INTRODUCING PITCH 25

Houston soccer legend plans massive EaDo sports bar

Brian Ching is opening a new soccer bar. Courtesy photo

This story originally appeared on CultureMap/Houston.

EaDo is rapidly emerging as Houston's next great drinking and dining destination.

Already home to the Chapman & Kirby, which has become one of Houston's hottest nightclubs based on alcoholic beverage sales, 8th Wonder Brewery, and popular restaurants like Pappa Charlies Barbeque, SeaSide Poke, and Hyunh, the imminent arrival of concepts like Agricole Hospitality's bar/restaurant/pizza shop trio of Miss Carousel, Indianola, and Vinny's plus restaurants like Rodeo Goat and Nancy's Hustle would be enough for EaDo to earn its rising star status, and a new project coming next spring will only enhance that reputation.

Former Dynamo star Brian Ching announced Monday that he's getting into the mix by opening a massive, soccer themed sports bar called Pitch 25 (after the word for a soccer field and the number he wore during his Dynamo career). Located steps away from BBVA Compass Stadium at 904 Hutchins, the 25,000-square foot space will feature both an indoor soccer field and an outdoor beer garden.

“Houston is such a diverse city – people from around the world live here, and there are very few bars to watch soccer matches,” Ching said in a statement. “I’m really excited to create an environment that truly matches the excitement of the soccer experience, and create a nationally-recognized soccer destination as the sport continues to increase in popularity in the U.S.”

While Ching may know soccer — he's the Dynamo's all-time leading scorer and led the team to two MLS Cup championships — he doesn't know food and beverage. To handle that side of the business, he's partnered with The Kirby Group. Owners Andy Aweida and Jeff Barati are the duo behind a number of successful projects, including Wooster's Garden in Midtown, Heights Bier Garten, and the upcoming Holman Draft Hall. 

Pitch 25 aims to raise between $250,000 and $550,000 for its build out via the NextSeed platform. Unlike Kickstarter, NextSeed users earn a return on their money — in this case one-and-a-half times their investment paid out over a four year term — in addition to the usual perks like access to a pre-opening party and swag.

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Kyle Tucker had a big day at the plate on Sunday. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After splitting the first two games of the series, with one team or the other putting on a solid offensive performance in each, the Astros tried to win their fourth series in their last five by taking the rubber game on Sunday against the Blue Jays. Thanks in part to a big day from Kyle Tucker, who played a significant role in the early offense they used to power to the win, they would accomplish their mission.

Final Score: Astros 7, Blue Jays 4

Astros' Record: 18-16, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Nate Pearson (0-1)

Kyle Tucker helps lead the offense to seven unanswered runs

Houston did not go easy on Nate Pearson in his 2021 debut. After a scoreless first, the Astros loaded the bases on two walks and a single, then brought the first run of the day home on an RBI walk by Michael Brantley. Another walk opened the door in the bottom of the third, and Kyle Tucker capitalized with an RBI triple to make it 2-0, followed by an RBI single by Robel Garcia to make it a three-run lead, ending Pearson's day one out into the bottom of the third.

Things didn't get easier for Toronto's pitching in the next inning, as Jose Altuve would lead off the bottom of the fourth with a solo homer. A single and a walk then set up another big hit for Kyle Tucker, a three-run dinger to make it seven unanswered runs and giving Tucker four RBI on the day.

Blue Jays pound Greinke in the fifth

After four shutout innings to start his day on the mound, working around a few hits along the way, Zack Greinke tried to cash in on his team's offense to get another win on his record. He wouldn't be able to get it done, though, as Toronto would get after him in the top of the fifth. They would score four times amongst five batters that came to the plate, with a solo homer by Rowdy Tellez, a two-RBI double by Bo Bichette, and an RBI single by Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

That made it a 7-4 game, and with Greinke still not having recorded an out in the frame, Dusty Baker would lift him at 88 pitches in favor of Bryan Abreu, who would get a pop out and a double play to end the inning and keep the lead at three runs. Greinke's final line: 4.0 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 88 P.

Houston takes the series

No more runs would come on either side the rest of the way, with Kent Emanuel working around a single for a scoreless sixth, Ryne Stanek getting a 1-2-3 seventh, and Andre Scrubb doing the same in the eighth to set up Ryan Pressly for the save. Pressly would get the job done, sending the Blue Jays down in order, including two strikeouts to wrap up the win and giving Houston the series victory.

Up Next: The Astros will stay at home to continue this homestand, welcoming in the Angels for three games starting Monday at 7:10 PM Central. The opener will feature a pitching matchup of Alex Cobb (1-2, 5.48 ERA) for Los Angeles and Luis Garcia (0-3, 3.28 ERA) for Houston.

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