By Brian Jelks - @briansjelks
Today we’re going to talk about something near and dear to my heart as a Houstonian, Houston SPORTS BARS. What would be a better time to discuss sports bars than on the eve of the NBA Playoffs? If you are a Houstonian, moving to Houston, visiting family or friends, or in town for business, this list is for you.
My criteria for a dope sports bars consists of five criteria: location, parking, seating, viewability, and crowd. If you live inside the Interstate 610 loop, NOTHING is worth driving outside of it, hence location being imperative. Parking is scarce in Houston, so if you find a place with a convenient parking lot, cherish it. Seating, in my old age is to be valued, because nothing ruins a good game like your leg cramping from standing. Viewability means the screens need to be in a position that allows me to clearly see James Harden dunking on people while sitting. Last but not least, being amongst a crowd that’s engaged in the game versus having a dance contest can make or break the experience.
I’ll add the caveat that my top five sports bars all have a niche that I will mention after discussing them. Without further ado and in no particular order, here goes my list.
McIntyre’s is the only spot on my list that is located out of the Interstate 610 Loop and with good reason. It is nestled in one of my favorite neighborhoods, Shady Acres of the Heights, known for its diversity, mom and pop-type shops, and vintage rich and character-filled architecture. McIntyre’s has over 40 of the latest definition televisions designed so every patron can watch multiple games simultaneously.
My favorite thing about this bar is the nine TV setup in the main lounge with a projector surrounded by 8 other screens showing different games.
Affectionately called Revelry by its patrons, this one is known for being a hub for sports and craft beer burrowed in the heart of Houston’s Museum District. It has a casual environment and neighborhood feel, best known for its 40 rotating local and select craft brews on tap. There’s not a bad seat in the house to see any game your heart desires, the audio is stadium surround sound quality and there are projectors inside as well as the outdoor patio.
My favorite thing about Revelry is the ambiance. The level of engagement from the crowd for major sporting events is unmatched in the city.
Kirby Ice House is located off Eastside near Kirby and Richmond Avenue, easily accessible from Greenway Plaza, River Oaks, Medical Center, Downtown and the Galleria areas. They offer a one-acre backyard that is dog- and cigar-friendly, which is perfect for large groups. No kitchen is offered, but there are rotating food trucks weekly.
My favorite thing about this spot is this huge seating area including 75 bar seats, a cozy sofa lounge area and high definition televisions everywhere you look, making this the most comfortable sports bar in town.
Located in the West University area, On the Kirb intends to disrupt the sports bar industry by being the only venue that caters to sports-loving foodies. Owner Joe Arbeely developed the concept for OTK by lamenting the lack of healthy options available when he’s headed out to watch a game with friends. Arbeely decided to merge healthy food with sports bars in a relaxed family friendly environment, providing a one of a kind experience in Houston.
OTK boasts the best of traditional sports bar staples such as fried chicken wings with health conscious vegetarian and vegan options. During a review, Arbeely told Culturemap Houston that, “it was my goal that people would no longer be forced to eat bad food just because they wanted to get out and watch a game.”
My favorite thing about this place is no doubt the most extensive variety of sports bar food in town.
Last but not least, Little Woodrow’s located in Midtown is an oldie but goodie, and my personal favorite. It’s been around for over 11 years and has the largest outdoor patio in Houston. LW has over a 100 beers and over 22 on tap as well as a full cocktail bar. The patio is perfect for indulging in sun and day drinking while you watch your favorite teams on televisions in waterproof cases under sun resistant canopies. Not to mention, the three bars ensure that you will never have to wait long for a drink.
My favorite thing about Little Woodrow’s is the expansive patio that always has room to accommodate one more.
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