WORLD CUP WATCH GUIDE

Where to watch the World Cup: 13 Houston bars and restaurants that love the beautiful game

Watch the World Cup with Brian Ching at Pitch 25. Courtesy of Pitch 25

Eric Sandler is food editor of CultureMap/Houston. This article originally appeared on that site.

Even though the United States isn’t in the tournament, Houstonians are coming down with a full blown case of World Cup Fever. Given the city’s diversity, it’s no surprise that people will be rooting for the countries their families immigrated from or just cheering on favorite stars.

Of course, a number of Houston bars and restaurants are catering to Cup fans with special menus and, more importantly, special hours. With the games taking place across Russia, most matches are kicking off in the morning — one as early as 5 am. This guide notes which places are opening early.

After all, there’s nothing like stumbling into work a little late with beer breath after catching a 7 am tilt between Sweden and South Korea.

 

La Calle
The downtown taco joint and its companion cantina will be open for all of the matches with plenty of good viewing angles than to its 75 and 85-inch TVs. World Cup specials include $3.99 paleta shots, $4 draft beers, $5 frozen Chamoyritas, and $8 bowls of menudo. Fans can also expect merchandise giveaways courtesy of Soccer4All. Best of all, those who spend at least $20 earn free parking in the garage at 805 Franklin Street. 909 Franklin St.

Pitch 25 Beer Park
In keeping with the spirit of its co-owner Brian Ching, the newly opened beer garden and soccer bar will open as early as 7 am for World Cup matches. Dine on a special breakfast menu while sipping on beer or wine from the 100 taps. Group reservations are also available. Pitch 25 will also celebrate the start of the World Cup Wednesday night with a special four-on-four soccer tournament on its indoor pitch. 2120 Walker St.

The Gorgeous Gael
As the official watch spot for ESPN 97.5’s weekly show Soccer Matters, the Rice Village bar will be open for all World Cup matches with a full menu of food, drinks, and beer. 5555 Morningside Dr.

The Richmond Arms Pub
The venerable English pub will open early for all matches, including the 5 am tilt between France and Australia, with a special breakfast menu. As always, no cover charge to watch the matches. See Facebook for the full schedule. 5920 Richmond Ave.

Harold’s in the Heights
The popular bar and restaurant will open its downstairs tap room as early as 7 am for matches airing Tuesday through Sunday. In addition, it will offer a range of drink and food specials including happy hour pricing on beer during all matches, $5 Lunazel tequila and Benchmark whiskey, $7 pours of top shelf products including Elijah Craig bourbon, Larceny whiskey, Roxor gin, and Nine Banded whiskey, as well as $5 frozens made with Deep Eddy products. Daily specials (such as $4 Saint Arnold drafts and cans on Wednesday and Saturdays), food specials tied to different countries (such as fish and chips for the June 24 match between England and Panama), and swag giveaways all help make Harold’s a compelling destination for Heights-area soccer fans. 350 W. 19th St.

The Phoenix on Westheimer
The Montrose-area sports bar will be open for all matches with TVs both inside and out. See the full schedule on Facebook1915 Westheimer Rd.

Revelry on Richmond
The popular Montrose sports bar will feature World Cup matches on its 30 TVs. For select matches such as Germany versus Mexico, Revelry will open at 10 am; on those days, it will start happy hour with $5 select drinks and $6 select appetizers. To kick off the festivities, the bar will host a Playstation 4 FIFA tournament on Wednesday night with prizes to the top three players. 1613 Richmond Ave.

The Branch
Spring Branch's favorite craft beer spot is opening early for select matches, starting with 9 am on Thursday, June 14 for Russia versus Saudi Arabia; 1 pm on Friday, June 15 for Portugal versus Spain; 8 am on Saturday, June 16 for Argentina versus Iceland; and 10 am on Sunday, June 17 for Germany versus Mexico. See the complete schedule on Facebook. Also, co-owner Kyle Pierson notes that he'll open for any of the other matches if a group is interested in hosting watch parties there. Contact The Branch for details. 7710 Long Point Rd.

El Big Bad
The downtown Mexican restaurant and tequila bar will open early for select World Cup matches, starting with 10 am on Friday, June 15 and Sunday, June 17 and 1 pm June 18 through 21; see Facebook for the complete schedule. Those wearing gear from their favorite national teams — even the U.S.A. — may purchase house margaritas for only $5. 419 Travis Street

Latin Bites
The acclaimed Peruvian restaurant will be showing most of the matches and will open early on weekends or for matches where Peru is competing. Happy hour specials, including $6 wells, $5 glasses of wine, $3 beers, and half-off appetizers, are available from 2:30 to 6:30 pm Monday through Saturday. See website for complete schedule. 5709 Woodway Dr.

Nick’s Place
The West Houston institution will open at 7 am Friday through Sunday for World Cup matches. During the week, Nick’s opens at 11 am. By reputation, the calzones are to die for. 2713 Rockyridge Dr.

Eight Row Flint
Agricole Hospitality’s bar devoted to whiskey, beer, and tacos will open at 1 pm (one hour early) to show matches that kick off at that time. Happy hour specials include $3 tacos, $3 select beers, and $3 select house cocktails. 1039 Yale St.

Pluckers Wing Bar
The wing joint will open early for Mexico’s matches — 9:45 am on June 17 and 23 and 8:45 am on June 27 — with $1 off its 34-ounce drafts of Dos Equis. In addition, Pluckers Club members can compete for the opportunity to win $2,500 by correctly picking the tournament’s final four teams. Four Houston-area locations; see website for details.

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Houston is falling down the rankings

Tigers pound Odorizzi, Astros with homers as Houston drops fourth in a row

The Astros have not looked great in their last four games. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

After watching their hot start of 6-1 cool down to a 6-4 record with three straight losses, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park on Tuesday night, looking to do a better job at home against a beatable Tigers team.

Recent games' woes would continue, though, with Houston's pitching getting blasted by the opposing offense and their own bats primarily quiet.

Final Score: Tigers 8, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-5, tied for second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Matthew Boyd (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (0-1)

Astros score first, then Tigers unload on Odorizzi

Houston looked to have something brewing in the bottom of the second, with three singles in the first four batters of the inning, the third an RBI-single by Myles Straw to put the Astros in front 1-0. However, Matthew Boyd would limit the damage, getting back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.

After two easy innings for Jake Odorizzi in his regular-season debut for his new team, he would allow a game-tying solo homer to Akil Baddoo, his fourth of the year, in the top of the third. Detroit struck again in the top of the fourth, getting a leadoff double to set up a two-run go-ahead home run to jump ahead 3-1.

They didn't stop there, getting another two-run bomb later in the same inning; a frame that would take Odorizzi 31 pitches to get only one out before Houston would bring in Bryan Abreu to get the last two outs. Odorizzi's final line in his debut: 3.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 HR, 0 BB, 4 K, 80 P.


Detroit continues home run parade, Houston loses fourth in a row

Abreu would hope to do what Luis Garcia did the night before, eat up as many innings as possible after a poor outing from Houston's starter. The Tigers would get yet another two-run homer, though, in the top of the fifth, extending their lead to 7-1, with all seven runs coming over a three-inning span. For good measure, they'd knock one more out with two outs in the top of the ninth, making it 8-1.

As far as Houston at the plate, other than their string of hits to bring in a run earlier in the second, they were getting nothing done against Boyd, who would go six and two-thirds innings. Detroit's bullpen would finish things off, despite an all-too-late sac fly by the Astros in the bottom of the ninth, with Houston dropping their fourth-straight game and continuing to lose ground in the division.

Up Next: The finale of this three-game set with Detroit will be an hour earlier on Wednesday, getting underway at 6:10 PM Central. Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will try to maintain his perfect record and improve upon his two five-inning one-run starts for the Astros, going opposite of Michael Fulmer (0-0, 2.57 ERA) for the Tigers.

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