Common Market is open in South End again and it’s not the same — but the weirdness lives on

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The epic decorative bathtub on the patio at the new Common Market South End. Photo by Katie Toussaint

We’ve known since November 2017 that the design of Common Market’s new South End space included 5,000 square feet of interior space (indoor/outdoor mezzanine included), plus a 2,000-square-foot patio. But when would it finally open?

On Monday, the door of Common Market South End held one simple, sweet, handwritten note: “Open for happiness.”

I opened the door.

I expected a wave of nostalgia to wash over me, but instead I was just floored by how enormous this new, two-level space at 235 W. Tremont St. next to Bang Bang Burgers felt. The cluttered aisles of snacks and drinks at the original Camden Road location (demolished for redevelopment) have given way to soaring ceilings, tall windows, walls awash with murals, a full-on bar, a maze of towering refrigerators leading to the deli window, and multiple seating areas (there’s a particularly cozy nook on the interior staircase landing.

Exterior of the new space. Photo by Katie Toussaint

And while the nostalgia of the original South End location can’t be replaced, stick around and look a little closer — this new iteration of Common Market will still bring joy to grungy, wannabe hipster hearts.

Interior of the new space. Photo by Katie Toussaint

While shelves are still getting stocked, the food and drink you expect is all here: La Croix and coconut water, wines and beers by the bottle and by the can, Beyond Burgers and take and bake chicken pot pie, the beloved deli menu, chips.

The bar. Photo by Katie Toussaint

And so is the weird mesh of convenience-store-style snacks and trinkets and necessities, all in perfect harmony: Fancy chocolate bars and Twix, wasabi peas and Pop Tarts, Tampax and Tic Tacs, some unusual fabric umbrellas.

Keep browsing, you’ll find: Finger hands and finger tentacles, quirky birthday cards and a Bob Ross painting mug, Enderly Coffee and Magnolia Coffee’s Coffee Flavored Coffee, a rubber unicorn mask.

Sip on $5 wines by the glass (hello, Cava Brut and Cabernet Sauvignon), a variety of beers on draft at the bar, and check out those creepy mannequin heads across the room. Check out the balcony overlooking the construction zone next door, too, and don’t overlook that baby doll in a metal pulley dangling in front of you. Only at Common Market.

Bring your dog to the huge patio and settle in among the decor that just doesn’t make sense: the workshop table with a tangle of metal, the rake, and (there it is!) the decorative bathtub with fronds growing in it.

Photo by Katie Toussaint

I can almost smell the cloud of cigarette smoke and the sweetness of spilled beer and the tang of dripped wine that wafted at the old place. Here, on Tremont, that’s all that’s missing.

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