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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Watson's accusers appeared on Real Sports on Tuesday night. Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images.

HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel’s heavily promoted and much anticipated examination of Deshaun Watson’s legal mess involving alleged sexual misconduct shed little new light and merely presented a summary of well worn he said/she (x22) said accusations and denials.

The episode debuted Tuesday night on the premium cable service and will be repeated dozens of times throughout the week on HBO’s platforms. Check your local listings for times and channel.

The segment was hosted by Soledad O’Brien who presented compelling face-to-face interviews with two of the quarterback’s accusers: massage therapists Ashley Solis and Kyla Hayes. Their stories were detailed and graphic. Both cried during the interviews.

Solis: “As I’m working, he deliberately grabs himself and put his penis on my hand. I pulled my hand away instantly and I started crying. I told that I’m done. I don’t want to do this anymore.”

Solis said she felt threatened when Watson, before leaving the session, allegedly told her: “I know you have a career to protect, and I know that you don’t want anyone messing with it, just like I don’t want anyone messing with mine.”

Solis added, “That’s when I got really scared because that sounded like a threat to me.”

Hayes: “He wanted me to kind of make a V motion in his pelvic area. I just kept massaging and did what he asked, until his penis kept touching me repeatedly as I did it.”

Hayes said that Watson had an orgasm, which she said was “mortifying, embarrassing and disgusting.”

O’Brien asked Hayes why she continued to have contact via email with Watson after their encounter.

Hayes: "I wasn't sure what he was capable of. He could've physically assaulted me. He could've bashed my business, so I had to protect myself and my business the best way I saw fit. Did I ever see him again after that? No. Did I give him the runaround? Yes."

O’Brien pointed out that two separate grand juries in Texas heard criminal accusations against Watson and neither found enough evidence to indict him.

Solis and Hayes, and 20 other massage therapists have filed civil suits against Watson. The cases aren’t expected to reach a courtroom until next March. Both sides could reach a settlement before then which would effectively shut down any legal action against Watson. However, both sides say they aren’t interested in any pretrial settlements. That’s what they say now, anyway.

After being banished to the sidelines for the 2021 season by the Houston Texans, Watson signed a historic, 5-year fully guaranteed $230 million contract with the Cleveland Browns.

Hayes said she feels Watson “is being rewarded for bad behavior." Solis said, "It's just like a big screw you. That's what it feels like. That we (the Browns) don't care. He can run and throw, and that's what we care about.”

Watson currently is participating in preseason workouts with the Browns and, at the moment, is cleared to play the upcoming NFL season.

That is unless the NFL suspends Watson for some, most or all of the 2022 season. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said the league is nearing completion of its independent investigation into Watson’s case and will reach a decision “shortly,” probably this summer. The NFL and NFL Players Association mutually agreed to have former U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson decide whether or not Watson violated the league’s Personal Conduct Policy and what discipline should be handed down if he did.

The Browns are scheduled to play the Texans on Dec. 4 at NRG Stadium in Houston.

O’Brien said, while producing the Real Sports piece, she tried to interview Watson, his attorneys and the Cleveland Browns for their side of the story. All declined.

During a press conference in March to announce his joining the Browns, Watson denied any inappropriate behavior with the massage therapists.

Watson: “I never assaulted any woman. I’ve never disrespected any woman. I was raised to be genuine and respect everyone around me. I’ve never done the thing that these people are alleging. My mom and my aunties didn’t raise me that way.”

Leah Graham, a member of Watson’s legal team, sat for an interview after O’Brien’s segment was complete.

Graham: "It's 22 women. It's one lawyer. There's only one lawyer who was willing to take these cases. And as we know from Ashley Solis’ deposition, Mr. (Houston attorney Tony) Buzbee was not the first, probably not the second or third lawyer she went to, but he was the only one to take her case. Why? Not because it had merit, but because he would use these cases to increase his social media following and quite frankly to get on shows like this one.”

My reaction after watching the Real Sports segment? We weren’t in the room when the massage therapists worked on Watson. We weren’t in the grand jury room when evidence against Watson was presented. We don’t know what happened. We don’t know what will happen if these cases go to trial.

Until then all we have is one big, lurid, embarrassing mess. In American courtrooms, defendants are presumed innocent. That’s often the opposite in the court of public opinion. We’ll just have to wait while the wheels of justice grind painfully slow.

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