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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Houston dropped two of three

Astros drop series finale to Oakland, A's win series

Jose Urquidy couldn't hold Oakland back on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With Oakland finally ending their drought against the Astros on Friday night to split the first two games of the series, and with the Angels staying in step with them as both teams started the day 6-2, the Astros needed a win to keep momentum in their favor on Saturday.

Instead, Oakland would outslug Houston once again to take the series finale and take the series win. The loss moves Houston to 6-3 and down to second place, at least for now, until the 6-2 Angels complete their game on Saturday evening.

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 6-3, second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1)

Urquidy gives up four over six

Much like the night before, Oakland was able to bring in runs against Houston's starter, this time Jose Urquidy, Saturday afternoon in their second time through the order. Their first time through, Urquidy was cruising, allowing just one baserunner in the first three innings on a single in the top of the third.

Things shifted in the top of the fourth, with the A's getting back-to-back singles to set the stage for a two-run frame with dual RBI-singles to take a 2-0 lead. Oakland doubled that in the fifth, getting a two-out single to set up a two-run homer by Ramon Laureano to make it 4-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings, but with no run support to that point, would leave in line for the loss. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 P.

A's pad their lead before Houston gets on the board

Meanwhile, although getting five hits, the Astros could not get anything on the board against Frankie Montas through six innings. Brandon Bielak took over out of the bullpen for Urquidy in the top of the seventh, but after loading the bases, he would allow a dagger two-RBI single to make it a 6-0 deficit for Houston.

With Montas starting the seventh looking to face a batter or two before Oakland moved to their bullpen, Kyle Tucker would finally get Houston on the board with a leadoff solo home run, cutting the lead to 6-1 and ending Montas' day. Houston would get a two-out rally going, with an RBI-double by Jose Altuve followed by an RBI-triple by Michael Brantley to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Oakland takes the series win

Ryne Stanek tried to keep it a three-run game and give the Astros a chance to stay in it in the top of the eighth but instead would give up a two-out solo home run to push Oakland's lead back to four. That 7-3 score would go final as Houston would go scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off on Sunday before continuing this homestand Monday night by welcoming in Detroit and former manager A.J. Hinch for three games. In the series opener, the Tigers will send young star Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will get another start by Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

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