Where to catch baseball

The best 10 bars to watch Astros playoff games or party pre-game or postgame

Lucky's Pub in East Downtown does big events right. Lucky's Pub

Editor's note: This originally ran last season. We have updated with some new places.

Here’s the beauty of playoff baseball. It’s a quick and dirty three rounds (four if you count the single elimination wild card play in…which I don’t), and the question of who is the baddest team in baseball is resolved in roughly four weeks. With that being said, whether you’re a diehard fan, or a casual observer of the Houston Astros, the reality is this: If they win seven more games, they’ll be in the World Series again.

What I’m saying is that you should definitely be watching the Astros. The question then becomes where. Obviously if you can swing it, your best bet is to just go to the games at Minute Maid. Even so, you’re looking at away games where you’re going to need to find a spot to catch the game. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Through my own independent (and obviously altruistic) research, I’ve determined the best spots to catch the Astros throughout the remainder of the playoffs.

Now keep in mind, this isn’t a full endorsement of the bar at any given day of the week. I’m just saying it’s a good spot for playoff baseball. What makes a good spot for playoff baseball? Space for a group to sit, a good view of the game, decent drink prices and selection, and food. I now submit my findings for your review.

10. HTX Fan Tavern – They’re situated right across the street from Minute Maid and have been running drink specials every playoff game so far. It’s as close as you can get to the game without walking through a metal detector, so if you want to be close to the party, this is your spot. They will probably be setting up another block party so keep an eye out for that. Other than that, it’s a fairly large space with plenty of TVs and projectors to catch the game. (1880 Texas St).

9. Revelry on Richmond -- Nestled between the old dive bars in the Montrose area that seem to cling to life with a barnacle-like resolve stands the shiny, pristine Revelry on Richmond. The space is a bit of a squeeze, but if your group can manage to carve out some real estate, expect an awesome menu of upscale bar food, a robust craft beer lineup, and a wine menu that actually extends beyond red or white. The TV setup is perfect, so there's no bad seat in the house. Just make sure you get there early so you can get one.

****8. Truckyard (EaDo) - If you’re looking for food, booze, and a massive patio, this is your spot. It’s just down the road from the ballpark as well, so it serves as a great spot to start and then bar hop your way over to the Juicebox. TVs are more situated toward the bar area, so be sure to get there early and get a good spot for your group. (2118 Lamar)

7. Christian’s Tailgate (Heights) – I normally think of these guys when I’m looking to watch a college football game, but they have the playoff thing figured out and this location is big enough for you to bring a group. As with the other Christian’s Tailgates, they sport a full menu and their burgers were voted Houston’s best this year for a reason. I’ve been known to destroy a basket of fried pickles, personally. Parking is the typical Heights nightmare, so it’s best to Uber (or Lyft. Live your life how you want). (2820 White Oak Drive)

*****6. Saint Arnold Brewery - Saint Arnold immediately jumped on the list for several reasons. First, they’re close to downtown, so it’s a central location. Second, they recently opened up a brand new beer garden across the street from the brewery. It’s a really creative repurposing of an old warehouse that features plenty of outdoor seating, and there’s nary a bad view of the game thanks to their enormous self-titled “Super-Screen.” It’s 16’x8’, so you should be good. They offer an eclectic menu as well, so yes. You definitely should watch baseball at a Houston staple while drinking delicious local beer and eating great food. I’m glad you asked. (2000 Lyons Avenue)

5. Little Woodrow’s (Midtown) – These guys are definitely going to have the sound on for the game, and that’s huge. Aside from that, you’re looking at a bar in the heart of one of Houston’s biggest bar scenes (for the victory party) with plenty of patio space, plenty of TVs and a huge beer selection. A rotation of food trucks are located just across the street, so either eat ahead, or roll the dice (2306 Brazos St).

4. Kirby Ice House – If Little Woodrow’s is the Target of Houston bars, this is their Super Target. It’s absolutely massive, so you won’t have any issues seating your group. It’s well staffed and the drink selection is as extensive as you’ve come to expect from the chain. If you’re hungry, they have a food truck parked in the back (3333 Eastside St).

3. Little Woodrow’s (EaDo) – It’s my list, I can add all the Woodrow’s if I want. The truth is though, they’ve got the sports thing figured out, and The EaDo version has all of the boxes checked to enjoy some playoff baseball. It has a huge indoor area with a projector paired with an equally large patio, BBQ in the back, and a bartending staff that is as lightning quick and efficient as they come so you don’t miss an inning. I’ve watched the majority of the past four seasons here for a reason (2019 Walker St).

2. West Alabama Ice House – Probably one of the most unique playoff watching experiences you can have. One of Houston’s most legendary Taco trucks rests just on the corner of this iconic ice house as well, so if there’s an ounce of Texas in your bones, I shouldn’t have to elaborate any further on how set you are from the food perspective. It’s all outdoors so check the weather, but between the two projectors and rows of picnic tables, your group should have no trouble staking claim to a decent spot. WAIH’s drink prices are very hard to beat (1919 W Alabama St).

1. Lucky’s Pub – The playoff watch party to end all playoff watch parties. These guys go all out. The bar is already enormous on its own – with 2 projectors, one of which stretches 21 feet – but Lucky’s doesn’t care. If history repeats itself, they’ll be blocking off the entire street next door, trucking in a stadium sized Jumbotron, and setting up mobile bars up and down the block. This is where you want to go if you want to immerse yourself in the playoff atmosphere, bar none (801 St. Emmanuel St).

New additions to Eado worth checking out since this was published:Pitch 25, Rodeo Goat for burgers, Chapman and Kirby.

 

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

Photo by Getty Images.

Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

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