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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ROCKETS BEAT THUNDER

Rockets blast Thunder in home opener, 124-91

Rockets take care of business in home opener. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets had an impressive outing versus the Oklahoma City Thunder after an embarrassing loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night. They took care of business at home on Friday night, which was a surprising blowout. The Rockets didn't have to worry about Karl-Anthony Towns screaming at Alperen Sengun or Anthony Edwards telling Coach Silas to call a timeout. Instead, they took their frustrations out on the Thunder (another younger core).

"We responded and bounced back from that game 1," Silas said. "I wouldn't say it was taking anything out. It was just learning and applying to what you learn and that's going to be us this year. Applying to what you learn and getting better and having some games like we had the other day. Veteran teams have some games when they don't play as well they want."

Christian Wood led the way, as he controlled the paint on all aspects with rebounding and putbacks. He played an incredible game after having a poor performance versus the Timberwolves. Silas showed complete trust in allowing Wood to open sets, as he walked the ball down the court several times, and in transition too. Wood became aggressive on the perimeter with open shooting and tough shots, and long strides towards the rim. He finished the night with 31 points and 13 rebounds off 66 percent shooting from the field.

The young core for the Thunder had a tough night defending Wood from every aspect. Hopefully, he keeps this play up. Silas loved the space that was created throughout the game for Wood, which included the help from Eric Gordon, as he continued to play better. Wood continues to develop underneath the Silas umbrella. He had a great feel for off-the-dribble shooting a few times. Wood becomes more dangerous when space is created on the court.

"It allows me to show what I can do. It allows the floor to be open and I can create for other guys and create for myself," Wood said.

As Gordon continues to impress, his teammate Kevin Porter Jr was amazed with his performance.

Gordon looked marvelous inside and outside of the paint, as it looked like a time ripple. The younger guards of the Thunder had a tough time staying in front of Gordon. His size and strength gave the Thunder a huge problem. Gordon is shooting the ball better too, as he is shooting the three-ball at 70 percent this season. Although it's a small sample size, Gordon is trying to overcome his shooting struggles from last year. Gordon finished with 22 points on 66 percent shooting versus the Thunder.

"EG is the biggest part of this squad," Porter said. He comes in and just scores. We need somebody off the bench to do that. He is our guy when me and J come out, it's EG time and he knows that, and comes in aggressive. So much energy on the bench, and we need that every night from him if we want a chance to win."

As I recently mentioned Porter, his facilitation did look better versus the Thunder than the Timberwolves. Porter had nine turnovers in his first game but managed to have two Friday night. He made great slip passes and found open teammates in the open corner. Porter forced a good number of passes versus the Timberwolves but looked more relaxed Friday night. The hardest position in the NBA is the point guard position, but Silas will not allow Porter to fail. Instead of nine turnovers, Porter dished out nine assists. Silas said:

"Bounce back right, going from nine turnovers to nine assists… I think he had two turnovers tonight, which is great. He is making plays for his teammates, and he was really focused."

Porter's shiftiness and creative ability allowed his teammates to get open looks near the rim. He had 18 points because of his step-back threes and first step going towards the basket. Thankfully, Porter is a great ball handler, which confuses defenders on different spots on the court. It's almost like watching a ballerina skate on ice in the Olympics. Hopefully, his confidence continues to get better throughout the year. Porter shot the three-ball at 50 percent tonight. Efficiency is key for Porter this year.

"I'm just trying to let the game slow down," Porter said. "I had a lot of turnovers last game and I just wanted to piggyback and learn from them and learn from some of my forced passes and reads. And sometimes I still force it a little bit. My guys hate that, and sometimes I'm still passive and I'm working on that. When to pass and score and bounce it out, and tonight I felt like I did a good job of that."

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