Common Ground Bar and Grill

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Common Ground Bar and GrillCommon Ground Bar and Grill
Very Good
23 Ratings
Common Ground Bar and GrillCommon Ground Bar and Grill

Type: Bar, Eatery

85 Harvard Ave
Allston, Massachusetts, 02134-1772
United States

(617) 783-2071 | map

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Ratings: 23 |  Reviews: 17
Reviews by Freshie:
Photo of Freshie
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of costanzo_mike
4/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Dicers
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Photo of gehlbach
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of cshafer7
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of ZDSmith87
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of Davepoolesque
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of BostonHops
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Common Ground is a great place to get a reasonably priced, relatively tasty bite and (with around 20 taps and a few dozen bottle options) a solid selection from which you are more than likely to find some tasty craft beers to hit the spot, from the local brewing beer scene to many of the popular national brands. located in the heart of Boston's Allston neighborhood, it sort of has the feel of an erstwhile dive bar that ownership has endeavored to revamp - an atmosphere I find neither especially compelling nor off-putting. numerous flat screen TVs make it an attractive locale to catch a game. although I don't live far, my main reasons for not dropping by this place more often are 2: Deep Ellum and Sunset. with the former being a sub-5 minute walk down brighton ave and the latter being even closer, it's usually one of those craft gems I'm heading to. that said, you could do a lot worse than Common Ground.

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Photo of LeeMarvin
4.47/5  rDev +14%
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.

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Photo of BelgieScott
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Was in Boston on business and wound up in this lovely bar by chance. I was there at 2:30 on a weekday, and I was the only one there and sat at the bar, so my comments about service are not really relevant. Anyhow, the bartender was a knowledgeable Irish man, and since I had just returned from a trip to Dublin we had an interesting chat, with him giving me some good suggestions for a trip back next year. There was a soup and sandwich lunch special, very good and downright cheap. TV's were on (I hate this), but tuned to European footballand, most importantly, the sound was off. Beer selection was a surprise since I had stumbled upon the place and had no expectations. They had 12 or 13 very good tap beers, I had a Stone IPA at the bartender's suggestion and it was excellent. I had a long drive coming up so didn't have any more, although I was sorely tempted by the list of American and European craft beers. Looks like Allston has several good bars - I am from Philadelphia and don't get to Boston often, but Allston definitely looking like place to hang out for good beer and nice atmosphere.

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Photo of gdkersey
3.88/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

The Common Ground is a great bar in Allston Village which really can appeal to a number of different crowds. If you are looking to go out for a few beers and watch the game, they have a good number of LCD/plasma TVs, as well as a big projector screen. Looking for some decently priced food too? Check. The Common Ground menu has a decent variety, from sandwiches ($7 to $10) to some other entrees ($10-$15) like meatloaf, steak, fish and chips, etc.

While the TVs and nice menu help, a real highpoint for me is the fact that you can order a $15 pitcher of almost any beer on tap. Pitcher of Stone IPA for $15??? Hell yea. Although the selection isn't like Sunset and the quality/exclusivity doesn't match Deep Ellum, the value that Common Ground brings can't be beat. Plus, this place has an overall cool atmosphere. The Irish bartender is sure to give a few laughs.

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Photo of Biggness
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I stopped by this place on my way to Sunset Grill and Tap from Deep Ellum, I did not have the highest expectations from reading reviews, but I was pleasantly suprised. The biggest plus for this place was it had Founders Breakfast Stout on tap! WOW, first time I ever saw it on tap and I had to partake in 3-4 of them :) We ordered Appetizers for dinner and we were pleased with them. The bartender that helped us was very attentive and very friendly. I also had a Stone IPA on tap there as well, in my opinion they had a lot of throwaways on tap, but they did certainly have some winners. A nice place and I will definately stop by my next time in Boston. A very young crowd and not the.... prettiest place inside, but not bad by any means.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.88/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of rousee
3.64/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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Photo of bjohnson
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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Photo of hermesch
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Here are some things I love (and you will too) about the Common Ground:

1. There's always space, even on the weekends. Something about the establishment's setup provides enough elbow room even when it's packed.

2. Unlike some other Boston beer spots, the staff, and patrons, are consistently down to earth and likeable. No pretense here.

3. A beer spot that's BIG ON SPORTS! Hell yeah! Five widescreens plus a pull down screen for all the baseball and football you can stomach.

4. Admirable beer list. It's no Publick House selection, but sometimes it's good to have your choices limited a bit. Lots of belgians and local craft selections, though you may need to remind your server of appropriate glassware.

5. Food is outstanding. The turkey melt is to die for, as is the chicken, brie and ham melt. Delectable deserts too....

Check out the Common Ground!

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Photo of beals
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I love going to Common Ground on an off-night, for a great meal and a good beer. The overall vibe of this place is exactly my style -- understated, simple, and comfortable. There's a very small stage for acts, a few TVs, a bar area, a dining area, and that's about it. They have a good beer selection (not as extreme as Sunset, but what is?) and an excellent food menu with quality you'd never expect to find in a pub. For beers, they have about 20 on tap (not just the standard Sam/Guiness/Bass/Macros) and a bunch more in bottles (Anchor Steam, La Fin du Monde) -- it's an eclectic mix. Also, every waiter/waitress I've had here has been incredibly chill and friendly.

My only complaint about this place is the noise level when it's somewhat full -- it's hard to carry on a conversation at a normal level, so you end up speaking louder, which perpetuates the cycle.

So there's not as many beers as Sunset and not as many TV's as Sports Depot... It's about everything in moderation, and that's why this is my favorite local hangout.

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Photo of bignick
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of MrSeth
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4

I did a micro-pub crawl through Allston last night. Grabbed a bite to eat and some Belgian ale at The Sunset, then went to a show at Great Scott, and finished the night at The Common Ground. That seems to be what alot of people were doing at the time.

It's tough to rate the atmosphere, since the place was almost empty when I first got there. But as people started showing up to get a few brews before last call, the atmosphere was decent. The staff also help to make the vibe comfortable.

And speaking of which, I met Luke, the bartender for the evening. He was very friendly right away, and not hovering over me to get me to order. I started with a Hoegaarden and a Johnny Walker Black (neat). Then I mentioned that I would like to try the Pete's Rally Cap, since I had not gotten around to it yet. Most bartenders nowadays would just pour you a pint, and charge you for it too. Luke poured me a small glass, to sample it first. It's good to know there are still bartenders out there giving you good old fashioned polite service. [Cheers, and my thanks to Dave and Luke.]

The beer selection is good, much better than average. I haven't had the food.

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Photo of fdrich29
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of taez555
4/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Common Ground Bar and Grill in Allston, MA
Place rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 23 ratings