I did a pub crawl of the UK a few years ago in my campervan and was stunned that the Irish didnt run the world, having seen their combined pub and hardware shops. Apparently to get around the times in the licensing laws, they combined both into what must be a perfect place for a man to idle away a few hours whilst wife was shopping. Steve DummyfromDownUnderI used to stop at a very pleasant tourist trap on the east side of the A9 somewhere between Perth and Inverness (locals will know the one).
Next to the restaurant there was a lounge with an open fire, comfortable but elderly-looking armchairs and sofas, plenty of 'country' mags. on a table. It was obviously intended (and used) as a place for ladies to park their husbands while they spent an hour or so touring the shopping areas. Always struck me as excellent marketing.
It is still there, and has become very popular. I hope it hasn't changed too much.