Common Craft: Beer Bars, Wine Room, ‘Speakeasy’ Cocktail Bar, & Bistro in Burlington, Massachusetts

By: Patrick Maguire

Book Chapter: Human-to-Human Service

Posted: 03/4/2022

Pivoting from advocating for service industry workers to promote Common Craft, a very cool, new concept opening in my old hometown. I’m proud to announce that there’s an awesome project supporting independent, small business, on the way to Burlington, MA, within Burlington Mall.

In a world of Pandemic Pivots, repurposing mall spaces has hastened considerably. Simon Property Group (owner of Burlington Mall) has been proactive, creative, and aggressive with their strategic planning. They are known for creating “experiential-centric” destinations, including ‘Lifestyle Centers’ across America. Including Common Craft is consistent with Simon’s stated intention of “aggressively pursuing high-quality tenants to populate the new facilities which are intended to appeal to the retail market.” [Simon letter to Burlington Planning Board-Burlington Patch May 4, 2018]

“We’re a company of experiences and therefore perfectly positioned to capture the hearts, minds and imaginations of our shoppers with new, exciting and dynamic ways to live, work, play, stay and shop at Simon,” David Simon, chairman & CEO of Simon Property Group –Commercial Property Executive May 18, 2018

The Common Craft space is adjacent to some of the Lifestyle Center space that is part of the new construction. However, Common Craft is a stand-alone, self-contained entity with 4, uniquely branded rooms (2 beer, 1 wine, and 1 full liquor) with a separate entrance. It is not part of a Food Hall or a Beer Hall, like Harpoon in Boston, MA.

I recently visited Deacon Giles in Salem, MA and Idle Hands in Malden, MA, enjoyed their libations, met the owners, and toured their shops. I also communicated with the owners/principals at Vineyard Road and Hermit Thrush. They all welcome the opportunity to speak with media and welcome you to their facilities. I’m also happy to make introductions to the folks at Simon Property Group for comment.

‘Common Craft’ is a celebration of similar, independent artisans who excel at their craft. When I met with Larry Leibowitz and toured his vision in progress, I was intrigued and impressed with his mission of collaborating with, and promoting, independent, small brands that share a common craft. The craft being celebrated at the mall is craft beverages, beer, wine, and spirits from small, independent producers. Many of us champion the #BuyLocal #MomAndPop #SmallBiz ‘Support the Underdog’ mantras. Common Craft will allow us to live that, and to have some fun at the same time. Please share this post with any of your colleagues who may be interested in researching and broadcasting this local story.

Press Release

Boston, MA March 25, 2022

Common Craft, a first of its kind Craft Beverage & Bistro Experience Opening in Burlington, MA Spring 2022

   Craft Beer Bars, Wine Bar, Speakeasy & Bistro Dining Under 1 Roof

Media Contact: Maguire PR & Promotions Email:

We’re thrilled to officially announce that something innovative and dynamic is coming to Burlington Mall, taking the tap room concept to the next level. Common Craft is the first venue of its kind where guests can experience multiple, branded beverage concepts collaborating under one roof. When you visit Common Craft, you step into a carefully curated and rotating selection of hospitality experiences without ever leaving the building.

The industrial warehouse design features approximately 9,000 sq. ft. of beverage and dining choices in four uniquely designed and branded rooms. Common Craft will be the first to feature special brews, spirits, wines, limited time offers, and seasonal exclusives from select, independent producers. Upon arrival, guests will notice the cavernous ceilings, exposed brick walls, and iron beam trusses. They are encouraged to meander through the great hall filled with seating, live greenery, choices of craft beverages, entertainment, and food.

Local MA and New England branded rooms at Common Craft will include innovative, award-winning Idle Hands Craft Ales (Malden, MA), which will play host to a beer hall style room featuring a wide selection of craft beer. “Belgian beer dates back to the Middle Ages when it was only produced in monasteries. Over 500 years and 500 beers later, the depth and breadth of Belgian beers is tremendous with most of the popular styles and brands still brewed in Belgium. Today, Belgian beers are frequently paired with a variety of food offerings to complement and enhance the flavors of both.” -Idle Hands

“We are very excited to partner with Common Craft to open a location in Burlington Mall. The Common Craft team is doing an awesome job envisioning what an Idle Hands satellite taproom would look like, taking cues from our home in Malden. It truly will be a home away from home for us. We are just thrilled to have another location that we can do fun things with, including another Oktoberfest, unique releases, and food/beer focused events. The sky is the limit!” -Christopher Tkach, Founder & President Idle Hands

Hermit Thrush (Brattleboro, VT) craft beer bar will highlight their collection of signature sour beers using only local yeast. “Fermenting since 2014 with only wild Brattleboro mixed culture yeast. continually pushing boundaries of new sour beer. Brewhouse fueled by wood, not fossils. To truly understand terroir and wild yeast, a brewer must come to terms with the type of beer that “wants to be made” in their region. We are proud of Brattleboro’s wild yeast for its balance, its stone fruit and pecan character, and how dry and effervescent it leaves the beer. We are grateful to our region’s farms for the availability of world class hops and fruits, as well as to our area distilleries for unique and beautiful oak barrel flavor histories.” -Hermit Thrush

Deacon Giles Distillery (Salem, MA) adds the energy, feel, and enthusiasm of their winning ‘speakeasy’ concept, complete with dim lighting, plush seating, and award-winning craft cocktail menu. Their Dry Gin, Spiced Rum, Amber Rum, and Vodka have been very popular in Salem and beyond since 2015. “All of us at Deacon Giles are excited to be partnering with Common Craft in opening such a great community space that brings together an impressive lineup of quality, local craft-beverage producers, and a kitchen, to elevate the guest experience under one roof.” -Ian Hunter and Jesse Brenneman, Co-founders, Deacon Giles Distillery #DamnRighteousSpirits

Wine geeks and casual fans alike will love with élevage Wine Room – a curated selection of boutique wine producers from around the globe, highlighting specific themes and craft vintners. Massachusetts-based importer and distributor, Vineyard Road, will be sourcing the wines, specializing in small production and artisanal producers. “We look to find talented growers who are committed to making real, honest, and above all, delicious wines.” -Vineyard Road #TruthInWine

Outside patio space will double as a lounge and game area and will be the home of seasonal events like Oktoberfest, Rosé all Day, Tiki Summer Nights, and live music. A large projector screen will also treat guests to important sporting events, classic movies, and retro cartoons.

Common Craft guests are encouraged to share and pair items from the food menu with beverages from the four craft beverage partners. The approachable menu, offered throughout the entire space, will feature creative, upscale twists on gastropub classics-heavy on appetizers, starters, and snacks, in addition to salads, burgers, sandwiches, and entrees. Ingredient sourcing will weigh heavily on local and small producers, as well as products from the producers at Common Craft that will double as ingredients within many menu items.

Upon leaving Common Craft, guests can visit a separate retail bottle shop where they can purchase packaged beer, wine, and souvenirs from the featured producers, with items exclusive to the Burlington location.

Adjacent to Common Craft’s patio, guests will enjoy Burlington Mall’s new ‘Open-Air Lifestyle Center’ outdoor space full of greenery, Adirondack chairs, bocce court, warming tables, and nest swings. A visit to the mall will be more fun, relaxing, and entertaining than ever!!

“We are excited to welcome the first-to-market Common Craft to Burlington Mall. Our shoppers crave connecting and finding joy in discovering the new and different. It is a great time for Common Craft to join our premier center in the new open-air lifestyle area and provide an even greater experience to customers.” Laura Schwartz, Simon Properties – Regional Vice President – Leasing New England


The craft beverage industry has become extremely popular and competitive. Small producers struggle with competing against the big corporate brands for notoriety and shelf space. Common Craft will help solve this issue by shining a spotlight on craft producers and further elevating their independent brands in a meaningful way. The unique concept makes it the perfect venue for a date night, group event, casual meet up and private events.


Working in the hospitality industry for over twenty-five years, Larry Leibowitz saw the trend in craft beverages expanding at a record pace. He also observed many fantastic, local producers competing with beverage industry giants for brand recognition, cooler space, beer tap lines, and menu listings. Larry’s role as the National Director of Culinary Innovation for a global catering company earned him a spot on the Forty under 40 Griffin Report and led to the creation of two highly regarded restaurants in Salem, MA, Bambolina and Kokeshi. The pair of restaurants have been featured in several publications and have received numerous accolades, including Boston Magazine’s Best of Boston, and five-time winner of the BONS award from North Shore Magazine.

Common Craft is hiring all positions: Executive Chef, AGM, Craft Cocktail Bartenders, Beertenders, Winetenders, Barbacks, Hosts, Line Cooks, Food Runners, & Bussers.

Architect renderings of the space, floor plan, logos, and sample menus for media are available upon request. Media Tours are currently being scheduled. We look forward to welcoming you.

Please contact me with questions, or feel free to contact Larry directly for interviews and media inquiries.

Thank you for your consideration of sharing the news about Common Craft.



Larry Leibowitz

Leave a Reply

Permalink | Posted in Human-to-Human Service | No Comments »