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Common Ground Bar & Grill
Taps: 16 / Bottles: 16
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
85 Harvard Ave
phone: (617) 783-2071
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vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Although the food menu is a little limited, this is a good choice to go for a bite to eat and enjoy a good beer. It's sort of like a fusion of beer bar, eatery, and sports bar. It's cozy inside, with sports being projected at the bar from a projecter. The place holds daily specials for both draft and bottles, one which I grabbed (Cisco Libation Ale) to eat with my pork chop entrée, which by the way was good and served in geneous portions. The restaurant sits near the Sunset Grill, so if you're intiminated by the offerings that place has, this would be a good alternative to mellow out at.
12-27-2007 17:15:04 |
More by DoubleJ
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Stopped in here this past Sunday to catch some NFL action. There are literally 3 plasma tvs on every wall, and two large screens for projection at the back and above the bar. No matter where you look, there's a tv. A bit of over-kill. There were only about 10 people in the whole joint while we were there, so it seemed a bit empty. Snagged some seats at the bar, and both bartenders were attentive and helpful. There were about 20 beers on tap and about 50 in bottles. Many good selections. But it seemed to me that there were no standout beers that screamed "try me". It was just a large collection of stuff you can find other places, except all in one location here. Prices were ok, in the $5-7 range per pint. They did serve each beer in the appropriate glass (like Chimay), so that's a bonus. It's been a while since my last visit, and the beer selection has increased. But with Deep Ellum, Sunset, and Big City in the area, it may be hard to shine. But the amount of tvs could be something to remember on a game day.
01-15-2008 00:04:25 |
More by morebeergood
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
I remember this place from way back when it was called the Allston Ale House. It really hasnt changed a whole lot over the years other than some face lifts to the interior and a new name and such. I do believe that when I lived out in Allston about 12 years ago, it didnt have nearly as good a selection of beer as it does now.
I recently hit this place on the 4th of July and the A/C was working well and it was quite quiet. They had some DFH, Bear Republic, Smuttynose, Victory as well. I had Bear Republic racer 5 and it was decent but could have been fresher. Prices were reasonable and the staff was friendly and attentive enough. I could swear the same bartender was working that used to be here about 12 years ago.
Overall, a decent place to go and it usually isnt too crowded in here so if the Sunset was a mob scene for example, this might be a good alternative. I didnt have any food on my recent visit but remembner it as being pretty standard from the past. A nice neighborhood bar with a better than average beer selection and pretty good prices.
07-28-2007 13:58:11 |
More by rousee
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Spent the evening at the Common Ground on a whim last night. Went to watch the tournament, but stayed a bit longer than expected. Not a very large place, but not small either. I would say there are about 12 tables in the seating area with a half partition that separates it from the bar area which has about 6 or so high tables. The partition, on the bar side, sports ledges and chairs for you to hang out at. A nice touch here. The bar is pretty big with a chalk board advertising the beer selections.
I was quite surprised at how good the selections were. Some that got my attention include Bear Republic Racer 5, Stone, Victory, Delerium, St. Bernardus, Unirbroue. A decent amount of taps, probably in the 20 range with a nice selection of bottles also. Pitchers of racer 5 kept me going, which I was quite happy with. Not many places do pitchers any longer. $4 maudite and Ommegang hennepin specials! Quality seemed good--I was glad to not get a glass that had just been dowsed in bleach.
Our waitress was attentive and friendly, although she wasn't that versed in beer, but no matter. The food was also pretty decent. Sampled the nachos as an appetizer and had the sliders for dinner. Sliders are recommended. Prices for both beer and food were pretty good with sandwiches being in the $8-9 range and entrees being $10-15 or so.
A cozy little bar in the heard of lower allston. They usually have music on the weekends starting at 10, which gets the place pretty loud as it's not that big. I will return as the beer selection has improved tremendously since I was last there. One of the better places in that area.
03-25-2007 19:14:54 |
More by bjohnson
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Located on Harvard Ave in Allston, right around the corner from the Sunset and the Kells, The Common Ground is an Irish Bar that doesn't quite fit the irish bar mold.
Dark classic woody Irish bar atmosphere in a decent sized room sepperated into two sections. A bar section with some bar tables, then a sepperate slightly larger dining area with a very small stage off to one side. The bartenders all speak with an irish accent and they usually keep the many TV's around the place tuned to sports. (Soccer during the world cup)
The beer selection is actually pretty good. With about a dozen taps ranging from your standard micros and macros, they tend to lean a little more towards Irish and English nitro beers. The 20 or so bottled beers start off looking pretty standard as well, but upon further investigation they actually have Belgians (served in the proper glassware) and some more obscure micro brews. They tend to have a nice rotating seasonal selection in as well. Overall nothing to go crazy about, but still, why stick with a Guiness or Bud Light when you can have a Duvel.
The food is deffinatly above average for bar grub. Nice appetizer menu, unique burgers and chicken sandwiches, pizza, etc. The Allston burger, a burger with horseradish and cream cheese, is excellent. Also try the Irish pizza, a deep dish pizza made with mashed potatos.
The have live music and DJ's often, check their schedule which is always posted outside. Cover charges are not uncommon depending on the acts. They have other weekly events including a Simpsons trivia night.
The crowd can be varied depending on the day. College pick up bar later on the weekends, regulars and townies earlier and on weekdays.
Overall a nice little Allston hang out. Not quite your average Irish Bar but deffinatly not an Allston College dive.
08-08-2003 09:10:24 |
More by taez555
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | $$
Common Ground has a pretty good beer selection for a place that isn't really a beer bar. The vibe is cool and laid-back. The tap selection is pretty typical, but there are some interesting bottle choices, such as La Fin Du Monde and a couple Victorys. The draught beers are around 4 bucks, if I remember. There is a long bar against one of the walls with a large area of tables. The staff always seems pretty cool. This is the best place for beer in the Allston area other than Sunset, but nothing special.
12-31-2005 17:50:46 |
More by bignick
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
This is what I consider a good example of the "modern" sports bar. Many tv screens with multiple games on with no sound, just background music. In this place the, the music is contemporary.
The food is the usual pub, with a couple of house specialties, like baked salmon. The bber selection when I was there was good, but not quite daring. 15 taps with among them the standards like Guinness and New Castle and a host of microbrews. 30 different bottles with seasonals like Brooklyn Octoberfest mingled in with Fin Du Monde. All in all a great place to get together with friends to enjoy a game.
10-27-2003 14:12:54 |
More by bewareOFpenguin
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 3
So you've already been to the Sunset Grill, had some good food and beers, ate up all your nachos and now you need a place to go and just DRINK until 2 A.M.? Cross the street and head down to The Common Ground, they'll take care of you.
They have a wide selection of beers here, from America and overseas as well as a good amount of micro brews. I'm partial to the Guinness when I'm here, but have never been disappointed with the beers I have to choose from at CG.
With their slogan "This isn't Boston, this is LA" (Lower Allston), The Common Ground is a cool Irish bar that focus's on the drinking and entertainment rather than atmosphere. The bar is split into two sections, the actual bar area and the stage/ dance floor.
The bar, which is impressive in its construction, selection and bartender Lou who is back there most nights with his Braugh, fills the entire left side of the joint. Hamiltonliam and I did a lot of research for our trip to Ireland a few years ago sitting right at this bar talking to Lou.
On the other side of the bar there is live music, theme nights and DJ's performing regularly. A few years ago I saw the Push Stars play a New Year's Eve show here and was blown away. There's always something happening at the Common Ground so expect a cover charge to get in some nights.
They do serve food early in the evening, but I'm not sure about later on. An ex- girlfriend of mine used to go there after work and get soup and she said it was pretty good. I've never eaten there myself, as every time I go it's preceded by dinner at the Sunset Grille.
The Common Ground isn't exactly what I'd call a stand out bar, but it's a place where you can focus on drinking and having a good time. I usually end up here on St. Patrick's day and my birthday because it's a great place to hang out with good friends and have fun.
02-22-2004 23:07:56 |
More by fdrich29
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Went here for a BA Gathering. It was a Saturday night, so the place was pretty hopping. Hah, no beer joke intended.
Low lighting, nice bar area, with adjacent seating area.
Selection is great, but is still outshadowed by Sunset Grill, which sits a stone's throw away from Common Ground. Some Stone, DFH, Youngs, Sam Adams, I think I saw some Belgians, etc.
Staff seemed nice and pretty level headed for the area. heh.
Nice and relaxing atmosphere. When a DJ started setting up, I thought, "O god here we go, and emo noise fest", but I was pleasantly surprised to hear some mellow tunes, that blended well into the mood of the patrons.
A good time was had by all.
04-30-2007 02:26:43 |
More by Freshie
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
When I first moved to Allston in the early 90's, the Common Ground was just another divey bar on Harvard St in my favorite part of the city. Over time it became my regular bar, a place I felt comfortable in, where I could get a decent pint of Harpoon and drink until closing. It was a comfortable, homey place with great food and great waitstaff.
I lost track of the bar during the Great Gentrification of Allston, so when I finally returned a few months ago, I was greatly surprised to find it completely rennovated. I was even more surprised by how tastefully they've reappointed the place without ruining the FEEL of it.
Unlike other rennovations in the area, the Common Ground cleaned itself up without going too far. They've retained the comfortable atmosphere and familiarity in the redesign. It's still a comfortable place to drink. Not an easy task. It's a bar where you can bring your girlfriend (or even your parents) and get a fantastic meal. The fare is so good that I only go there when I'm in need of food.
The taps feature fantastic beers from a variety of brewers. The bartender assured me that they clean the taps regularly and get rid of anything that's been on tap too long. The prices are extremely reasonable. I paid $4.75 for a 16oz Lagunitas Brown Shugga!
Service is great, and the bar staff usually know enough about the beer menu to answer any questions.
They regularly feature some kind of DJ or band at night, so if you're not into wicked loud music, plan your trip accordingly.
12-23-2009 15:21:48 |
More by LeeMarvin
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Common Ground Bar & Grill in Allston, MA