Lewis Forman documents a two-year effort to reshape the square and its T stop, which began today. He's betting it'll be done by 2010.
When I got on the T at Maverick this morning, they had posted computer images of what the station and Square will look like when it's finished. It looks nice, but in the meantime construction means a lot of annoying detours and service delays, plus probably several weekends with the station being closed over the next couple years.
As for grabbing a beer... the only place in southern half of East Boston I've found that's a good place for a beer is Kelly's Pub on Bennington Street, although there are a few good restaurants in the area like Tacueria Cancun on Sumner Street right at Maverick Square and Cafe Italia on Meridian Street near Central Square (across from the Walgreens).