Brought here from England and Ireland the public house or Pub has become a place where you can get a great home style meal and enjoy a great pint. There are both British style pubs and Irish Pubs in RI in american and each has its one type atmosphere. The big difference is the dining options. In the typical Irish pub you will get some traditional Irish dishes like meatloaf and potatoes. This is all well and good but for most people the reason why you are going into these pubs is because you and your friends are having a pint. This is the most important part of the pub and why it is so common in American culture.
The pub is comfortable place where you can go to have a drink. Whether you are alone or you are going with friends you will feel like you are welcome. A lot of bars you can easily feel out of place. At most pubs when you show up there is a casual and relaxed demeanor to the place so that you will feel find just pulling up to the bar for a pint without feeling awkward. This is a great thing if you are new to an area as well. It is tough to meet people when you first move some where but a pub is a great place to strike a conversation with a stranger.
So if you are out looking for a good time and want to make some friends, just for night or for life, you should go to a pub. There are a lot of good ones out there and I bet there is one in your neighborhood. I have two in my neighborhood because they are so popular, but I do live in New England.