GET YOUR GAME ON

Fred Faour: The top 10 coolest sports bars to watch Rockets-Warriors, plus the best spots in East Downtown

Coaches Pub makes our top 10 list. Coaches Pub/ Facebook

Now that Rockets-Warriors is finally here, maybe you are suddenly interested in the NBA playoffs. Not interested enough to go to the games, mind you, but certainly enough to hit a local sports bar and watch the action. In your honor, we have put together a  comprehensive list of the best sports bars. And we mean sports bars, not places that add a TV with a game on it and call themselves sports bars.

We try to give you options all around the area inside the beltway, and we rely on Yelp to help those outside the loop, but this should give you plenty choices should you decide to venture out and watch the games with friends.

The top 10

Nick's Place, 2713 Rocky Ridge, Westchase area: Pretty much the gold standard for sports bars in the city. Great food, no nonsense, just a sports bar in the purest sense of the word. More than enough TVs, a solid patio and great atmosphere.

Griff's, 3416 Roseland Street, Montrose area: An area icon for over 50 years, Griff's is as old school as it gets. Definitely a place where you go to watch sports. Their Tuesday night steak night is one of the best in the city.

Coaches Pub, 2204 Louisiana, Midtown: Has a different feel from the other bars in Midtown, as it is a pure sports bar with a lot of regulars. The food is outstanding for a bar, they have no shortage of TVs and the staff is terrific. The best part is unlike most Midtown bars, parking is readily available and free.

Lucky's Pub, various locations: The Lucky's in East Downtown is the best of the lot, but you can't go wrong with any of them. Another place that is a true sports bar in every sense of the word. 

Big City Wings, various locations: You would not necessarily think of a wing place as a sports bar, but Big City is exactly that. And the wings are terrific. With locations throughout the area, chances are there is one near you.

Christian's Tailgate, various locations: Another place that is designed with the sports fan in mind. Solid food menu, good beer selection and strong menu. Partial to the downtown location, which is a good pre-game and post-game spot if you are headed to Toyota Center.

Little Woodrow's, various locations: Much like Christian's, they have a mode that works well and they stick to it. Not much in the way of food, but usually there are food trucks or people onsite. The EaDo location is the most unique and has the best vibe, and is also walkable to Toyota Center.

West Alabama Ice House, 1919 Kirby, Upper Kirby: A true, old school ice house, this place has a nice beer selection and usually food trucks. Great place to unwind and watch the game.

St. Dane's, 502 Elgin, Midtown: Technically Midtown, but within spitting distance of Montrose as well. Really cool atmosphere and solid food. 

Twin Peaks, various locations: Very much a specialty bar, and like most of the others that have multiple locations, they stick to their playbook. The food is good and if you like scenery...

Best places to catch hockey playoffs in addition to the Rockets

Nick's Place has you covered on that as well, but here are two other really good bars for hockey playoffs:

The Maple Leaf Pub, 514 Elgin, Midtown: Hard not to love this place. It is hockey first, but it is a Canadian bar. Try the poutine. Life changing. Also next door to St. Dane's if you are bar hopping.

Revelry on Richmond, 1613 Richmond Avenue, Montrose: This place is terrific. Great food, world-class craft beer selection, plenty of TVs to catch whatever you want to watch.

Upscale sports bars

Live Sports Bar, 407 Main, downtown: Has a rooftop patio with awesome views and solid food. A little more high end than your average sports bar, but another place where you can pregame or postgame celebrate. 

Pub Fiction, 2303 Smith Street, Midtown: If you are dressed up nice after work and want a place to hit, here you are. It's got a little of the Midtown crowd vibe happening, but a really nice spot and a cool place to catch the games.

Biggio's, 1777 Walker Street, Downtown: Much better for baseball, but for a hotel bar, it is terrific. Definitely more high end but if that's what you are into, they have you covered.

Some East downtown favorites

Hey, this is my area, and it is growing fast. Obviously you already know about Little Woodrow's and Lucky's, but here are some other cool places to hit if you are coming downtown for the games and are smart enough to park on the East side of 59:

Around the Corner, 1510 Hutchins Street: Perhaps my favorite go-to bar, it is basically a house with a bar in it. Great staff, great atmosphere, enough TVs to watch the game and really good pizza. Their steak night on Thursdays is as good as it gets. Really good option if you want a nice place to chill and watch the game. In the same complex as Leeland House, a new breakfast lunch place that is really good as well. 

Truckyard, 2118 Lamar Street: Recently opened, this is a really strong addition to the area. Food is limited but the drink selection is through the roof, they have a great drink selection, monstrous patio and quality service. And a ferris wheel. Really. 

East End Hardware, 3005 Leeland: A true neighborhood bar with limited TVs, but they have a projection screen and if you want to catch the games, they will take care of you. Known for their alcohol-infused sno-cones, this place is a really cool hangout. 

Rodeo Goat, 2105 Dallas: The burgers are awesome and there are a LOT of choices. They also have really good craft beer and an attentive staff, especially if you are sitting at the bar. Which you will want to do if you are watching the games.

Neil's Bahr, 2006 Walker: OK, you won't go here to watch games. You will go here to play them. And hang out in a really cool eclectic place. You can play ping pong or MarioKart or watch The Simpsons. A nice after game chill place.

The New Potato: 3519 Clinton Drive: If you haven't tried this place, you are missing out. Pet friendly, lots of craft beers, good atmosphere, lots of good food trucks. Worth your time.

8th Wonder Brewery, 2202 Dallas: Pretty much the gold standard for the area. A staple in East Downtown, the brewery has embraced Houston's sports teams like no other, and has become a go-to pregame place for Astros and Rockets. And they just opened a vodka/gin distillery across the street. A must visit if you are in the area.

Secret Group, 2101 Polk: A comedy club (and a good one) they have something happening every night. Good place to stop by after the game and catch an act or a good drink.

Chapman and Kirby, 2118 Lamar: Slightly upscale, but a really nice bar with excellent food and plenty of places to watch the games. Expansive outdoor area as well.

Moon Tower, 3004 Canal: This is a really eclectic place with great food, as long as you are willing to wait for it. Good beer selection, too. Not a great watch place but a good pregame place.

Around the area

For those of you outside the city, Yelp has you covered. Here are some links for the suburbs:

For those of you in Pearland...

Or The Woodlands...

And Katy...

You can find Sugar Land here...

And we never forget about our good friends in Beaumont.

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The Astros will look to bounce back after a tough week. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images.

After a 6-3 record to start the season, the Houston Astros had a tumultuous week to say the least. They were swept by the Tigers, lost 2 of 3 games to the Seattle Mariners and placed five players on the COVID injured list.

The Tigers' new manager AJ Hinch returned to Minute Maid Park for the first time since the Astros let him go after the cheating scandal in early 2020.

The Tigers swept the Astros and outscored them 20-8 over their three matchups.

Before the 3rd game of the series, the Astros found out they would be without five players on their active roster. Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Martin Maldonado and Robel Garcia were all placed on the COVID-19 injury reserved list.

"It's hard on the team but you have to carry on. The show must go on," manager Dusty Baker said. "And it went on today with some younger players we have here."

Garrett Stubbs, Taylor Jones and Abraham Toro were called up as well as Alex De Goti and Ronnie Dawson who made their major league debuts last week.

The Tigers were able to score runs early on Zack Greinke, Lance McCullers and Jake Odorizzi (who made his Astros debut) and none of these starters lasted more than five innings in the outings.

Yuli Gurriel was the one Astros bright spot against the Tigers as he had 7 hits and drove in 2 runs. He is still continuing to hit the ball consistently as he finished the series with a .429 batting average.

After a 1-5 home stand the Astros looked to bounce back on the road against the division leading Seattle Mariners (you read that correctly).

Friday night proved to be the Astros' best offensive performance since their home opener on April 8th against the A's.

They scored five runs on Yusei Kikuchi through 7 innings behind good hitting from Aledmys Diaz, Chas McCormick and De Goti who drove in two runs on his first major league hit.

The Astros had a 5-2 lead at this point, but Seattle was able to score 4 unanswered to win the game.

Bryan Abreu, Blake Taylor and Ryne Stanek were credited with those four runs.

Ryan Pressly tried to clean up the bottom of the 9th inning after Stanek put the first two batters on base. His effort was unsuccessfully as Ty France hit a game-ending single that scored J.P. Crawford from second to secure a Mariners victory.

Saturday was the best game of the week for the Astros as they finally broke their six-game losing streak.

After failing to pitch more than five innings on Monday against the Tigers, Zack Greinke threw eight shutout innings with 91 pitches.

He struck out six batters and gave up only 4 hits.

"That's what aces do," Astros manager Dusty Baker said. "Guys like (Greinke) ... they stop the bleeding and we're about bled out."

Greinke finished the game with 2,705 career strikeouts. He is now third amongst active players in strikeouts behind Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander.

Ryan Pressly got some redemption too as he threw a perfect 9th inning giving him his first save of the year.

The Astros won this game 1-0 as Taylor Jones drove in the game's only run with an RBI single.

Sunday's game ended the Astros week with a whimper, as the Mariners bested Houston 7-2.

Jake Odorizzi got off to a good start, but he gave up three hits and was pulled after Mitch Haniger's fifth-inning triple made it a 3-2 lead over the Astros.

Odorizzi is now (0-2) with a 10.57 ERA after two starts with the Astros.

Houston's offensive woes continued Sunday, as Aledmys Díaz had their only hit, an RBI double in the second inning that fell in when outfielder José Marmolejos lost the ball in the sun.

"It's tough to take when you only got one hit and the one hit we got was lost in the sun," Baker said.

UP NEXT: The Astros (7-8) will finish their road trip with a two game series against the Rockies who have the worst record in the league (4-12) before starting an eight-game homestead.

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