Common Ground opened in Arlington Center in September 2014. Several customers revealed they were longing for this type of establishment in Arlington. “This is so much needed in Arlington,” said Kurt Fusaris, Common Ground regular and one of the stars of the local short movie sensation “Tin Whistle Terror.”

This segment is the first in the series called “After 8,” which explores evening destinations in Arlington to enhance its reputation as a lively town. I wrote here about my experience as a Somerville transplant and how Arlington can still have – for outsiders – a reputation as a dry town.

Common Ground, and other places in town, has benefited from recent changes in liquor license policies. When asked about the owner’s motivations for opening Common Ground in Arlington, Rodney Kangiser, General Manager, said: “We were much more interested in the area. Arlington Center is an awesome area that we really wanted to be a part of.” During our interview, Kangiser also addressed concerns raised by some residents. He detailed efforts the establishment made to meet town requirements, fit in the neighborhood, and bring value to the community. Several staff members live in Arlington, and there is a multifunctional event room that can be transformed for any kind of community or private event. “To support our local community, we are waiving our Event Room fee for school and sports team charity events,” wrote the Common Ground team on their website.

Arlington Center is the second location for Common Ground – the first one being in Allston. Even though there are similarities between both locations, their concepts are slightly different. Kangiser said, “Allston is in the middle of College Town U.S.A. It is very pub-like. While we are a Pub too, [Common Ground Arlington] is much more about the elevation of the food and it is also much more about being more of a family-oriented place.” This summarizes what Common Ground Arlington, which defines itself as a Gastro pub, is all about: food, drink and community.