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.

ART BY JESUS RODRIGUEZ

Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio and Sports. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio show at www.nerdthugradio.com!

GOOD DEED OF THE DAY

We're inching closer to Extra Life's big event on Nov. 2. I'm super pumped about this and will be at Adventure Begins gaming for charity for 24 hours. It of course benefits The Children's Miracle Network and I am super excited for this. Let's do it.

THE TRAILER

So in the middle of one of the worst Monday Night Football's in recent history the final Star Wars Episode 9 trailer was debuted. Honestly it looked GREAT. I am not a fan of the Skywalker family story that the nine main episodes of Star Wars tells. I like the universe and the idea of Jedis and Bounty Hunters and space and all of this crazy stuff but the truth is I am so tired of hearing about the same six people in this MASSIVE universe. Show me something new and this movie looks like it does that at least a little bit. Even though this trilogy has been about the four new characters Poe, Rey, Kylo Ren and Finn it's also been about the same people of the last three movies who were all hinted at in the previous trilogy and ugh, just tell new stories already!

MONDAY NIGHT TRAINWRECK

Can we talk about Monday Night Football? This is some of the worst programming all week and I love football. How is it that ESPN/Disney is going to spend ALL OF THIS MONEY to get Monday Night Football and then put some truly awful television talent on it and then even worse, air games like Patriots vs Jets? Is there no flex schedule option? Was someone projecting the Jets under a first-year head coach to be any good? Who screwed this up? Also, the Hyundai Genesis halftime performances have been an assault in both music and visual arts. The black and white thing EVERY WEEK isn't special if it's EVERY WEEK, and the musical acts are all pop acts of minor importance, I say that knowing full well Charlie Puth is a big deal on the charts and Blink 182 is still one of my favorite bands, but come on, move the needle. Get someone. DO something. And seriously, fire the announcers, they are two of the worst. They need to get two guys who aren't traditional, forget former athlete and broadcast journalist. Give me an X's and O's guy fine, but then get me Bill Burr or something. Somebody who is going to use the four hours of television time to try and entertain the audience. I'm not just saying this because the game was awful, I'm also saying this because even when the game is good, the announcers are still awful.

KINGS OF ANIMATED COMEDY

For a long time I would have said that Seth Macfarlane was the king of animated comedy with an incredible nine figure deal with Fox which was also partly a development and first look deal that made him the highest paid writer in television. Suddenly there's some very real competition from the unlikeliest of sources, the South Park Guys. Trey Parker and Matt Stone are looking to sign a massive deal, alongside their partner Viacom, for control of the entire 300 episode library of South Park. Four years ago Hulu paid almost $200 million for streaming rights to the catalog, but this new deal is also television rights so the asking price is rumored to be around $500 million dollars. That is a big, round number. That is "F You" Money if I've ever seen it, it also means in the span of five years the rights to South Park have been bought twice totaling almost $700 million dollars. All for four kids in jackets cursing. Does anyone remember the outrage this show caused in the early days of it's release basically 20 years ago? My how far we've come.

NOT THAT YOU ASKED

I'm trying to get all my ducks in a row for a move next week, nowhere far just across my area of town but honestly, it is always such a pain in the ass to move. I just hate getting everything settled and messed with and now with me doing all of this extra stuff and using the mail system so much, it's even more of a pain in the ass.

Feel free to check out my brand new comic book Another Day at the Office or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help people struggling with cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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