206 Avenue A, New York, NY | Directions 1000940.729535 -73.980829
Neighborhoods: Alphabet City, East Village, Downtown
Great Bar for any occasion – Highly recommend.
After much deliberation I decided to throw my birthday party at Common Ground - I actually went around and checked out a few different bars to find the best which would handle a large party. Honestly I had never been to there before but the reviews were enticing, the location was ideal, and overall the place looked/felt perfect (it has a really good vibe). So I decided to talk to the bartender about the logistics, who was actually the owner, and he quickly offered me a reserved sections large enough for my party (about 40 people) free of charge. We emailed back and forth as the party got closer, he was so nice about helping set up and going over specifics. The party was great, we had most of the back section which we filled up and everyone had a really great time. The majority of my friends had never been to the bar but we all agreed we would be back more often.
A Great Find – Excellent roast beef panini, friendly service, good prices, fun boardgames. I'll definitely be back!
GREAT FOOD, REALLY BAD SERVICE – Great happy hour? You'd never know it from the indifferent bartender we encountered at our first visit to Common Ground. She didn't see any reason to inform us about any happy hour specials whatsoever. She was more inclined to pay attention to the people at the bar who seemed to be regulars. This shouldn't be a quiz night where we have to extract information from an amazingly lax bartender one clue at a time. The food, when it finally arrived, was fabulous. This, and only this, would be reason to give the place another try. The bartender did serious injustice to the cred of Common Ground. Beware, all who enter and come armed with knowledge of what it being offered.
Chill hangout in the East Village – My friends recommended this place because they live in the neighborhood and they''re there all the time. So I gave it a shot. What a compfy place to hang out and relax with a cocktail. The red velvet couches are great for chilling on with drinks, food, and boardgames. The music is excellent and not so loud (I could actually hear myself think). The happy hour is amazing. We ate and drank a ton and spent about $15 each. The place was not too busy, but hey, it was a Tuesday night. I'll definitely be back.
Love it all – This place is great. The food rocks, and during happy hour it's practically free. Excellent beer selection. I'm not really into board games, but my friends are, and they love playing them at Common Ground (supposedly they have all the classics). I just drink the fine booze and watch sports on the HD TVs. The staff really make you feel welcome at this place, which is why we continue to go. That and, of course, the jukebox, which is the best in the city, if not the country.
The bar and prices are fair/average. The downpoint are the downright cranky waitresses. – The bar and prices are fair/average. The down point are the downright cranky waitresses. They don't smile or provide good service. I understand that they are very busy but they are obviously angry about something and take it out on the customers. They make it their business to tell you off as if it gets their rocks off. I experienced this twice from the same waitress that is there on pub trivia night. Neither times did I do anything anything wrong. For example, I asked to close my tab and when I saw that she overcharged me I told her so. She is quick to a reply with a sarcastic "I don't think so." I don't like being ripped off so I tell her she's incorrect. She proceeds to tell me off for something I had no control over. Ultimately she refunded my money when she realized but didn't admit to being wrong. She continued to be sarcastic has if it was my fault she made the mistake. I appreciate the fact that she was stressed but there was no need to yell at me when I was polite about the whole matter. This person obviously has anger issues and it's a shame she works at such a great bar. Also, after observing her with other patrons, I noticed she is selectively polite with certain people. The fact that the ones she is good to those that tend to be her own ethnicity and the ones she is rude to tend to be a person of color may just be a coincidence. Needless to say, I will never be going back to that bar again until I hear she's quit or has been sacked. The service is horrible and I plan to tell all my friends and NYU students not to go there until the problem is fixed.
Otherwise, the price of food and drinks are average for a bar (about 6-7 for a drink and 10-15 for appetizers). I enjoy the games that the bar provides for amusement.
An okay time, so long as no one else is there – Common Ground has a really great happy hour with some delicious foods, and they have a pretty good beer selection. As long as you go when it's not crowded, you'll probably have a good time, especially if you're just looking to hang out with friends and play a game of Clue. But when it gets crowded, the place is a mess. The crowd is generally obnoxious, but not oppressively so. They have a jukebox, but if you play a song that the bartenders don't like, they'll skip it -- and if you ask why, like I did, and say that you paid for that sweet jam, they'll just scoff at you about how sub-par your taste in music is. Last time I was at the bar til closing time, the bartender was literally so drunk she was LAYING ON THE BAR. Ugh. Classy.
A classy-lookin' bar with a cozy local vibe. – In Short
Were it not for the inherent modesty of the neighborhood, the crystal chandeliers, chocolate woods and shelves of leather-bound books might make this East Village bar seem high-falutin'. Instead, a warm, comfortable air permeates a room filled with low-maintenance, young professionals--think publishing, not banking--perched at the bar or at elevated tables along the wall, taking full advantage of a stash of classic board games like Connect Four. Quick to befriend the neighborhood, Common Ground is welcoming--though, retaining some class, not to rowdy bar-hopping revelers.
Hits: A semi-private rear lounge serves as a sanctuary from the weekend rush, and a space for larger groups to comfortably convene.
Misses: Don't expect a particularly memorable night out; it's just a simple, albeit charming, local spot to grab an impromptu drink or rally the troops before the main event.
Best birthday ever – Been here a few times with friends for their parties. Loved the place, so I had my 30th birthday here. The space in back is awesome. Had about 45 friends and they all loved it. The jukebox is great (when you finally get to hear your songs). Staff was attentive and extremely friendly. Food was delicous. Thanks Common Ground for making my 30th wonderful. I'll recommend you often.
Agree with Flawed Review Posting – It's true that the beer selection is good here. You might like this place if you like board games, let's say a Tues night or something. However, in general this place is not cool. I've lived on 14th street for years, before this place first opened. There are much better bars in the area. Don't get too crazy about this one because of the over-rated, staff made posts.
I'll also admit that I've been here a bunch of times because my cousin likes board games.
But here is what I don't like:
First, the ugly sign and decor. The ambiance doesn't really fit with the area and crowd. Who are they trying to kid? Are we in a living room or a study?
The food is only OK.
The staff is not that hot -- they aren't super nice/cool either.
The crowd isn't that great, it's mostly uptown types who want tell their co-workers that they were hanging out downtown. Overall, not cool.
The music has a lot of room for improvement.
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