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 O'BRIEN'S COACHING

Not my job: Texans no match for the Ravens

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

The Texans fell to the Ravens 33-16 in a game they had a shot at winning. Most of you reading this will probably think I'm crazy for saying that. I assure you, I meant what I said. One of the reasons they didn't was because Bill O'Brien made a few questionable decisions that cost this team.

The first was the 4th & 1 decision. Deciding to go for it was bad enough. They were down 3-0 near the end of the first quarter with the ball on their own 34-yard line. This is not a situation that calls for a gamble or statement play. The play call itself was okay I guess: a play action bootleg with two short options. It was read and played perfectly by the Ravens defense. Deshaun Watson had nowhere to go with the ball and had to throw it at Darren Fells' back before getting sacked. That led to a quick Ravens touchdown and an early 10-0 deficit. I seriously think he has PTSD after that playoff loss to the Chiefs when it comes to fourth down calls. Bumbling Bill strikes again!

When they got the ball back, they scored a touchdown thanks to more play action passes and pre-snap motion. It was as if Bumbling Bill realized his offensive line was outmatched by the front seven they're opposing. Sure Watson is mobile and looks like a magician escaping sacks, but misdirection helps throw the defense off and keeps Watson from breaking into 177,000,000 pieces. Oh, and the quick reads were a good idea as well. Too bad Bumbling Bill went away from that and opted for longer developing routes. Or will he blame it on Timid Tim Kelly? Or was Waiting Watson holding onto the ball too long? I blame all three.

Also, can we stop starting drives with the predictable run, run, pass combo please? First down should be play action rollout with Watson having the ability to choose to run if it's there. More run/pass/option plays need to be called as well. Incorporate more things that we saw when Watson was on his way to winning rookie of the year before his knee was sacrificed for the Astros.

Credit where it's due: the end of the first half to get a field goal with a minute and change left was good to see. Typically, these situations tend to make Bumbling Bill come out. I liked the quick slant to Cobb with no timeouts. They were able to spike the ball and get the field goal up.

The game was still within reach at 23-13 in the beginning of the fourth quarter. On a 4th & 1, they gave up a 30 yard touchdown run on a direct snap to Mark Ingram. I saw gaps on both sides of the defensive line pre-snap. Sure enough, Ingram got a lead block from the Ravens human plough of a fullback and that effectively put the nail in the coffin at 30-13. I know the tendency is to quarterback sneak or run up the middle, but don't leave gaps along the defensive line trying to stack the middle. First time defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver will take the L on this one.

Overall, I'll give O'Brien and his coaching staff a C- this game. Mistakes were made that could've cost them a legit shot at winning, but the Keke Coutee fumble return for a touchdown wasn't their fault. The play calling menu was brought to us this week by Craft Pita via the "What's Eric Eating" podcast. Tune in next week for another "Not my job!"

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